Salman Khan, of Khan Academy fame, has been in the news a lot lately as his novel approach to education gains traction and funding, and even begins to be applied in traditional classrooms. I have been eagerly anticipating this kind of paradigm shift in education for a long time, and I think the consequences are even more far-reaching than it appears on the surface.
- The casual style and accessibility of his presentations – more like a conversation than a lecture
- The ability for anyone, anywhere, anytime to access the materials and learn at his/her own pace
- The ability to repeat, review, jump ahead, and jump around between topics as desired
- The recently added practice materials and monitoring systems that let teachers manage their classrooms and students’ learning in completely new ways, for example – watching the videos at home, and doing “homework” in the classroom
- You don’t have to sit through an hour-long lecture to get to the part of the information that you need right now.
- Various components of subject matter can be mixed and matched to customize a curriculum or make it easier to just follow wherever your curiosity leads.
- You can demonstrate mastery of smaller chunks as you go along–no need for high pressure testing situations and cramming, and the interactivity of the experience keeps you engaged in the learning process.
- The learning management technology makes it possible to group, connect, and work with others (next to you or anywhere in the world) who are at the exact same level, or who have complementary expertise, or who have similar interests.