Sal Khan Never Taught Special Ed (or ELLs)


By now, pretty much anyone aware of the goings-on in education reform has heard of Sal Khan, the intrepid gentleman who has recorded nearly 3,000 educational videos for students to view on YouTube.

There is a list of videos organized by subject and topic over at the Khan Academy web site.

It would be disingenuous to ignore the range of Khan’s knowledge or his capacity to produce so many videos. However, to claim that he and his style are the answer to the ills of education, I think, is a bit much. In my eyes, like pretty much every other reform idea, Khan’s videos may work for some, but they won’t work for many.

It is clear Sal Khan never taught special ed.

(Or ELLs, for that matter).

Recently, I was looking for some video options to reinforce multiplication concepts, and I watched Khan’s “Basic Multiplication” video. I wanted to incorporate some visuals and videos to help engage some of my more reluctant learners.

Whenever I watch videos or consider content, I have to do so from my students’ perspectives. So, while something may make perfect sense to me as is, I know that, usually, my students will not accept it in the same way.

I thought I’d give Khan a try. Watching the video from my students’ perspective, though, it was obvious that there was no way it was going to work in my classroom (a self-contained special education class of 100% ELLs at intermediate or beginner levels).

For starters, the amount of text in the video would be overwhelming. I am guilty of sometimes having too much going on at once in my class, but at least I’m there to help filter out the extraneous information (or erase it!) and help students refocus. In this multiplication video, Khan writes the word “Multiply” and puts “2 x 3″ on the left, but then reviews addition (2 + 3) for about a minute on the right.

I'm concerned with the amount of text on this screen, as well as the lack of visual delineation between mathematical concepts.

There is no clear designation about what concept is what. The potential for confusion is too great, in my opinion, for this to be effective for many students.

It’s not only the text in the video that concerns me. It’s Khan’s delivery. Clearly, he is a well-spoken man with great depth of knowledge. However, delivery of that knowledge in a way that is too dense for students to understand means he might as well be speaking a different language. And for many ELLs, I imagine when they hear sentences such as the following, English all of a sudden does sound like a different language:

And this is probably the first time in mathematics that you’ll encounter something very neat: that sometimes, regardless of the path you take, as long as you take a correct path, you get the same answer.

Say I’m eight years old. I’m a beginner or intermediate ELL, or I’m fairly new to the country. I just heard all these crazy words: encounter, neat, regardless, path, and as long as. I’m totally lost. I need someone to help me understand the context and meaning of those words. I need someone with a little more sensitivity to my needs than Sal Khan.

Khan, shortly after that long-winded statement, says that, in considering other representations of multiplication, he will continue by drawing rows of lemons so he can continue, “our fruit analogy,” (he referred to raspberries and blueberries previously). Then:

An analogy is just when you kind of use something, as, as an – well, I won’t go too much into it.

After a while, it becomes uncomfortable – and inefficient – to listen to Khan’s colloquial manner of speech and his many verbal pauses. His video is neither concise nor succinct, and therefore it enables the mind to wander, rather than be inspired.

More verbal garbage from Khan can be found. He draws an array of lemons to talk about why multiplication is useful as an expedited form of counting. In my class (as in any class of ELLs), the critical point of arrays when they are introduced is learning what a row is and what a column is.

Khan begins to introduce what a row is:

A row is kind of a, the side-to-side lemons. I think you know what a row is. I don’t want to talk down to you.

Yet, unfortunately, with a statement like that, Khan is talking down. Because he assumes that everyone knows what a row is, he cuts off populations with his pomposity and makes it difficult to access the information.

I think if I made a list of all the words and phrases Khan uses in the video that would be stumbling blocks for ELLs and/or students with disabilities, I would come off as a whiner. However, in my estimation, it’s a fairly long list.

Look, there is some value to what Khan is doing. Just watching the video gave me some ideas of ways I could approach multiplication with my students. However, the mission statement of the Khan academy is not to help teachers teach. On the web site’s about page, it says:

We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.

Hmm. Well, if “anyone anywhere” means kids who are fluent in English and have the ability to follow dense text peppered by colloquial speech, then these types of videos will be fine. However, if “anyone anywhere” means, truly, anyone anywhere, then Khan has quite a long way to go.

I am sharing the video I analyzed so that you may do the same, if you choose. Would this video work for ELLs? Do you know students with disabilities who would be overwhelmed by it? Does it serve the needs of all students? See for yourself and determine your own answer!

