[Edu-sig] Updated Blog - Khan Academy: Savior of the American Educational System?

Kirby Urner kurner at oreillyschool.com
Mon Jul 30 04:16:52 CEST 2012

On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM, A. Jorge Garcia <calcpage at aol.com> wrote:
> I blogged about Khan Academy recently. If you've seen my post, you may want to revisit it as I've been updating it over the last few weeks. I've been getting a lot of email queries about SmartBoarding and ScreenCasting so I've been adding them to this blog post:
> http://shadowfaxrant.blogspot.com/2012/07/kahn-academy-savior-of-american.html
> HTH,
> A. Jorge Garcia
> Applied Math & CompSci
> http://shadowfaxrant.blogspot.com
> http://ww.youtube.com/calcpage2009

I've been writing about Khan Academy too sometimes:

Keith Devlin's idea at the Oregon Math Summit (1997) was that basic
competence in computation and numeracy needed to diffuse throughout
the curriculum, so that these generic life skills would not be overly
confused with "mathematics" in particular. I support that idea, but
in part I see the process ("cultural osmosis" you could call it)
happening outside the school. 'Sesame Street' marked a turning point
in elementary education in many ways. 'Khan Academy' is just code for
didactic content in short clips, i.e. 'Sesame Street' at a higher
level (might still feature animation and puppets -- Khan's are one
aesthetic among many).

In other words, if we're talking about how to advance the level of
STEM sophistication in the broader culture, among youth and oldsters
alike, it's not a given that "aligning the the Common Core" is where
to focus -- more a side show than a big tent activity.

We have far more leverage in other areas, such as in the content of
Saturday morning cartoons.

Bill Nye the Science Guy made a big difference to STEM and yet those
silly DCers don't award "best teacher" to TV personalities, because
they're too busy inspiring a different set of vocations as encoded in
Department of Labor catalogs (i.e. "TV personality" is not coded as
"Teacher"). Katie Couric is not considered a "teacher". She's an
"anchor". Such are the exigencies of the English language and its
many calcified / codified grammars (language games).



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