Thursday, March 15, 2012

Re: Khan Academy on Sixty Minutes

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “Re: Khan Academy on Sixty Minutes” [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: POD’s James Morrison wrote (paraphrasing): “Last night Sixty Minutes featured the ‘Khan Academy: The Future of Education’ - a great depiction of an innovative disruption, now applied to the sciences, but with a prospect of expanding to other disciplines, K-16.”

Alan Bender then pointed to an initiative “Multi-institutional Cognitive Coursewares Design” at by the “Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities” to “develop sophisticated online tutorials for various introductory college courses rather than to wait for textbook publishers and other companies to do so (and to end up controlling the whole process).”

But Khan Academy creator Salman Khan is only indirectly responsible for:

a) the highly publicized "flipped classroom" - see the Chronicle of Higher Education's "How 'Flipping' the Classroom Can Improve the Traditional Lecture" at (for subscribers), and the sequel "Lecture Fail? Students and Professors Sound Off on the State of the College Lecture" currently freely available) at, and

(b) the consequent race to develop tutorials for introductory college courses.

In an interview in Education Week Khan says: “Very little of this [flipping of the classroom] did I think of myself. . . . . the flipped classroom is not what we view as the ideal or the endpoint. We view it almost as a transition state. . . . instead of holding fixed the time and date when you learn something and the variable is how well you learn it, we're saying let's hold fixed how well you learn it, and you learn it at a deep level, and what's variable is how long you have to learn it, and when you learn it, and when you revisit the material."

To access the complete 12 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References
which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
Links to Articles:
Links to SDI Labs:

“People have nowadays . . . got a strange opinion that everything should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do so much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. Lectures were once useful; but now, when we can all read, and books are so numerous, lectures are unnecessary. “
Samuel Johnson according to James Boswell (1791)
[Samuel Johnson doubtless rolls in his grave at the thought
that, in the 21st Century, videos are evidently replacing reading.]

REFERENCES [URL’s shortened by and accessed on 15 March 2012.]
Boswell, J. 1791. Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D, online at

Hake, R.R. 2012. “Re: Khan Academy on Sixty Minutes” on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 15 Mar 2012 10:59:14-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

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