Using Khan Academy to teach the rich kids is just not impressive

September 22, 2011 at 8:38 am 6 comments

My PhD advisor, Elliot Soloway, has a blog on learning with mobile technologies. His most recent post is a dialogue about the excitement over Khan Academy.  It’s a fun-to-read and biting critique (more of the Wired article than Khan Academy itself).

Elliot: The Khan Academy clearly demonstrates that all one has to do is put out a bunch of engaging videos and bingo kids will watch them and learn. See, teaching is a snap; I told you so.

Cathie: The Wired article reports on two schools – Santa Rita Elementary and Egan Junior High, both in Los Altos, CA – that are successfully using the Khan Academy videos.

Elliot: Yes and the free & reduced lunch rate in each of these schools is 4%. On the webpage with that info, if you hit the button “show homes in the area around the school” you will see homes that range in price from $900,000 to $4,000,000.

Cathie:  Santa Rita Elementary is a “California Distinguished School” and has been designated as a “National Blue Ribbon School.” These schools are not your typical schools; these schools are not the troubled schools that one reads about.

Elliot: Using these already successful schools – and communities with parents who care deeply about education for their children to illustrate the value of the Khan Academy is a huge mistake. But apparently, Clive Thompson, the article’s author and the editorial staff of Wired Magazine can’t see the mistake.

via Going Mobile.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • […] Using Khan Academy to teach the rich kids is just not impressive […]

  • 2. Ken Long  |  September 22, 2011 at 9:32 am

    great find, thanks for the effort to bring important issues to light. i find myself connecting a lot of your discussions re: computer science education to the challenges of educating professional military officers for the world of uncertainty, with the same tensions of art vs science, training vs education that you discuss.

    notes to self about the article:
    why Research is capitalized in Action Research

    dont confuse activity with results.

    understand the importance of experimental design and critical thinking about conclusions that may be fairly drawn from data

  • […] Using Khan Academy to teach the rich kids is just not impressive […]

  • 4. jza  |  October 5, 2011 at 10:55 am

    OMG, I dunno where these was taken from, but suggesting that this school is not good because it has money is a mistake.

    Probably this school have better trained teachers that think out of the box and can make Khan happen.

    And yeah probably kids have smartphones powerful enough to handle video learning. But saying that Khan is only for reach schools or that this is an exception to the rule because they have money is naive and too pre-judgemental.

  • […] learning is not the outcome variable that we care about, then homework is not an issue. We can just have students watch videos instead. The quantity of students’ homework is a lot less important than its quality. And […]

  • 6. reestheskin – Learning: you need more than videos  |  January 3, 2012 at 6:12 am

    […] am not a big fan of the Khan Academy videos .  I do believe that videos are a good way to convey some kinds of information. I do not believe […]


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