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21 responses to “Sal Khan Never Taught Special Ed (or ELLs)

  1. I agree with you. All of this extraneous information would block understanding for ELLs. I think we could say this video does not provide world class instruction.

  2. Here’s what I don’t understand. All the criticism regarding Khan Academy comes from educators. But the thing is, his videos have been viewed close to 100 million times. If all your trendy theories and “perspective” was actually effective, then we wouldn’t need a Khan Academy, would we? He wouldn’t have almost 4 million people a month using his site if all the “experts” were actually doing their job…or were the least bit effective.

    There is a reason people flock to his site and it is they aren’t learning the necessary skills and knowledge in the classroom. And the sad thing is, teachers are discouraging their students from using his site. They are actively trying to prevent students from getting additional help when their teaching is substandard. But these are the same people who tell you how much they sacrifice 180 days a year, 6.5 hours a day “for the children”. (I work 243 days, 9 hours a day).

    Teachers don’t give a crap about their students. They only care about their job and they see Khan Academy as a threat. So we get nonsense about videos not working, too much garbage about lemons, rote learning is teaching to the test (which btw, rote learning put a man on the moon and this country was #1 in education when we had rote learning…not so much anymore), blah, blah, blah.

    I have 3 kids in school and they are not taught math or how to write properly. I have to spend 3-4 each night tutoring and remediation. I was under the impression that is what teachers are for and that is why I pay my taxes, which pay their salary. I found out that my son is required to write in his math journal about how he feels about the math problems he has done. He wrote “I feel this is a stupid assignment and I don’t know why I have to journal in a math class”. My husband and I had to attend a parent teacher conference to discuss his “attitude”. I actually agreed with my son (which i would never tell him. I hate when parents undermine teachers and their authority in the classroom), but seriously…what is that nonsense. In my 11 year old’s math class they made a collage of pictures from a magazine that represented math. Cutting and pasting. That is what my kid is doing in 6th grade. Stuff I did in kindergarten. Now please tell me what math educational value cutting and pasting pictures has and how this is going to help her understand negative integers? This is when I found Khan Academy and it has been a godsend.

    I for one hope Khan Academy blows up the education system in this country. We are in desperate need of an overhaul.

    • Well, this is a comment that, based on it’s length, needed quite a bit of time to compose, so I thank you for that.

      Being that it is the weekend and I am but a lowly teacher who has nothing to do because I “don’t give a crap about” the students, I can sit here and ruminate upon your incredibly insightful remarks.

      You get points in my book for being a concerned, involved parent. Though the tenor of your comment showed little, if any, respect for me or anything I do, I am above looking for ways to question your commitment/motivation because that would just make me look petty and ignorant. Surely neither of us wants to look petty and ignorant, right? I know I don’t want to look petty and ignorant. Do you?

      I will choose not to debate the length of your work week versus the length of mine or my colleagues’, other than to say that you ought to clarify your statement. You said, “…these are the same people who tell you how much they sacrifice 180 days a year, 6.5 hours a day “for the children”. (I work 243 days, 9 hours a day).”

      Of course, you probably meant to say that teachers are only paid for those hours – not all the hours that are involved before and after school (and yes, on non-school days including vacations). Since you aren’t a teacher, I wouldn’t expect you to realize that, so I am kindly pointing it out.

      As for me and my “trendy theories” and ineffective “perspective,” you are right. My years of schooling and my career experiences render me totally incapable of forming an opinion based on the children that sit in front of me on a daily basis. You must know more about ELLs (English Language Learners, FYI…FYI meaning “For Your Information”) and students with disabilities (many of whom have documented deficiencies in ability to focus, unless these silly teachers are just making that up!) than me or anyone else. What we really need are the “trendy theories” and “perspective” of folks like you, who believe that anyone can, should, and will learn everything the same way. Silly me for thinking otherwise! Next time, I will defer to people like you, who have probably never taught a day in their life, yet feel they are the ones who know how to teach, what to teach, when to teach it, and why. May I e-mail you for approval of my lesson plans?

      I’m not going to comment on your parent-teacher conference regarding what you called your son’s “attitude,” only because it is obvious that your family values open-mindedness and dialogue. Speaking of open-mindedness, regarding the teacher who asked your son to reflect on his math in a journal – that person should probably be fired. It is marginally criminal to ask students to take an active role in their education. Doesn’t that teacher know that students should just do whatever they are told? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?

