Point/Counterpoint: Khan Academy
Along with other high quality online learning resources, Khan Academy, largely considered to be the pioneer of high quality online learning, has been the subject of plenty of media attention as of late. According to Wikipedia, Khan Academy has now eclipsed MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) in terms of videos viewed and its YouTube channel has over 150 million total views, compared to MIT’s 38 million. Khan also has twice as many subscribers as MIT, at more than 320,000. Recent teaching appointees as a result of a November 2011 grant of $5 million from Ireland-based The O’Sullivan Foundation grant include Dr. Steven Zucker, formerly of Pratt Institute, and Dr. Beth Harris, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to produce art and history content. YouTube video creators Vi Hart and Brit Cruise have also joined the teaching faculty.
The concept of Khan is generally viewed as a positive one. Who could argue against the near universal availability of free tutorials that contain top notch information from which to learn? Well, as with most things, someone can. Khan Academy has fallen victim to criticism lately, with some educators arguing that the presentation of the material is boring and repetitive, and the lack of interaction with an actual teacher has a negative impact.
Check out Wired’s article on how Khan is changing the face of education, and then take a look at Hack Education’s piece on the wrath against Khan and let us know your opinion in the comments!