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Khan Academy Pilot Educators On Khan Academy 110

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-who-will-shop-at-walmart? dept.
theodp writes "In what may surprise Khan Academy backers Google and Bill Gates, educators from the Los Altos School District where KA was initially piloted and implemented have responded to some recent KA critiques with a blog entry which notes, 'Teachers in our district have determined that the greatest value of the Khan Academy lies, not in the videos, but in the exercise modules and data generated as students work practice problems.' Not too surprisingly, when it comes to revolutionizing student learning, teachers are bullish on teachers. 'Key to this revolution are the Los Altos teachers,' the educators conclude. 'Teachers in our district are highly valued for their pedagogical perspective, content knowledge, experience, and creative abilities. When district administrators put tools in the hands of teachers and give them room to work, amazing things happen for students. Tools will come and go, but it's the teachers who create meaningful learning experiences that challenge students to grow.'"
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Khan Academy Pilot Educators On Khan Academy

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why would this surprise anyone? Establishment tends to protect itself by embracing change in limited ways while re-emphasizing why "it" is valuable. This is no different than a homeopathic doctor saying "While I respect alopathic medicine, I think their real value is in their diagnostic techniques. The real benefit that myself and the other doctors at my practice play is bringing our wealth of homeopathic understanding to each issue at patient bring in." Not to equate all teaches with homeopathic physicia

    • by ralatalo (673742)

      Does anyone really think teaching is that much different than any knowledge driven task?

      I mean, programming tools certainly write better software, and search tools certainly provide a better coverage of a subject than individuals. Teaching someone is not about presenting the knowledge and reasons, not even if if it includes a rigorous explanation. Teaching is about taking someone from some lower level of understanding and knowledge and bringing them to a higher level of understanding and knowledge. There

      • Yes, it is. First off, you're not just dealing with the students, you're dealing with (sometimes) batshit-crazy parents, in addition to your own supervisory chain. You're dealing with 25 students in a room, 12 of which have IEPs or 504 documentation, and you may or may not have any in-room support for those kids, depending on the subject area and district. And you're having to deal with students who just won't do the work or are disruptive, you're likely to get little support from the school in terms of dis

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          You are a good example of why honest conversations can't be had about education in America. Your claiming that a classroom that has 50% disabled kids is common enough to be even worth discussing? If even close to 50% of our population under the age of 18 is disabled, our species is in total collapse. It isn't an education issue, it is an issue of the impending extinction of the human race.

          Of course, we all know that your claim is total BS, but the fact that you would think it was even plausible as a d
  • by GeneralTurgidson (2464452) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @08:15AM (#41221489)
    The fun of teaching is doing the teaching part, not being the physical replacement students beat on for some guy on TV.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I can't learn as well on TV. I can't concentrate on it like I can with a book or an interactive lesson on the computer. TV lessons go way too slow or too fast. It's the same with lectures.

      Guided self study works the best - for me anyway. Which sucked for me in school because instructors demanded class participation.

      • by vlm (69642)

        Guided self study works the best - for me anyway.

        More or less the same here. I've never really learned anything non-trivial "from a teacher", learned all on my own or out of a book.

        Which sucked for me in school because instructors demanded class participation.

        Keep ahead of the class... I knew how to integrate by parts long before I sat in the boring lecture, so answering questions wasn't much of a challenge. Learning how to sit quietly while bored is good training for the workforce, we call it "meetings".

        • by mx+b (2078162)

          More or less the same here. I've never really learned anything non-trivial "from a teacher", learned all on my own or out of a book.

          Many people are like this, it doesn't mean teachers are useless. A good teacher has the knowledge and experience to help guide your self-study. A good teacher will recommend books or subjects or projects to enhance your learning. Reading is great and all, but sometimes you kind of flail in the dark on your own because you don't know what is important to your topic, and what isn't. You don't as a novice know what has already been done, and what is still unknown. A good teacher is there to bounce ideas off of

          • by vlm (69642)

            Many people are like this, it doesn't mean teachers are useless

            Right on, I have little use for them personally, but a very similar analogy is I don't want to eliminate or de-fund eyeglasses, for example, just because they're not my thing. The main point was if you are teaching yourself, make sure to say ahead of the class and then class participation is a breeze, the claim that self teaching = no class participation is a false dilemma.

