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Re: [xmca]schools-without-computers-by-choice-and-conviction-that-they-dont-help-kids


When the Gates Foundation drank the Kahn Academy Koolaid that was the last straw for me (pun intended). 
Khan Academy  Oh look, teacher lecture in pretty colors.  And the "right way" to use computers in schools. Skinner would be proud.

About | Khan AcademyWhat’s so different about our approach?  For one, we are leveraging the computer for what it does best and leveraging the teachers for what they do best.  We are ensuring students can truly work at their own pace on their own time. We are making sure students actually master concepts before they move on. We are empowering teachers with the real-time data they so badly need.  We are allowing teachers to make much better use of classroom time, with more peer tutoring, project-based learning, and one-on-one coaching.  Most importantly, we are making learning fun.

While I am a fan of the notion of the 'inverted' or 'flipped classroom,' I don't see it as a fundamental consequence of this approach any more than I see it resulting from textbook use. [Flipped classroom refers to the use of technology to push lecturing/broadcast elements of teaching outside the classroom time, e.g., via podcast or video, allowing teachers to use in-class time for discussion and student engagement.]

While Kahn's videos work as illustrations of tough math concepts, they aren't great at everything else they try to "cover." They're more like Cliff Notes, and apparently even have some critics at that level.  http://www.nas.org/polArticles.cfm?Doc_Id=2029

When it comes to education, Gates  seems to keep trying to find the silver bullet rather than put real work into reform. He should stick to the logistical approach he's so good at, e.g., his work in Africa scaling up delivery of proven solutions. 



On Oct 30, 2011, at 1:56 PM, Huw Lloyd wrote:

> On 26 October 2011 13:03, Michael Glassman <MGlassman@ehe.osu.edu> wrote:
>> [...]
>> There is also the idea of who is actually interviewed in the article and
>> quote in the blog post.  The head of e-bay isn't really that much of a
>> technology person, more of a businessman, and I believe a strong
>> libertarian.  Don't assume the Silicon Valley people have that good a grasp
>> of education.  Remember Bill Gates (I know, he's Seattle) and his
>> foundation are in my opinion doing more harm than good to open and
>> progressive education.
> Hi Michael,
> Out of interest, what flavour of objection do you have to the Gates
> Foundation?
> My thoughts were about the cautionary ideas exemplified by Ivan Illich
> (secondary problems introduced by institutionalising monetarily poorer
> countries and the like), though I'm currently fairly ignorant of what
> they're actually doing.
> Huw
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