Monday, March 14, 2011

Using video to “reinvent education”

YouTube is having a huge impact on education. The Khan Academy is possibly one of the best examples this - it is a not-for-profit organization that is changing education by providing free on-line classes and tutorials for students in subject areas like Mathematics and Science. All on YouTube. Salman Khan started out by making videos for his cousins and posting them on YouTube. They started to attract other viewers who found the videos useful, and now he runs the Khan Academy with over a million students. He won a Microsoft Education Award in 2009. His video library has over 2,100 videos on such wide ranging topics as a simple video on Basic Addition and the more complex Graphing linear inequalities in two variables.

In the TED video below, Khan talks about how he set up the Academy and he shows how students are using his videos to learn. A key message for me was that he wants teachers and students to use videos outside of class instead of homework, and use class time for interaction and doing "homework". This presents all us educators with both a dilemma and opportunity. The dilemma is that we could be replaced by the Salman Khans of this world, but what an opportunity to embed technology in our teaching, and use class time for real learning!

My own modest YouTube channel is attracting more and more viewers - as I write this there are over 264,000 views on the channel which now has 40 videos. It is now regularly breaking the 1,000 views a day barrier. A long way behind the Khan Academy, but it makes me feel that I am also making a contribution to the re-invention of education.

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