Math Education Game-Changer: Khan Academy Math
Next See: Common Core and Constructivist Math: Khan Academy Math Will Save the Day
- It's Free! [Financially supported by Bill Gates, Google, and others who care about genuine math education.]
- It's available 24 hours a day, every day.
- It's exactly the math that students should learn. There are no constructivist math distractions.
completely covers all important math topics: elementary school
math, middle school math, high school math, and college math.
- Every important math topic is covered with one or more internet videos.
- A typical video is 10 to 15 minutes long. This fits the average child's attention span.
- The student hears the instructor (usually Salman Khan), who is not seen, but appears to be sitting to the left of the student.
- The unseen instructor speaks and writes as he explains the current math topic.
- Salman Khan believes that viewing the instructor's face is an unnecessary distraction for the student.
- Each video is linked to exercises that are designed to test the student's understanding of the video.
exercise comes with multiple hints. After each hint, the student
can request another hint, until the problem is completely solved,
typically after 3 or 4 hints.
- The student can request exercise after exercise, without ever seeing an exercise repeated.
- The student can easily move back and forth from the video to related exercises.
- There's a "knowledge map" and other orientation features that:
- Show how the current video relates to other videos (including prerequisites for the current video).
the student what is possible next, based on what the student has
already done. What is possible next is not limited by the
Khan system "remembers" what videos the student has viewed
and how the student has performed on the exercises.
- Multiple features encourage the student to move beyond initial understanding to full mastery (long-term remembering concepts and methods).
- You don't know what you don't remember.
- There are user interfaces for students, parents, coaches, and teachers.
- It's far superior to classroom learning.
- Each student works at his or hers own pace, at any time and in any place.
student can take all the time needed to master each topic.
Unlike classroom learning, there's no need to move on because the
teacher is ready to move on.
- Learning is not limited to the content traditionally covered in the "grade" associated with the student's age.
- There's no fear of making a mistake in front of a teacher or peers.
no multiple hours delay between a lesson and "homework." The student
can easily switch back and forth from a video to exercises related
to the math content covered in the video
- The student can repeat a video, rewind to any earlier point in the video, or fast forward over points already understood.
- The student can easily fill in gaps by using videos that cover content from earlier grades.
- In some ways, it's superior to tutorial learning.
- The student doesn't have to remember what the tutor said.
- The student isn't pressured by a tutor's questions.
- The student isn't distracted by the tutor's face or behavior.
- And it's free!
William G. Quirk, Ph.D.