Stop Picking on Khan

This was originally a much longer and carefully constructed post, by I got tired of editing it, so I’m going to get straight to the point.

Stop Picking on Sal Khan already!

I have seen numerous posts recently taking a stance against Khan Academy for a variety of reasons – it’s just more lecture, it has no context, it’s just explanation, it can’t replace teachers, it’s not visually appealing, and so on. My take away from all of these complaints is that the authors are missing something fundamental – that Khan isn’t trying to tell them how to teach. The purpose of Khan academy is to provide some resources that may be useful. End. Of. Story.

That fact that one guy has created so many videos that many people do find useful is quite remarkable. If you don’t like the videos or the questions, don’t use them. But please stop the posts attacking Sal like he’s the one wielding the budget cuts in your school board.

Bill Gates though, feel free to dis him all you like.

6 thoughts on “Stop Picking on Khan

  1. Monex

    Salman Khan has taken a simple idea YouTube videos that explain math and transformed it into the future of education..Im just going to come out and say it the is the best thing that has happened to education since Socrates. As they continue to expand beyond math and increase the sophistication of their platform I am left with little doubt that the Khan Academy represents the future of education.

  2. ed Post author

    Khan is a stepping stone to the future of education. A great resource, but we need to really learn what works and what doesn’t. It will take refinement, iteration, and additional innovation to create the future of education.

  3. Jim

    It isn’t Kahn himself that is the problem. It is the members of the public who claim that his Youtube videos are the future of education.

    Sorry, but videos and audio recordings like his have been used as accessories to education for decades. He is providing a good resource, and should be commended for it, but the use of videos like his as a primary source of education is not supported by educational research.

    I’ve reviewed some of his physics videos. It’s all about the equations and definitions — it goes completely against the results of 40+ years of physics education research.

    Great for review, great as a component of learning after fundamentals have been established and (in physics anyway) you know where the equations come from, but it is not a replacement or a sign of ‘the future of education’. It’s another in a growing body of decent secondary sources for education.

    1. ed Post author

      Or worse than “members of the public” – corporate reformists with no educational training who think YouTube videos are the future of education. Are these the offspring of those who thought television was the future of education forty years ago?

  4. Pingback: Yet Another Look at Khan Academy (YALAKA) | Teach Science (.net)

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