An entrepreneur is asking whether students should take classes at home, and do their homework at school.
At the Khan Academy in Mountain View, California, learning is flipped: lectures for students take place over the Internet, and the classroom is used for collaborating on homework assignments. What started as a small series of Youtube tutorials has grown to 2,200 videos online, receiving almost 45 million hits.
The idea is that students need time to learn at their own pace. Watching lectures at home, they can pause and repeat videos they didn’t quite understand the first time around. The classroom time is used to tackle problems, with the guidance of a teacher nearby. The Academy sees itself as addressing the fundamental gap in student learning left behind by traditional academic models.
Advancing at their own pace, students are more likely to obtain mastery over the subject. Creator Salman Khan had this to say:
Students simply do better when schools show respect for their natural curiosity and intelligence and give them a chance to achieve an intuitive understanding of fundamental concepts. It turns out that, in order to juggle knives, it helps if you’ve first learned to juggle oranges with ease.
The Khan Academy is a team of six people, building software and content for more than 2,200 videos, covering everything from arithmetic and calculus to biology and physics. See Salman Khan’s presentation at last year’s TED Conference below.