In Salman Khan’s TedTalk, “Let’s use video to reinvent education”—he provides ground-breaking arguments as to why education technologies like video and learning analytics are flipping classrooms and creating more humanized learning experiences. Yes, this seems counterintuitive—technology as an enabling force for creating more humanized spaces; but once you hear his story through you will understand why!
It all started when Khan began tutoring his young cousins remotely. At first over Skype, he then began recording YouTube videos for them—‘refreshers’ of the difficult concepts they had gone through. As soon as Khan put these videos up he immediately noticed a few really interesting things. The first thing he noticed was feedback from his cousins—they actually preferred the recorded videos of him teaching material as opposed to face-to-face interaction or real-time interaction on Skype.
At first this was counter intuitive to Khan but when he thought deeper he realized why. With a recorded tutoring session his cousins could pause, stop and replay sections of the video when they had trouble comprehending. Furthermore there was no added social pressure for his cousins to have to ask when something was not understood!
Khan also discovered that students other than his cousins began watching the videos and miraculously enough people left comments saying, “First time I smiled doing a derivative” and follow-up by “Same thing here. I actually got a natural high and a good mood for the entire day”. In a letter to Khan, a mother wrote about how her 12 year-old autistic son was able to get through math because of his videos when nothing else was working for him.
With the success and growth of Khan’s videos, teachers began writing him saying that they had ‘flipped their classrooms’. Instead of teaching the material in class and assigning homework, the process became reversed. Teachers were assigning Khan’s videos for homework and students were completing homework in class—in an environment where they could get help from both their teachers and peers—in a more humanized environment.
After these experiences Khan had recognized he had hit something—something that would drastically change how students would learn and how much they would learn. He immediately packed up his bags at the hedge fund firm he was working at and set out to create a non-profit organization that could take this concept further. Most notably, into one area that provides teachers with insight into the student learning experience in an unprecedented manner—through reporting, data and analytics. Watch Khan’s TedTalk below to learn more!
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