Saturday, April 16, 2011

Using video to reinvent education

When I saw this video from TED, I was intrigued:

In fact, I use some of what Khan is advocating in my human anatomy & physiology course.  I use a modification of Just in Time Teaching (JiTT) by having students watch slide presentations that I narrate before class.  This allows me time for discussion (using clickers) when I see them in class.  The clicker questions allow us to solve problems together so students can learn how its done and get some practice doing it.

I see Khan's proposals as similar in nature to the JiTT approach.

And I"m all for it.  What I've used in my courses works much better than I'd hoped it would.

But the down side is this, as I see it:

Some colleagues of mine recently attended a conference in which they heard that college presidents were getting behind this approach.  Which sound great, right?  But get this.  They envision the ideal situation as one in which students watch videos, work on computer quizzes, and visit the learning center for tutoring as needed.  Period.  In other words, this allows colleges to get by with few or any professors teaching students.

I'm all about reinventing paradigms when the old ones aren't working as well as we like . . . but YIKES!

I'm hoping that this nefarious plan was misinterpreted or otherwise mistaken by my friends . . . or that I mistook what my friends were trying to tell me. After all, this is not what Khan is advocating . . . at all.

What I'd like to see is college presidents, and everyone else, getting behind the idea that we can use educational technology creatively to enhance the process of teaching.  And in that regard, Khan certainly is on to something here.

What do YOU think?