Monday, November 14, 2011

Update - Returning from a hiatus

I had the chance to check back in with my Khan Academy account.

There is a lot of gray on this map!

Since I have been gone, a number of months now, the Khan Academy has been happily chugging away, adding some new graphics, plenty of new videos, and a slew of new exercises to challenge me. Two of the challenges still await me, along with a number of badges. Unfortunately, things will stay this way for a while, as I have less time these days to devote to Khan.

Along with checking the academy, I had to check in on the state of Kahn's status on the internet. I was able to see a few updates about the pilot program that was going on in the Los Altos schools from the KA main website (

I also HAD to check in with the Action-Reaction blog, as Frank Noschese is an excellent critic of KA and before was carrying on an excellent discussion. To my surprise, there were fresh posts over at Action-Reaction pertaining to Khan.

I am hesitant to comment on FNoschese without fulling reading everything he's posted, seen the comments and his responses, and giving it some time to mull over, but with everything he produces, I just don't have the time. (How do you find the time Frank?!!!) So for now I will just go from the hip.

I really appreciate FNoschese's criticisms, and I actually think they are the best thing that could happen to the KA project. KA is a new and barely tested idea, and what FNoschese provides is some real world, really insightful push back on where KA fails. This is vitally important to making KA better.

What FNoschese also does is draw the spotlight on to some of the dividing issues around KA. For instance, teacher's feel threatened because it looks like they might be replaced by computers. While I personally don't think this is the case, I can see the real fears that people have when confronted with something like KA. This is a conversation that needs to happen, and the people at KA are playing close attention, I am sure, as to what sorts of questions they need to address pertaining to the relevant issues.

Technology will almost surely have a place in the future of education. We need more projects like Kahn to improve the overall system.

Here is a video that I will be using as a quick introduction for one of my classes this week:

Its not perfect, but it is my job to make it fit. In the future, I hope that I have the time, ability, and resources to make my own video that will fit better.

Go check out Action Reaction here: