Friday math movie: Two teachers learn math from Khan Academy

By Murray Bourne, 13 Jul 2012

John Golden and David Coffey are just trying to get a discussion going about Khan Academy, so please don't be too irritated by this video.

Salman Khan has created huge buzz (and been given funding by Bill Gates and Google) for his Khan Academy. Khan is very prolific and has a wide range of talents and interests. His videos have a place (especially for students who have no access to good teachers, or indeed, any teachers).

As Khan says:

With over 3,200 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, we're on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.

Is Khan perfect? No. Do Khan videos have value? Yes. Do Golden and Coffey have valid criticisms? Mostly. Is their own video good? No!

Anyway, what do you think about their criticisms of Khan Academy?

Here are the directions on their Google Doc, where they are asking bloggers to critique a Khan video and to put up something better. So far, the response is pretty dismal.

Directions: We are looking for at least 101 bloggers to offer a video critique of a Khan Academy video and then share an alternative lesson on that concept. The goal is for all the participants to post the critiques and lessons on August 14th (the day before the deadline for the MTT2K prize). Perhaps the sheer volume of resources will convince the media to acknowledge that while Sal Khan’s approach has its place, teachers still have a great deal to contribute to education. And after that, the media will acknowledge that while the earth is not flat, it is also not a perfect sphere. Since there seems to be a lot of people disputing these basic observations (eyeroll)

There has been a lot of interesting negative reaction to this video on YouTube. It seems there are a lot of Khan fans out there!

See the 4 Comments below.

4 Comments on “Friday math movie: Two teachers learn math from Khan Academy”

  1. Ulrich says:

    I am 23 and I never finished high school so Khanacademy has been a blessing for me as I have a full-time job and his explanations help.

    However, I can see how someone with absolutely no knowledge of Mathematics may struggle to understand his way of interpreting things.

    Great site & blog by the way.

  2. Murray says:

    Thanks for your input and kind comments, Ulrich!

  3. Kevin Sturge says:

    I think the teachers are just looking for trivial reasons to complain and mock.

    I didn't hear anything constructive from them at all, hardly a balanced review. I like online content and I think there should be more people willing to get out there and help.

  4. Peter McCauley says:

    I was/am not impressed with that particular Kahn lesson -- but in general he demonstrates two specific helpful items: 1) keep each lesson to about 10 minutes; 2) use different colors on each line going downward (at first I was puzzled by that -- but later realized that it helps me keep each line separated properly).

    Think that "online" math is exploding, and that is good...

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