I confess, I’m an information junkie. Love words. Love learning. One of teh best things about being over 60 is that the University of Toronto and York University, my alma mater, now allow ‘seniors’ (maybe in years, but nothing else!) to take undergrad day courses and jut pay the taxes. In other words, free tuition. Now, since tuition back in 1965 when I started my English degree at York was $550, that’s a nice bonus for contribution for 40 years to the Canadian tax system.
I’m getting sidetracked. Hub and I were watching the Lang & O’Leary Exchange tonight and there was a segment on a man called Salman Khan, a California resident, who developed a website for a young relative who was experiencing difficulties in school. Word spread, of course, and now that little website offers a FREE library of over 3,200 educational videos that have been delivered over 165 million times. I’ve always believed that learning should be fun, like chocolate, and that’s what the Khan Academy provides. I checked out some basic math lessons for my grandson, who is frustrated at not being able to grasp concepts the way they are taught in his French immersion school. He’s a visual learner, like me. I never did ‘get’ math and dropped it in grade 10 to take Spanish. Still count on my fingers, in fact, although I know my multiplication tables very well, because I’d stare at the back of my exercise books for hours when I was bored in class and I guess I absorbed all of the times-tables over the years.
Amazing man with no interest in following Kevin’s too-predictable advice that he should monetize the site.
Here is a presentation Mr. Khan did for TED, where he talks about teachers flipping the traditional classroom script — giving students video lectures to watch at home, and doing their “homework” in the classroom with the teacher available to help. That would require more teachers to interact and engage students in debates. An idea whose time has come and not been paid attention to. So many children are failing for a variety of reasons. How many times have you heard a student say ‘I’m bored’? Khan’s approach is definitely NOT boring. Listen up, teachers who are not performing up to today’s standards! Or you might be replaced by a machine (no holidays, sick days, bad days, unions, etc.)