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.
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