Don’t ask, because I don’t know what happened to all my time today. Rather than go in depth and expound on something profound, I will just direct you to this fascinating story in Wired magazine about “How Khan Academy is changing the rules of education”:
“This,” says Matthew Carpenter, “is my favorite exercise.” I peer over his shoulder at his laptop screen to see the math problem the fifth grader is pondering. It’s an inverse trigonometric function: cos-1(1) = ?
Carpenter, a serious-faced 10-year-old wearing a gray T-shirt and an impressive black digital watch, pauses for a second, fidgets, then clicks on “0 degrees.” Presto: The computer tells him that he’s correct. The software then generates another problem, followed by another, and yet another, until he’s nailed 10 in a row in just a few minutes. All told, he’s done an insane 642 inverse trig problems. “It took a while for me to get it,” he admits sheepishly.
Carpenter, who attends Santa Rita Elementary, a public school in Los Altos, California, shouldn’t be doing work anywhere near this advanced….
Funny, that’s what some people say about this 5-year-old’s edublogging prowess. But I digress. The article by Clive Thompson is a long and substantial one, but also engaging. If it doesn’t make you think about the current education paradigm — and whether and how we can go about it more effectively — then you’re not trying too hard. I’ve told you about Khan Academy before, but have yet to point you to anything this in-depth.
While Khan definitely has his critics, this article sure makes it look like his video-based program is having tremendous results for some students in the areas of math and science. Happy digging!