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Education Math The Internet Science

Khan Academy Will Be Ready For Its Close-Up In Idaho 102

Posted by timothy
from the required-online-eh dept.
theodp writes "Education officials with Northwest Nazarene University and the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation say they are arranging to have Khan Academy classes tested in about two dozen public schools next fall in Idaho, where state law now requires high school students to take online courses for two of their 47 graduation credits. 'This is the first time Khan Academy is partnering to tackle the math education of an entire state,' said Khan Academy's Maureen Suhendra. Alas, the Idaho Press-Tribune reports (alas, behind a paywall) that next fall would be too late for film director and producer Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth), who will be in Idaho in January filming The Great Teacher Project, a documentary which will highlight positives of education, like the Khan Academy pilot in Idaho. Not to worry. For the film, a few teachers will implement Khan Academy in day-to-day teaching starting in January, before the entire pilot program launches in fall 2013."
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Khan Academy Will Be Ready For Its Close-Up In Idaho

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  • Cheating (Score:1, Insightful)

    by knopf (894888)
    As long as these online teaching systems cannot eliminate cheating, the earned credits worthless for attesting a basic education (in contrast to extended learning). As a straightforward exploit, one person can register multiple times with different identities and then blindly copy&paste the answers for the questions. While the cheater will still learn more compared to just failing or not taking the course it is questionable whether this method will allow the cheater to learn the required minimum to earn
    • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
      You mean the same cheating that traditional classrooms eliminated... never?
      • No, not even in the same ballpark as the kind of cheating that goes on in class.

        I never truly realized how bad online coursework was until my kid sister was required to do some of them in her high school this year. She was almost downright encouraged to cheat on them just to keep the classes moving. They were allowed (and supposed to) do coursework at home, and the software they used is so stupid about detecting cheating that it's basically worthless. (The software would forbid new tabs from being opened in

        • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
          So... like test banks at any college club?

          In the end, it's either lazy teachers not willing to come up with new material or lazy students not wanting to learn the material. You can't fix lazy and the cheaters will be outed eventually.
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      As long as these online teaching systems cannot eliminate cheating, the earned credits worthless for attesting a basic education (in contrast to extended learning). As a straightforward exploit, one person can register multiple times with different identities and then blindly copy&paste the answers for the questions. While the cheater will still learn more compared to just failing or not taking the course it is questionable whether this method will allow the cheater to learn the required minimum to earn

  • by keefus_a (567615) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @05:46PM (#42467627)
    My brother is a math teacher who convinced the board of his school system to let him try it in two of his classes. Now the entire school system is moving to Khan for the math program.

    The major change in his teaching format is that learning a new concept is now homework (through Khan Academy), rather than him droning on about it in class. Then every morning he gets a report for each student and can see who did well and who didn't. That allows him to concentrate on the students that didn't get the concept in class. Overall he has seen a major improvement in the class as a whole since fewer kids get left without a good understanding of the fundamental concepts.
    • by spopepro (1302967)
      So he stopped droning on and things got better? Amazing! Lecture has always been the most efficient (in terms of planning and energy), least effective educational method. Khan moves the lecture to a new place and adds some limited formative tools. Not really anything new, and is really more of an indictment of how bad most educators are, rather than how good Khan is. Things *could* be so much better, and certainly much better than Khan, but most of us don't get VC money bankrolling our practice.
    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      My brother is a math teacher who convinced the board of his school system to let him try it in two of his classes. Now the entire school system is moving to Khan for the math program.

      The major change in his teaching format is that learning a new concept is now homework (through Khan Academy), rather than him droning on about it in class. Then every morning he gets a report for each student and can see who did well and who didn't. That allows him to concentrate on the students that didn't get the concept in class. Overall he has seen a major improvement in the class as a whole since fewer kids get left without a good understanding of the fundamental concepts.

      This is such a simple idea but has so much promise. It's usually called Flip Teaching, where the kids perform exploratory learning at home (what is commonly done during in class time today) and show up to class to do "homework" with the intention that if the work proves difficult, the teacher can step in to educate and make sure the students all have the same capability at the end, instead of simply giving them a failing grade on their homework and skipping on to the next section. It make a lot more sense

      • It make a lot more sense than a teacher spending 45 minutes reading to the students out of a book (lets be honest, very few teachers are more original than that) and then turning kids loose to figure it out on their own via the take home assignment.

        What kind of shitty education did you folks get where things operated this way?

        I never had a teacher just read things out of a book. And I never had a teacher turn me loose to learn concepts in homework. When I was a student, concepts were taught in class -- wh

        • What kind of shitty education did you folks get where things operated this way?

          No, the GP is right. Of the 50-some teachers I had from kindergarten through my last year in high school, only ten or so are memorable. The rest were mediocre droids who merely droned on and did little to facilitate true learning. That's the nature of the beast in this country -- due to the fact that 'education' departments in most universities are something of a joke, the discipline doesn't exactly attract the best and brightest. Most of the teachers I know are nice if not all that intelligent. Maybe if te

    • by eepok (545733)

      This is great!

      I had no idea there were schools in which 100% of the populations had access to sufficiently capable computers with broadband access! I can't wait to see how well the kids on free lunch respond to this amazing new standard!

      Yes, that was sarcasm.

      • by keefus_a (567615)
        Point taken. And in the case of my brother's school system they are making a point to address this. They have computer labs available before and after school, and it is my understanding that they are going beyond that for special cases.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    From Idaho here, and we repealed the Luna laws last election via initiatives. They were a thinly veiled attempt to break the teachers union and lay off a bunch of teachers.

    Did the NYT miss the November election? Because last I heard the idea was dead.

    • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
      What if online learning is just as effective and cheaper? Does it still make sense to pay teachers to do it?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stoneoffire (1750908)
      Husband of an Idaho teacher. Not specifically an attempt to destroy the unions but was designed to take some of their power away. Lay off teachers? Doubtful. A way of rewarding for doing well? Yes, we received a $3,500 bonus from the pay for performance. How? She is a younger teacher that embraced technology and even with it being her first year she had a higher average GPA in her classes than the others, her class' test scores were higher, and in the math competitions students from her classes dominated th
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Actually, the good citizens of Idaho passed a referendum in November to revoke the state law mentioned in the OP. People realized that the governor and his state secretary of education had no clue what they were doing with their education "reforms" and torpedoed all of them.

  • I really enjoy the fact that this is a clinical study (although, I use that term very loosely here), yet, a film maker is already making a film "which will highlight positives of education, like the Khan Academy pilot in Idaho." Last time I checked studies and pilots were conducted to figure out if things work. But, like many times before, Khan is assumed to be the answer before anyone even tries it. (P.S. don't cite Los Altos School District, which had the highest test scores in the state *before* adopt
  • Interested in academic references/ well researched critiques of the pedagogy of the Khan academy approach. Lots of media coverage about how it's wonderful, revolutionises children's understanding of various school topics, lots of hype.... but I'd be really interested in academic reviews or articles that have tracked children using Khan academy and identifies how well this approach performs compares to other teaching methodologies.

    Cheers! really curious to know what sort of research has been carried out to e

  • Since OP forgot it, you can learn more about Khan Academy here: http://khaaan.com/ [khaaan.com]

  • What they really need to focus on is making sure the students and teachers have all the resources they need to make this work. What I'm afraid of is this giving the Khan Academy a black eye. Still, having used himself a lot, I think the kids will prefer KA over 19 year old textbooks alone.

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