      I don’t know who you are so blindly following that feeds you your information about what’s wrong with the schools in America today, but I’m sorry to say you seem to be possibly just a little off course in your fervor. I would love to share with you some posts I’ve written that might alter your thought process just a tad, but I imagine you wouldn’t take the time to read them (as it is obvious you didn’t take the time to read – or significantly ponder – the point of this post).

      At any rate, I wish you well and thank you again for your comment. Now, I have to go find something to do unrelated to teaching. I wouldn’t want to change the notion that I “don’t give a crap about” the students.

      • Honestly, this comment was better than the blog post itself. Thank you :)

      • I know this is super old, but I wanted to comment anyway. Your entire argument is founded on the premise that Sal Khan intended Khan Academy to be a good fit for everyone.

        Sal Khan does say “We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere”, but I think interpreting that to mean “anyone can use our service without any prerequisite knowledge” is pedantic.

        Rather, I think he meant that Khan Academy is freely accessible for anyone that can use it.

        Is Khan academy appropriate for children without a solid grasp of the English language? Definitely not.

        Is our public education system suitable for a child with a solid grasp of the English language and a growth mindset? Definitely not.

        Seeing that you teach special needs kids, I believe that you understand that one-size doesn’t fit all. That said, it feels like the underlying implication here is that you feel Khan Academy is setting the bar too high for even the “average” students.

        Even if he is, I think that’s fine. As a child, I had an advanced understanding of English (and a passion for learning) that made public education hell for me. I wish that I Khan Academy had been around.

  3. I think TCat, in her desire to defend Khan Academy, seems to have made a mistake by not reading your blog first. If she had read the post, she would have seen you explain how you sought out the Khan Academy as a means for helping your students but ended up being disappointed. You don’t attack Khan for dismantling education. In fact, you give concrete evidence for how it will never do exactly that unless we return to the days of ignoring and mistreating children with disabilities and immigrants. But, hey, the society of that era put a man on the moon, so why knock it, right? TCat sounds like a woman whose children are supported, have internet access, speak English, etc. Those are some mighty privileges to be throwing around as “norms” for our all children.

  4. cookingsomethingsimple

    Not being an educator, but having children with special needs in my family I can understand your view point. I’ve looked at the site myself a time or two and for people with specific needs while learning something new this site in fact does have a lot of information BUT it is also not geared towards everyone.

    I have a difficult time learning over all and lean towards extensive research on the subject so that I have a firm grasp. I can say that I didn’t have that when I was in school because they were more concerned with time constraints rather than course content and most times when you asked the teacher to explain it better you were told “We don’t have the time to go over that because we’re learning this today and there is only X amount of time in class” it was extremely counter productive to my education and my grades.

    Viewing some of his videos and learning curricula confused me because as a person who is a visual hands on learner it was overloaded with content in no specific order; that is to say the composition of the video while trying to reinforce the basic concepts of math as an example would jump from one theory to another while going back to the main example all the while the verbal content following them being off handed and going on random tangents.

    The site itself is useful the information there is in abundance but for people who have difficulty grasping new ideas it wont help with a damn thing but to confuse them more. If you eliminated the jumping around theory to theory, the extra information that doesn’t pertain to what your trying to teach and break it down step by step so that if the situation arises you can teach it one on one to your students that are having problems understanding then yes it might be able to be used in a special education class room.

    I don’t pretend to know what kind of difficulties ELL’s having with learning and I in fact had to Google it to find out what it meant, but I disagree with TCat’s comment I’ve read a number of your posts since you were freshly pressed awhile back and you do care and actively search for ways to better your teaching or offer advice to those in your field on how to help with issues they may be having in the classroom

    More often now then when I was in school the trend is changing towards teachers fighting for a better educational curriculum and not “glossing over” what needs to be taught because we want a progression the class based on time rather than content while students grades suffer because they don’t understand whats being taught.

    I applaud the fact that you take advice and are willing to give it and make a pro active effort to document the going on’s in your classroom. Thank you for being one of the one who wants to make a difference.

  5. Maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see anything in this blog criticizing Sal Khan. I think this blog pointed out how children who have disabilities or are English Language Learners need a different type of instruction in order to learn. I give Mr. Khan a lot of credit for taking the time and effort to produce videos that could be of use to some children. His statement “We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.” is noble. I don’t know Mr Khan, but I am sure that he is well intentioned.