  • You mean ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dywolf (2673597) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @08:15AM (#41221495)

    You mean we can't just point the technology at the kids and make them learn? It takes actual teachers actually teaching, and not being rigidly restricted to rote scripts?

    Whoa....who'd a thunk it?

    • Re:You mean ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @08:46AM (#41221683)

      It depends on the student really. Some kids have the get up and go to do it themselves, others don't, for various reasons. I think their parents and family can play as much of or even a far more important role in encouraging learning. Really we need to ingrain a personal responsbility ethic into the education system, it would be beneficial in many ways. I could see teachers changing from knowledge dispensers to effective tutoring aides over time though.

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        Oh ya, not denying that. I just being sarcastic at the nothing that once again, the technology magic bullet isnt one, and, zomg!, letting teachers teach is what actually matters.

        My wife is one, and she complains often about all the various requirements dont leave much time to go beyond "the script", and the rules even dont allow for it. teachers today arent really teachers or educators, they are isntructors. instructors are like what I had in tech school training for my MOS in the marines. "this is this and

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          This is one side of a good point showing how people refuse to have honest conversations about education. On the one hand, the drum is constantly beat on how teachers are underpaid because they are doing a great job at educating our youth, and on the other hand, their hands are tied, and they have become simple instructors, barred from actually teaching. The two arguments are mutually exclusive. (I know that you did not make both arguments)

          Our education system is a total failure given the resources pour
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library." - from Good Will Hunting
      or
      "The true university of these days is a collection of books." - Carlyle, Thomas

      • Wikipedia says the second one is:

        "What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."

        Which is subtly, but IMO importantly, different.

        Though perhaps he said or wrote both things separately.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @08:19AM (#41221515)

    A family member of mine quit high school a year ago when she was just beginning 11th grade. At that time, she didn't even understand fractions and could only do the most basic of basic math. Still, she got to grade 11 just by memorizing material, regurgitating it on a test, and then forgetting it. After she quit (she convinced her mother to let her learn math on her own), she started using Khan Academy. She's currently learning calculus and actually seems to understand the material (unlike many public school students). While Khan Academy may not be revolutionary or perfect, it's an extremely useful resource. You can't, however, just watch the videos passively and expect to learn. You have to actually think about the material, do things on your own, and attempt to understand it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo (965947)

      A family member of mine quit high school a year ago when she was just beginning 11th grade. At that time, she didn't even understand fractions and could only do the most basic of basic math. Still, she got to grade 11 just by memorizing material, regurgitating it on a test, and then forgetting it. After she quit (she convinced her mother to let her learn math on her own), she started using Khan Academy. She's currently learning calculus and actually seems to understand the material (unlike many public schoo

      • by The Second Horseman (121958) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @10:53AM (#41222853)

        Absolutely right. This is an attempt to take billions of dollars and shift it to private industry. Romney referred to us as "Company" and not a "Country" the other day. We're at the point where I'm nostalgic for Bush II calling us "Consumers" instead of "Citizens". The middle class was created when wealth was redistributed down. Those at the top have spent the last 60 years working to reverse that, and they've nearly succeeded. Four years of Romney with a Republican congress will seal the deal.

        • The middle class was created when wealth was redistributed down

          That would be amazing considering the middle class really began to emerge during the industrial revolution before there was even an income tax.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I have an uncle who thinks he's Napoleon. That doesn't mean I'm going to post anonymous astroturf forum comments asking people to enlist in his army.

        What the hell are you talking about? I just shared a good experience that a family member had using Khan Academy.

        Um, that's also how school works.

        I explicitly called it a resource and said that it wasn't perfect. Like a book, it is only a resource. Some people can teach themselves and others can't. Teachers are not one-size-fits-all solutions, and I did not say that everyone could do this. You don't have to drop out of school to use it, either.

        But I will say this: right now, it's a hell of a lot better than our inefficient, soul-crushing p

      • If you didn't actually quote the OP, I would have thought you replied to the wrong post by accident. What do corporations have to do with Khan Academy, which is a non-profit funded by donations?

