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“Conclusions” about efficacy of Khan Academy

Mark Guzdial‘s always thoughtful blog on issues associated with computer science education, and larger education topics, surfaces this discussion of Khan Academy efficacy.
My notes to self:
  • This is 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

Mark Guzdial | September 22, 2011 at 8:38 am | Tags: distance educationvideos | Categories: Uncategorized | URLhttp://wp.me/pyln0-LN

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.

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