    But since “one size doesn’t fit all,” the reality is that, based on his videos, his mission does not reach all children since they are not the most appropriate for children who have disabilities or children who are English Language Learners. The videos may not work for all children who are in general education either but I will speak to the children described in this blog, since special education is my field.

    The real challenge in teaching children with disabilities is finding the learning style that suits them best and adapting the work so they can be successful learners. Such is the case with children who are English Language Learners as well. I would venture to guess that the above would work effectively with children in general education also.

    Countless hours of assessing children, using data to drive instruction, constructing interesting lessons, differentiating the instruction to meet children where they are, assessing for understanding and re-teaching, are just a few things that teachers do with their time. Add onto that attending professional development and taking courses to further their knowledge to better serve their students. Surely it would be unrealistic to think that all of that could be done in the constraints of a 6 hour and 30 minute day. But let’s get back to the point.

    Mr. Khan is not a teacher and certainly is not a special educator. I have been in the field of special education for over 30 years. I pride myself on knowing how to plan, design and deliver a lesson that meets the needs of all children. I know how to teach other teachers and student teachers how to do the same. Perhaps Mr. Khan needs the support of some educators, in particular special educators, to teach him to break down material so his goal of reaching “anyone anywhere” could truly be achieved.

  6. Hi Matt,

    Thank you for an insightful and informative article. As a developer at Khan Academy I am particularly interested in feedback from educators, and suggestions like these will help us to expand our content in the future to meet our eventual goal of being able to give any student anywhere a world-class education.

    It seems like your main critique is of the effectiveness of Sal’s delivery for students with special needs. It may help to clarify that our mission does not rely on Sal-style videos alone. For example, Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker contribute videos on history (http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/). We are also working with multiple partners to translate the content into a variety of languages so that students don’t have to learn English to learn math. We do want to demonstrate the effectiveness of our content in the classroom, and that limits the breadth of what we attempt to do and who we can reach right at this moment.

    Regarding an earlier comment, I would like to say that I have the utmost respect for the under-appreciated hard work that teachers do. For many students, having even one great teacher can make a world of difference. Keep up the good work!

    -Tom Yedwab

  7. Tom,
    I feel that most people appreciate what teachers do, but unfortunately it is the small percentage that doesn’t that has the loudest (read: richest) voice. At any rate, thank you.

    Thank you, as well, for your comment. I hoped this post would make it to someone at Khan Academy so that perhaps there would be some consideration given to the needs of those who are usually forgotten – or worse, lumped in with everyone else for the sake of political correctness.

    I must be frank. I just finished watching a couple of the SmartHistory videos, and while they are interesting to me, I don’t think a student with a disability or an English Language Learner would learn anything from listening to two disembodied voices talk over what would appear to them as a series of random images. See, it’s just not as simple as saying there are videos available that aren’t in Khan’s style. Who is to say that the SmartHistory videos are any more effective? It is the overall use of the videos and the nature of their presentation that is the issue more than Khan’s way of speaking. As a professional special educator (and there are many people with many more years of experience and wisdom than me in the field who would concur), it is clear to me that these videos would largely be meaningless to our students.

    So, then, I ask you, since Khan Academy is striving toward a goal of being able to educate anyone, who on the staff has a special education background? I’m talking about time teaching in a special education classroom, with knowledge of various disabilities and experience using various methods of teaching students with those disabilities. Surely no one employed for their knowledge of special education would support such a passive, confusing method of education as is, no matter how noble its goal.

    I also have to question your assertion that translating videos will ensure “that students don’t have to learn English to learn math.” In my school – and any school that serves immigrant families – this would be considered a gross oversimplification of the issues. It would be wrong to assume that all students who come to the U.S. have formal schooling in their home country (and therefore that they have the academic and mathematical language in their native tongue). Plus, since the students about which I write are going to school in the U.S., they need to learn English. This is why we have ESL teachers – talented and dedicated people who specialize in teaching content and language simultaneously through a variety of methods that simply can not be replicated in a video. It is not as easy as presenting the material in a student’s native language. Transfer to English still has to happen. How does it?

    I have posed challenging questions to you because my concern is that Khan Academy is being viewed as a panacea for all the ills of education. However, there is – and never will be – a one-size-fits-all fix for education. As currently constituted, Khan Academy will serve a certain population – and immigrant children and first-generation ELLs will not be on that list.

    I don’t doubt your or your colleagues’ intentions. I do, however, strongly doubt the methodology. I would love to hear more from you about educationally-sound ways the Khan Academy is planning to become a resource for students with disabilities and ELLs. Until then, though, I remain a skeptic.

