This 20% project really transformed my thinking from a student's perspective to a teacher's perspective. Since I used Khan Academy as a student, I was inclined to just say that "Yeah, Khan Academy is great!!", but now that I have been enrolled in a course that has allowed me to think as a teacher, I had to step back and really think about the benefits and detriments of these websites. Also, this project taught me that there is not always a clear cut answer, as you will see with my final verdict.
For my final product, I created another newsletter. I thought that this was the most fun, and informative way to present my information rather than just a boring paper.
Click here for a link to my newsletter!
Honestly, there were no real difficulties in regards to my project. The only difficulty I can think of is the use of new technology, such as weebly. But even with that, I found it fun to explore this new use of technology.
So, let me update you on my 20% project. Currently, I have read articles that sing the praises of Khan Academy and on the other hand, I have read articles that point out the flaws of Khan Academy. Through reading these articles, I have learned that both sides have solid arguments. On the positive side, Khan Academy is a great to use to back up the traditional classroom. However, on the other hand, Khan Academy videos are not being created by a skilled teacher, which allows for some flaw in the videos that then translates to the students who are watching them. Basically, it is a toss up at this moment. I still have no idea what side I am going to choose; I guess you will have to keep checking my blog to find that out!
In order to choose a side, I think it would be beneficial of me to keep reading more about the pros and cons of Khan Academy. I plan to do this by following the same structure I have been. Online publications, Google Scholar, and things of that nature have really valuable articles that will help me to learn more about Khan Academy, whether it is good or bad. The more I read up on this topic, the easier it will be for me to write a final report on whatever side I choose.
Recall that my original research question is: Is Khan Academy (and other related websites) really beneficial to students, and should it be incorporated in the classroom more? I believe that I am still on track with that research question and eventually will come up with an answer. Therefore, at this point, no adjustments need to be made. The only thing that needs to happen is more research from credible resources.
For future researchers, there are many places that my topic can be taken to. For one, if I conclude that Khan Academy is really beneficial, then future students can research what is the most effective way for students to use these type of websites. However, if I conclude that Khan Academy is not beneficial for students, then future students can research what teachers can do in the classroom and outside of the classroom that can prevent students from using Khan Academy and other related websites.
All in all, my 20% project is waiting on me to make a decision. Keep reading this blog post to see another reason either for or against Khan Academy (it is all apart of my decision making process, I promise.)
When I used the UGA library online database to research my topic, I was pleasantly surprised. This is because they had many, many articles related to my topic. These articles had what I was looking for in regards to Khan Academy and the classroom. Nothing surprised me because just like when I Google Khan Academy, when I searched Khan Academy on UGA’s database, only positive articles come up. In order to find the negative outlook on Khan Academy, I have to specifically put in “Khan Academy + Cons” or something of that nature.
The article I chose to do a summary on for this blog post focuses on how Khan Academy can positively be used in the classroom. This article talks about a “flipped classroom”. A flipped classroom allows for online instruction at home that will free up class time for learning. Basically, students would go home and watch a Khan Academy video over a topic that has yet to be taught in class. Then, the next day in class, the teacher would administer an activity related to that topic instead of teaching it to them first. This allows more time for questions and activities that will back up what the student was taught via Khan Academy videos. The classroom now becomes “a place to work through problems, advance concepts, and engage in collaborative learning.” This idea of a flipped classroom maximizes on time, which has been found to be an issue in classrooms all over the world. This article goes to show that Khan Academy can be used to benefit not only the student, but the teacher as well. However, are students going to be taught a concept the right way by watching Khan Academy videos?
Tucker, B. (2012). The flipped classroom. Education Next, 12(1), 82-83.
In order to get a better understanding of my research question, I have to look at it from both sides. There are always two sides to every story, the good and the bad. Through my research, I stumbled upon an article found in the Washington Post. This article displays the opinion of Karim Kai Ani, who is a former middle school teacher and math coach, and is the founder of Mathalicious on the virtual phenomenon that is Khan Academy.
The main argument of this article is that the videos simply are not very good. The article accuses Sal Khan of not being a solid teacher, he is not good, but he is doing a good thing by creating a free website that students can go to for help. The article then goes on to say that there is nothing revolutionary about Khan Academy; it is actually the same thing that students have been taught for generations, a “do this, then do this” model. Khan’s videos teach a “memorize and then regurgitate” method which is exactly what students need not do. They need to understand the concepts.
Another viewpoint that was brought up in the article is that teachers are simply jealous of Sal Khan. However, that is not the case at all. Teachers are more concerned about the well being of their students and the type of education they are receiving when they are not in the classroom. They are concerned that Sal Khan is a bad teacher because Khan has openly confessed to preparing for a particular topic only minutes before recording the segment. The part that upsets them that if bad teaching were to be presented in the classroom it would be a big problem, however when this same thing happens on a free website, it is “revolutionary”.
