kitchen table math, the sequel: Schools find Khan Academy works better than group learning

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Schools find Khan Academy works better than group learning

More schools are trying Khan Academy videos in their classrooms, and initial results look promising.  But when you start with an instructional method that includes lots of time-consuming group work, maybe almost anything else will work better.  Here's how it's going at one school.
In the past, math class at the Summit schools was always hands-on: the class worked on a problem, usually in small groups, sometimes for days at a time. But getting an entire class of ninth graders to master the fundamentals of math was never easy. Without those, the higher-level conceptual exercises were impossible.
They found that Khan Academy did a better job.  Not too surprising to me.

You can read more at Cost of College.


Anonymous said...

Imagine direct-instruction versus reinventing the math wheel...What a concept!

ChemProf said...

I like having students work problems in class (typically, I work one on the board and then give them a related problem, often working backwards, and have them try to start it). But I have to say spending days on a single problem is a waste of time, no matter how complex. If students can't work the problem in a class period, either they need more instruction or more practice. If it is intentionally too vague or too complex to finish in 20 or 30 minutes, the problem should be broken down so that students feel they are making progress.

No wonder that approach wasn't working.

Grace said...

More direct instruction, whether by technology or by a real live teacher, would seem to be a no-brainer for increasing efficiency in public schools.