    Thank you again for your time.

  8. I’ve been working as a teacher in Norway for a couple of years now and much of my work has been geared toward students with special needs of different kinds – immigrant students with wildly different levels of education (ranging from complete analphabets with no English or Norwegian skills to educated engineers whose education is not formally recognized by the state), children of these immigrants, Norwegian kids on the Asperger’s-autism scale, ADHD kids etc. You know what I’ve found? If you repeat something often enough, it will come through eventually.

    Imagine having a bunch of jigsaw puzzle pieces in your hand. Now you drop them on the floor and look for a pattern. Then you pick up the pieces that don’t seem to follow any pattern and repeat the procedure. Rinse, repeat. Eventually you will end up with a pattern that makes filling in the blanks relatively easy. Now realize that this is what students of all kinds have been doing since the beginning of time – the teacher explains something, the student understands some of it and then proceeds to ask the same questions over and over again until he or she “gets it”.

    This is what Sal Khan’s videos offer a simpler solution to. With videos like these, the students don’t have to ask the teacher the same questions over and over – they’ll instead watch the video over and over. Eventually they will get it. Even if they don’t understand it, the procedure will be imprinted on their minds and they will be able to utilize it.

    Sure, there are negative aspects of this. One is what you mention about the confusion it may create in certain students. Another is the language thing, which certainly has been an issue for me as a teacher in Norway. But these things have relatively easy solutions:
    Confusion:
    Solution A) Optimally, we want all students – at the end of their education – to be able to understand the same baseline terminology in their mandatory subjects. That is half the point of a universal education. To achieve that, the special needs teacher could use Khan’s videos, go through them in class and add his/her own explanations. Break it down, as it were.
    Solution B) Make your own version of the video. It’s easy enough to do. Prepare a script and some visuals, then go to screencast-o-matic.com and begin recording.
    Language:
    The Norwegian-English language barrier was a problem. Then I tried searching for “khan norwegian” and found TWO separate YouTube accounts working on translating Khan Academy lectures into Norwegian. Excellent stuff. (I even made my own Basic Addition video a year or so ago, which is really just my voice on top of a muted version of Khan’s video)

    The viewing numbers tell the story. Khan Academy works – and you should also remember that the Khan Academy is not just about the videos, the exercise infrastructure on http://www.khanacademy.com is also quite excellent.

    In the end we are back where we started, really – adapting non-perfect tools and learning material into a more perfect plan for the classroom. Khan Academy, while still not perfect in any way, just makes things a little bit easier and a little bit better for everyone. If you know how to use it right.

  9. Lively discussion here. I’ll add my two cents.

    As you state, one size does not fill all and yet too often teachers are using just one approach to teach a concept. The use of videos, such as Khan Academy videos, potentially empowers students. They are able to pause, rewind,review ,etc. as often as necessary, until they understand the concept.
    As a special educator who often recommends the use of Khan Academy videos, I find some students find them to be of benefit. Students on the autism spectrum have found them of benefit because of the “disembodied voice.” They can concentrate on the instruction and not be distracted by the person. That approach can be helpful to some people.

    Let me share the experience of two of my own children. When my daughter was in HS, she struggled with Pre-Calculis. Her teacher had a Smartboard and I asked her if shape would record her instruction for student sto review at a later time since the SB has that capability. My daughter would tell me, “mom, I get it at school. I don’t understand it at home.” when I suggested she get extra help, she was very concerned about her teachers reaction. “She’ll think I’m stupid,” the teacher did not provide help for review at home, these spvideos could have provided the support and review my daughter needed. (she did poorly in the class which was very frustrating to me, as I would like to believe her teacher would want her to better understsnd her course)”
    Last month, my 21 year old son, who had an IEP, due to LDs all through school, needed to take a math placement exam for the local community college. He turned to Khan Academy to help him get the review he needed. He told me he learned more in three hours than he learned in six months of HS math. He ended up doing well in his math placement test.

    So, all this to say, this is another approach to add to our students’ tool belts. It works for some kids. When it is held out as an instructional game changer, I can understand the criticism. It doesn’t work for everyone. Those of us who are educators know this. What does work is Universal Design for Learning (http://cast.org) and this is one of the multiple methods of engagement and presentation.

    (please overlook the typos. Typed this quickly on my iPad and in WordPress, I can’t scroll up to review what I’ve written)).