        I mean, I fully agree that the 'privatization' of certain government services is a bad thing, I just don't see how it's relevant. If anything, Khan Academy can save our education system from the abysmal failure it's been for years. Best of all, it's a solution that doesn't depend on charter schools, which is the whol

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @08:19AM (#41221517) Journal

    Not too surprisingly, when it comes to revolutionizing student learning, teachers are bullish on teachers.

    Is the purpose of this to revolutionize student learning or augment it? It's important because I think some people are thinking that students will not have to go to school anymore and instead just log into Khan Academy whereas I think the appropriate spot is as an aid or augmenting tool for educators everywhere -- parents, teachers, professors, you name it.

    Also in that blog article:

    While we don’t have official study results yet, great things are happening in our district for students and some of them are directly related to our use of Khan Academy. Teachers who have used Khan Academy as an instructional tool, have rethought their use of instructional time and are spending more time in math class on less traditional teaching methods effectively changing the student experience. Students are excited about the use of Khan Academy for several reasons: They get direct feedback when they are working a set of problems, they are able to visually see areas where they have excelled in math, and they are able to take some ownership of their own learning. Students are motivated in math and are excited to take on new challenges.

    Which sounds pretty positive -- like the teachers are learning from the videos on how to more effectively teach math. They also say:

    It is no secret that Khan Academy videos have come under fire in recent weeks. As educators in the Los Altos School District where Salman Khan’s free product was initially piloted and implemented, we would like to share our experiences utilizing Khan Academy as an instructional tool in a blended learning environment. By sharing our experiences, we hope to provide accurate information on how Khan Academy can be effectively used, clear up a few misconceptions, and share some of the lessons we have learned on our journey thus far.

    The whole blog posting sounds like a departure from what the summary lead me to believe. I don't think anyone would be shocked or surprised to hear that teachers are using this as an augmenting tool and as for them being "bullish" I don't really see it. They are cautiously optimistic about this pilot program and say that it has resulted in good things inside the classroom.

    • E learning does work (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arcite (661011) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @09:00AM (#41221789)
      E-learning does work. It works well in developing countries too, where local teachers may be weak and lack even the most basic skills. However research consistently shows that having a real teacher is superior (for a variety of reasons) to just relying on some static videos or interactive tutorials on a computer. Interestingly, training teachers in developing countries is still much cheaper and sustainable than deploying e-learning technology (ie. computers). Bill Gates has many technology initiatives in developing countries, but dig a little deeper, they have accomplished little (well, aside from getting some schools free Microsoft products).
    • by fermion (181285)
      The idea is diagnosing issue between a student and a content. In a traditional classroom this would be done by a quiz, after which a student would review what was missed. This is time consuming for the teacher and student and often is not adequately implemented. In a computer classroom, ideally, the content would be introduced, some questioned answered, and based on those answers topics reviewed. In both cases a motivated student will take the questions seriously and use the feedback to increase learnin
  • Missing the point (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hevel-Varik (2700923) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @08:27AM (#41221565)
    I am a middle aged, self-taught programmer/technologist who dropped out of math way, way too early. There's a ceiling to my ladder of growth in this, and that ceiling is math. I'm making my way through all the math videos on Khan--been at it for a half year or so-- and am starting to see cracks in the ceiling. He's an excellent teacher and there's a vast math playlist there. All this talk about KA's role in replacing/supplementing formal education obscures the concrete reality of there now being an unprecedented resource on-line for learning and self-empowerment. Also, little noted is just how good a teacher Khan really is. He's clear, humble, knowledgeable and very much into providing the intuition in addition to the mechanics. I thank G-d for Khan Academy everyday.
    • I am a middle aged self taught mathematician, philosopher, scientist, computer programmer, and cyberneticist. I've been using complex numbers and calculus since the schools only offered long division and number lines (~11.5 years old). I found that schooling supplied the very "ceiling" of which you speak. Ignoring my homework and instead advancing my development outside the class room (my Library, and other sources of knowledge: BBSs, and SIG groups at HAL-PC) I surpassed EVERYONE at my school, includin

  • by Anonymous Coward

    While I would almost immediately agree that this report sounds like they are trivializing KA as just another tool to protect their jobs, there is some value to actually having a good teacher that engages your kid on an individual level. This is born out by smaller class sizes allowing for more individualized instruction, which in turn leads to less of a one-size-fits-all approach that is often derided for creating people who don't think, but just regurgitate information on demand.

