David Coffey at his blog focuses attention on the question of whether schools should use Khan videos. My post is to raise issues on this choice without advocating one side or the other.
His partner in creating the videos is John Golden, whose blog is Math Hombre (link to a prior video discussion thread).
The new video from Coffey and Golden is at Youtube with some comments. His blog has discussion.
Please keep comments focused on whether or not it is worth using Khan Academy videos in schools.
This is an important question that many schools may have difficulty in framing how to decide. Some questions that arise are as follows.
- Does the school want to use any videos?
- Use them at home or in class?
- Use them just from Khan Academy or others?
- Should the videos be previewed by the teacher, school staff, some outside group like Joe Wagner’s backpack.tv?
- Do the videos have to come from some authoritative source like a university?
- Something associated with a university like Udacity?
- Should they have a flipped classroom with videos seen the night before?
- Should the videos pose questions for self discovery?
- If so, how much guidance should they give?
- Should they pose the question and then give the answer with the idea the student will pause the video?
- How many will do that?
- Should the videos be procedural?
- Should the videos be to help with homework where the student can’t remember how to do the problem?
- Is Khan preferred because he has a large video library of short videos so students can pick the one they need to help with a homework problem?
- What error rate is acceptable in videos?
- If errors are pointed out by readers in comments is that good enough?
- Does Khan have an advantage in that his errors are pointed out by users?
- Do the videos need popcorn type bubbles correcting errors?
- Should the videos be redone to be used if they contain errors?
- How much homework should there be in math?
- At what grade levels?
- For specific topics?
- How much math is learned out of school already?
- Do the parents teach most of the multiplication table?
- The addition table?
What specific advantages do Khan videos have?
- Large library.
- Short videos.
- Users point out errors in comments.
- Large base of schools using them will point out more errors.
- Others are using them, so it is acceptable. You won’t be fired for using Khan Academy videos.
- Khan is friendly, non-threatening, and his thinking out loud gives people reassurance they can learn to do the problems as well.
- Procedurally focused in each video to help students get through homework.
- Users do not find the errors to be substantial or important.
- Users find the error correction by others in comments to be acceptable.
- Users had already found errors prior to the #mtt2k critique by professors and teachers and found them acceptable.
Social Currency Advantage.
- People use Khan Academy videos because others do.
- It gives them something to talk about.
- It is like sports or popular TV shows.
- Because Khan is so widely used other use him.
- Khan has Gates backing.
- Khan has software for honing skills and practice.
- Khan badges have social currency among students. Other videos do not.
- Khan is not just social currency for teachers, administrators and schools, Khan is social currency for students and parents.
- Khan has given TED talks.
- Khan has spoken at MIT.
- Khan has social currency unlike other video vendors.
- It is like a bubble.
- It is the winner takes all type phenomenon.
- Khan has already won the social currency war, so just use him.
- Khan gets all the advantages of this including others correcting the errors in his videos and the acceptability of using his videos.
- Finding a Khan error is just like a badge. You get social currency.
- Even the teachers and professors critiquing Khan are just riding the wave.
- Khan has already won these advantages, and so we should just take advantage of them.
- The question isn’t should we use them, but what is wrong with us if we don’t. Parents will ask us this.