The Khan Academy PR machine is getting to be in full swing after last night’s CBS 60 Minutes airing. Now, let’s make sure we understand where I’m coming from when it comes to Khan. I’ve always stated that I’d like to see teachers being their own Khans, being master publishers, and using their many years of teaching mastery to “teach the world.” Khan beat us to it, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do it better.
Teachers need to step up and take the Khan approach, putting their learning online. A couple things irk me, yes:
- The Flipped Teaching model is not Khan’s. It was created before him, and he never gives credit to the actual teachers who birthed the movement.
- In the video below, do you ever see students involved in higher order thinking? Do you see them using all the newly created “free time” that watching Khan videos at home has brought them? No- you see them doing drill and kill in class on the Khan Academy App. Now – that would have been a powerful statement of the Khan approach. It certainly is the powerful part of Flipped Teaching.
- In the clip, Sal states that he sees the teacher’s role “elevated” to the role of mentor or coach. (I think a facilitator is a better role for teachers.) I see struggling districts, however, with money gaps with their heads spinning thinking, “maybe we don’t need teachers! We can just pay aides to observe students doing the Khan Academy videos!” I would get worried for that kind of system. Chicago Public Schools had this very idea a couple years ago.
There’s a couple of great things that came out of this video however. I was approached a few times today by teachers that saw it, and said: “Hey, Mr. Rezac. Flipped Teaching!”
If the Khan Academy does one thing, and one thing really swimmingly, I hope that’s getting people to talk about taking education forward- and out of the industrial age. If that were Khan’s legacy- I’d be okay with that.
Now – who is going to be the next Sal Khan?
Image Credit: schipul.com