In relation to my 20% project, this article presents an interesting viewpoint on the popular Khan Academy. It goes against the grade, and shows the faults of the website and its creator. Through reading this article, I was able to start thinking and formulating my own opinions on the website and whether or not teachers should encourage the use of it. However, since I have only read one article on the negative side of this sensation and none on the positive aspects of it, I have yet to come to a final conclusion. But, this article definitely got my mind thinking, especially now that I am transitioning from being a student to being an educator. I have to think about what would be best for my students, if I were to be a teacher.
Final paper outline
Paragraph One: Introduction
· Anecdote about being a high school student using Khan Academy
· Discuss the background history of Khan Academy
· State research question/thesis
· Whenever I choose a side, come up with multiple reasons to support that side
· Elaborate on these points with however many paragraphs necessary to get the point across
Body paragraph that explains opposite side
· Explain only the main argument of the opposing side
If I choose the pro-Khan side:
· Paragraph displaying positive stats about Khan Academy
· Discuss where I could see this website going in the future
· Discuss how it should be used, or shouldn’t be used in the classroom
· Go over the main points briefly
For the past month, I have been looking into the fascination that surrounds Sal Khan and the Khan Academy. Through my inquiries, I have started researching what really is the deal with Khan Academy. My research question has come out to be: Are Khan Academy and other related websites really beneficial to students, and should it be incorporated in the classroom more?
My audience for the research I am conducting is teachers for grades 6-12th. This is because Khan Academy covers more complex subject matters, topics that you would not see in a typical elementary school classroom. However, through my own personal experiences, I know that my usage of these websites increases as I move through the grade levels.
As a result of my research, I plan on writing a final report that will display the pros and cons of these types of websites and will make a final decision on whether or not it is beneficial to students and the classroom.
Recently, in class, we presented our topics. I was the first to go, so my feedback was limited. My teacher, however, really helped me to think about my one sentence research question and how I will present my findings, all of which have been explained previously.
So far in my research, I have ran into any road blocks. There has been plenty of scholarly articles related to this topic that I can draw information from and use it in my final product. The next step I will take is to pick a side and really put my persuasive skills to use, so that I can convince my audience either it is good to use these types of websites or that they should stay away from them and convince their students not to use them either.
With all of that being said, HAPPY RESEARCHING!
In an article found in Wired Digital in the July 15th, 2011 edition, it discusses how Khan Academy is changing the rules of education. As I read through this article, I learned so many things about this establishment, which I did not know before. It opened my eyes to the idea that maybe a digital classroom is not to far off. Basically, Khan Academy is revolutionary. But with a revolution, comes controversy.
The article starts off by giving a real life example of Khan Academy put to use. One teacher, Mrs. Thordason, has completely flipped the way her class is structured due to Khan Academy. She barely ever lectures her students during class time; instead time is spent doing practice problems over what the students learned at home through the Khan Academy videos. She noticed that it’s when the student is actually attempting the problems that they really need someone to talk to, and that is why she is there. All throughout the article, it gives multiple examples praising that creation that is Khan Academy, telling of the achievements of students who otherwise would have fallen behind; majority of the article puts Khan Academy on a pedestal.
However, there are two sides to every story. Surprisingly enough, there are some critics of Khan Academy. In the article, some critics argued that Khan Academy is uncreative and allows for students to spend more time in front of a screen instead of interacting with teachers. Why have teachers if you have Khan Academy? Could Khan Academy and other related sites put people out of their job? Other criticisms say that Khan Academy does not make learning fun; it is simply a rotation of lecturing and drilling. So why is it so popular?
After reading this article, some slight confliction has come about. I am unsure of my stance on Khan Academy and the effect it will have on the future of education. On one hand, being a student, I used Khan Academy avidly throughout high school, and I can speak first hand on the amazing things it did for me. But, on the other hand, being a future educator and professional, I can see why people are critical of Khan Academy; it could have some negative effects on children and classrooms all over the world. I believe that through this 20% project, it will help me pick a side and take a stance, all I need is a little bit more convincing from either side.
Want to read the article yourself, click here!
Being fresh out of high school, I still have fond memories of using websites such as the Khan Academy to help me get through difficult subjects. As a student, I thought that these websites were a lifesaver, they helped me pass certain class and excel in others. I was addicted to them. In high school, I was not able to pick and choose my teachers, I was simply given them. That means I could have been stuck with a not so great teacher, and nothing is more frustrating than that.
This topic is extremely relevant to K12 education because websites like the Khan Academy pose a serious question. Are they changing the face of education? Do they threaten the standard teacher in the classroom idea? It may be far fetched to say it does, but with the emergence of technology in the classroom, one can never be so sure.
As this project grows, and I begin to learn more about these websites and the pros and cons of them, not only will it be able to affect my outlook on them but it can affect the outlook of many others. Teachers, students, and schools can use this information to alter their classrooms and teaching styles so that students may not have to revert back to these websites.
However, where can I find the answers to these questions? With the numerous education magazines, and the internet, I am sure that will not be a problem. Also, with the Khan Academy and other related websites being so new, there has to be a ton of information related to it. All I have to do is get out there and look for it.