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