    Some good teachers can make

  • by EWAdams (953502) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @08:45AM (#41221679) Homepage

    It also isn't nearly as good as a real teacher at inspiring students, and when a student doesn't get it, a video can't think of an alternate way to explain the same issue, or find an analogy the student understands.

    This hatred of teachers becomes a downward spiral. We hate them, so we won't raise their pay, so fewer good people are inclined to take up the job -- who needs the hatred and the low pay? -- and so the quality gets worse, and down it goes.

    Khan Academy is great, but it's only assistive technology, not a substitute for the real thing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Khan Academy is great, but it's only assistive technology, not a substitute for the real thing.

      I beg to differ. In some cases, people really do learn better when they're self-taught (and Khan Academy is just a resource). Everyone learns in different ways, and teachers aren't one-size-fits-all solutions.

    • but it can be better then big lecture classes where it's about the same with out the DVR control's.

    • Teachers (Score:3, Interesting)

      by arcite (661011)
      In North America, Teachers are consistently one of the least respected, poorest paid professionals, yet they work some of the longest hours (out of altruism) of anyone. Those teachers who don't burn out after their first few years, and continue to make it a career are the true heroes.
      • Re:Teachers (Score:5, Insightful)

        by orlanz (882574) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @11:13AM (#41223089)

        Why was this marked +4 Interesting? The poster basically posted a random all-encompassing opinion with out any sources.

        In North America? Have you traveled to parts outside of the Continental US to make that claim? I don't think Mexico & Canada would like to be put into the same bucket.

        Least Respected? You said NA so I am guessing compared to the world. There are many countries out there where the senior students run the school and/or the teachers only show up to work on pay day.

        Poorest Paid Professional? Google: http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/ [teacherportal.com]
        Average HOUSEHOLD income? Google: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]
        Nuff Said (if you compare to most other countries, foreign teachers make less or about the same relative to other jobs there).

        Longest hours? Google: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/survey-teachers-work-53-hours-per-week-on-average/2012/03/16/gIQAqGxYGS_blog.html [washingtonpost.com]

        53?!? And 6-8 weeks of PTO? WOW. Talk to any IT Developer, 50-100 hours per week. Average, easily 60. I was in Accounting & Auditing and averaged 55 hours (60+ for month, quarter, & annual closes). In IT, averaged 55; 100+ for deadlines. As an IT PM, 50-70 hours. 15-20 days PTO + 10 holidays.

        And no, that does not count the hours spent on further education, certifications, and air travel for clients. And in the consulting world, not seeing home Monday to Thursday. Yes, our salaries are higher, 50k starting and growing to 80k+ over 5+ years, but considering the hours, I think comparable to teachers.

        BUT COME ON, "consistently one of the least respected, poorest paid professionals... longest hours of anyone"? BULL! Go see a few episodes of Dirty Jobs.

        Seniority has nothing to do with teachers becoming "heroes". My teacher heroes can be counted on both hands and they were some of the least paid in the schools (except 2). I respect them to the Nth degree. But the worst teachers, although just 4, made some of the highest salaries (90k+). Every time this topic comes up, I remember those 4 and think how much of a handicap each generation that they touch start off with. All the other teachers were mediocre but I still thank them for their contribution to what I am today.

        • by MattskEE (925706)

          Longest hours? Google: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/survey-teachers-work-53-hours-per-week-on-average/2012/03/16/gIQAqGxYGS_blog.html [washingtonpost.com]

          53?!? And 6-8 weeks of PTO? WOW. Talk to any IT Developer, 50-100 hours per week. Average, easily 60. I was in Accounting & Auditing and averaged 55 hours (60+ for month, quarter, & annual closes). In IT, averaged 55; 100+ for deadlines. As an IT PM, 50-70 hours. 15-20 days PTO + 10 holidays.