  10. Dear Mr. Foteh,
    Lemons?
    Thanks so much for all the thought(s) that are going in to this multiplication kahnacademy video. 2X3 just ain’t the same as 2+2+2.

    BJ Hanssen (@BJHanssen) from Norway wrote about the benefits of accessing kahnacademy videos, “With videos like these, the students don’t have to ask the teacher the same questions over and over – they’ll instead watch the video over and over. Eventually they will get it. Even if they don’t understand it, the procedure will be imprinted on their minds and they will be able to utilize it.”

    From where I sit, I can’t help but think, ‘Teaching the the test?’

    My son and I looked up the video on cells tonight – in preparation for a … you guessed: TEST! Kahn Academy has it’s place for teaching neurotypicals (that can follow the rainbow-in-the-dark as well as the Voice) and for supporting focused interests of atypical learners. Not for reinforcing concepts or replacing instruction.

    Would I consider sharing kahnacademy multiplication video with students that are *learning* multiplication? Nah. The fact that “the Voice” keeps refering back to addition and different fruits distracted me.

    Carmen Miranda

  11. Matt,

    It sounds like you have a great opportunity to build on Mr. Khan’s. When can we expect to see your video lessons that have been revised for a special education population?

    • As you might have surmised from this post and the comments I’ve written, I am not exactly the biggest supporter to this approach to education. Your comment carries a tinge of sarcasm (which, believe me, I’m not above using), but I don’t believe this model is appropriate for most, so you shouldn’t expect me to ever endeavor to create something like Khan has. Any teacher needs to be able to respond to needs as they arise. Not sure how a video does that.

  12. I loved your response to TCAT.

  13. Thoughtful post, thank you for your perspective. This shall be Tweeted.

  14. Pingback: 60 Minutes Worships Salman Khan, So Do You | assailedteacher

  15. @ Tom – you might take some time to understand the world of the ELL and the state of ELL education. It isn’t just “hey, translate this stuff.” Actually, it is the opposite of this. If everything could just be translated, the ELL designation would be moot. But this isn’t the U.N. and there is no simultaneous translation.
    I like the Sal style, and so do my kids. But for the SPED and ELL community, they have limited use. Maybe that will change. Hope you have trained, experienced teachers as well as “developers” working on this.

  16. In interesting discussion with many sides and styles of responding represented. It is nothing if not entertaining.

    With regard to those with special needs, and/or for whom English is not their first language, many valid and critical points are made here.

    One additional important consideration is that of the substantial and growing digital divide. Whether due to geography or socioeconomic circumstances, the most recent data suggest cell phone coverage and broadband – those things taken for granted by a large portion of the population – are not available in many areas or to certain groups. Consequently, the Khan Academy’s goal suggests it should align with those seeking to provide access to everyone. I would suggest Khan weigh the value of that goal against alignment with some high-profile opponents of public education.

    It seems to me that both proponents and critics of using technology as an educational tool make a faulty base assumption that the technology and the information to which it allows access, exists as a replacement for, or in the absence of any other situated context of learning.

    IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) we are missing the point. I would hope Khan’s materials would not be used in a vacuum or without the benefit of some guidance – or at a minimum peer interaction. It is a tired expression – but shouldn’t we use technology enabled learning as part of a “blended” approach to learning?

    Finally, a bit of a rant in response to TCat:
    The points raised by TCat are a representative of a large portion of the US population. Which in itself is disturbing. Matt’s reply is well reasoned, but I fear some of the sarcasm may be lost on those who most need to understand the points.
    There is a serious battle raging for the future of education in this country. Simply stated, it pits those who believe education should be a “free market” system against those who believe public education is a critical and important American ideal. The free market folks think education is a privilege reserved for those who are qualified by virtue of ethnicity, wealth and geography. Whereas public education is a uniquely American idea – open to all, available to everyone, excluding no student.
    This is a war this country cannot afford to lose. Many on the right of the political spectrum seem to think anything public is bad, antiquated and obsolete – that nothing good can come from concern for the common good.

    TCat and many like her claim by virtue of paying taxes they have a right to pick and choose where and how tax money is spent. They need to wake up. They have been fed a constant stream of misinformation and half truths. The people they follow don’t want your little darlings to get a good education. If they did they would value public education, pay teachers what they are worth and stop claiming the system is broken and the only way to fix it is to blow it up.

  17. Pingback: The Best Posts About The Khan Academy | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

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