Monday, March 12, 2012


A friend at work sent me this link to a 60 Minutes article Khan Academy: The Future of Education?

I haven’t seen the 60 Minutes piece, but have tired of the idea conveyed by the title. I have blogged about Khan before, so I'll keep this short.
I could go on and on with links to articles that put Khan in some reasonable context, but I’ll spare you the pain. The basic idea is that I am not alone in thinking that if Khan is really the future of education, then we are in deep doodoo. Frankly, I would not really call Khan Academy’s stuff “education,” but rather would consider it “instruction.” If we turn education into nothing but a series of activities that a microchip can perform, then we are on a very dangerous path.

Don't get me wrong. Khan isn't bad. Using it as a way to support struggling students, or as a way to help flip a classroom and allow teachers to focus on engaging with students, it could have great value. The Daily Riff has The Flipped Class Manifest, which provides some insights into how and when flipping a classroom can work, as well as a nice set of links to articles that provide more depth. 

Regardless of its benefits, my concern is that Khan Academy could be used to replace teaching with instruction, and I think that's bad.