          And no, that does not count the hours spent on further education, certifications, and air travel for clients. And in the consulting world, not seeing home Monday to Thursday. Yes, our salaries are higher, 50k starting and growing to 80k+ over 5+ years, but considering the hours, I think comparable to teachers.

          Just because you personally and possibly your industry are overworked doesn't mean you should belittle how hard teachers work. Why are you putting in so many hours anyway? In a school the (good) teachers put in extra time out of the love of teaching and their desire to see their students succeed and the teachers are overworked because there's not enough money to hire extra teachers.

          Is IT really an important enough job to be putting in 100 hours per week? That's 14 hours/day 7 days/week during crunch time!

        • Are you seriously complaining that teaches ONLY work 53 hours a week? Are you sick in the head?

          You seem to making the argument that working 50-100 hours per week should be the goal of every Citizen. Screw that. I want to enjoy life with my family. You can work your 100hrs/week. Enjoy that heart attack at age 45 and leave teachers alone.
          • by Belial6 (794905)
            No, he was pointing out that the previous poster was lying about teachers being the poorest paid and having the longest hours. You are a good example of why honest discussions don't happen concerning education. Lies get told, and when the lies are called out, people like you try to shift the focus of the conversation with straw man arguments in an attempt to make it look like the person who called out the lie is being mean to teachers.
            • I especially like how if you don't parrot the common lie but instead post facts, it immediately makes you someone who "wants" teachers to work 100-hour weeks, apparently.
        • Why is this modderated +4? Its sources are crap.

          "Poorest Paid Professional? Google: http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state/ [teacherportal.com] [teacherportal.com]"

          Yeah, here is a group I am going to trust. Who owns the site? Oh an ad company. What three colleges are on their site, oh, on-line for profits. Yeah, no bias there to drag the numbers up.

          Heres one to try: MYTH: Teachers make just as much as other, comparable professions. [nea.org] It says:

          "FACT: According to a recent study by the National Association o

    • It doesn't try to replace teachers, it's an attempt to change the role of teachers. Instead of being a lecturer - basically thrown in the spotlight in front of a large group of kids and trying to teach them all at once - a teacher can now work with individuals. The data Khan Academy provides them is phenomenal. They know who is working on what and how well they're doing. This allows the teachers to focus on the kids who need help while letting those who are ahead of the curve continue working at a faster pa

  • Pilot educators (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192)

    There's no way I'm getting on a plane where the pilot learned how to fly from Khan's academy.

    • by iamwahoo2 (594922)

      There is no way that I am getting on a plane where the pilot learned to fly by sitting in a 30 person classroom with unruly 15 year olds while copying down notes that are written on a blackboard.

  • Ok first I am biase because I am a teacher..... I think that one of the most important things being over looked with all the current movements is the social learning that happens in a school. Those of the most valuable things I can do with a child is help them learn coping mechanisms and problems solving skills. When they have a problem with another student or me it is a golden opportunity to learn something valuable. This is not measured or tested. I am glad my own children go to school and have to learn
    • by iamwahoo2 (594922)

      Classrooms provide very poor environments for social learning because children are learning from children who are equally immature. Human beings were not meant to be grouped by age and monitored in large groups by a single adult. We only do this for efficiency reasons, not because it is good for the childs social or cognitive development. The average public school is detrimental to a childs social skills. Kids can be downright abusive toward each other and not only do they create a culture where poor social

    • by PotatoHead (12771)

      Yes. My comment down thread touches on this, but this video really does highlight where things can go.

      Teachers get the time to figure out the kids. Once they do that, they can mentor and build that kid into the great person they can be, well educated, capable.

  • by InvisibleClergy (1430277) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @10:19AM (#41222545)

    I loathe watching videos. Hate hate hate. Videos are not effective for general learning. And I know, some people "have different learning styles", but everybody and their brother thinks that it's a good idea to make invariably-shitty videos about things that people want to learn. I want to read something with pictures. I don't want to watch a damn video.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I think it has to do with how you learned to learn. I don't want to watch videos either, unless they are very content-dense. But I grew up with a set of encylopedias in my room, and I'm a speed reader. For the average kid who grew up in front of a TV, videos are probably the most effective single method.

    • I want to read something with pictures. I don't want to watch a damn video.

      Check khan's interactive transcripts.

      Now you can read something with moving pictures.

  • by PotatoHead (12771) <doug@opUMLAUTengeek.org minus punct> on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @11:30AM (#41223271) Homepage Journal

    Looking back on my own primary school education, which happened in the 70's and 80's, the best education I got was from those teachers who delivered the material well, often relating it to real life things, or concepts that I could understand, and those that took the time to understand who I was, even if I didn't yet. They were the mentors. They helped to change my life for the better. They teased out things they saw and developed them. They are the ones I did contact long after school to say, "thanks."

    I can understand teachers -- educators in general getting a bit nervous over something like Kahn Academy. After all, who really needs teachers when kids can just plug in and get smart?

    But the thing is, a vast majority of kids won't do that. Some of them can't. Others can, but won't be self-aware and self-directed enough to do that. For most kids, we need teachers at a minimum, and we really need mentors big. A short story:

    In High School, I was exposed to Apple ][ computers. There is an Apple //e on my desk that I use regularly to this day. (Electronics, retro programming, writing) We had some programmed instruction material on disks that was supposed to teach us about the computers. Most everybody was new as the computers were only there for a year or two before I showed up.

    Basically, the whole idea was to have the teacher shepard the students through the material, answering questions, etc... and most importantly, just make sure they do it. Anyone could do this, given a dry run or two, and some supplementary material to prep on. In fact, as a student, I did exactly that as part of some project.

    That's what the teachers fear, and they are right about it too. The thing is, we've been fixated in the US, on test scores and other hard metrics to a point where we totally ignore the real education. Class time is planned down to small increments, test score stakes have been raised right along with requirements in such a way as to dictate what happens in the classroom, and this denies the educator the opportunity to actually educate!

    Now, back to that story! These problems were not really manifesting themselves during my time. Some changes could be seen, but for the most part, my High School education was robust, as it happened before we really started the ugly changes. A few of us found out that we could type ctrl-c on the keyboard and break the flow of the BASIC program contained on the disks! Of course, it didn't take long to LIST the program, and then change it, saving it back onto the disk, which we did.

    Back then, material would be contained on copied floppies with those floppies distributed each day from the stack. One never really got the same floppy, and students would sometimes carry their own data floppy too, depending on what they were doing. A group of four of us modified that program, with the goal of introducing some jokes in the hopes of the floppy shuffle putting them in the hands of other students! It worked great! The day after we did it, one of us got the modified disk, no fun, but three other students got them too, and the laughter triggered questions leading back to us!

    Now, why do we need educators? How does mentoring play out in this digital age where we've got so much information available? This is why:

    That teacher, who doubled as the geometry teacher, took us aside and talked about it. He could have disciplined us at that time, really impacting lives, but he didn't. Instead, we got assigned a different track. Our requirement for that year was to learn all we could. We had to decide to do something, state why, then actually do it. If we did that, we got the A grade. If we didn't, we were back in the planned track, just doing the rote exercises, and probably a B grade, because he knew better.

    That year changed my life, and that of my four friends! We went from running games to cracking them. We learned binary math the hard way, having just the computer, some photocopied reference material a

  • Education majors enter college with the worst scores and leave with the highest grades. And we are listening to them? http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-37245744/heres-the-nations-easiest-college-major/ [cbsnews.com] From personal experience in the an undergrad Math department, the Math education crew were largely though of as do gooders along for the ride. They were conspicuously absent form upper level Math and CS courses, but the History of Math elective I took was filled with them. It is sad so few choose to
  • Khan Academy teaches a topic to a classroom, then tests and generates reports on who knows the particular lesson and how well they know it. The teacher can then spend time with the few students who are having trouble with it and let the 80% of students who grokked it move on to other material. Teachers can spend their time teaching to the students who need help learning, instead of a largely bored classroom of people who got it the first time.

    It also tells you how good the software is. If 80% of the people

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