Search Results for "mtt2k"

Total 7 Posts

#MTT2K Contest Winners Announced

The judges’ prize goes to Michael Pershan’s What if Khan Academy was Made in Japan?, followed by Kate Nowak’s critique of Khan Academy’s lecture on the coordinate plane, and then to Susan Jones’ faithful homage to MST3K’s talking robots. Dr. Tae’s sharp critique of Khan Academy’s enthusiasm for gamification won the People’s Choice Award.

Each one is worth your while but special merits, again, to Pershan’s video which is optimistic, constructive, and exhaustively researched. He edits himself extremely well throughout the video, maintaining this unflagging narration that’s almost Ze Frankian. 13 minutes pass by in an instant. You should watch it, then subscribe to his blog, then follow him on Twitter, then visit him at his home.

Co-sponsor Justin Reich has his announcement over at Ed Tech Researcher. I echo his summary judgment:

Of course, the real winners of the competition are everyone who looked critically at Khan Academy (and looked critically at its critics) and developed a more nuanced view. If after reading some of the conversation generated about Khan Academy this summer, you have a stronger position that Khan Academy is [completely awesome/situationally useful/seriously problematic] then I’m pleased to have played a tiny role in nudging the conversation.

People’s Choice Voting Now Open For The #MTT2K Contest

There were twenty-eight responses to the call to critique Khan Academy’s house style. My co-judge, Justin Reich, and I are debating their merits in a smoke-filled room, particularly along the “enlightening” and “entertaining” axes. We’re inviting you to weigh in on the results also and issue a People’s Choice Award. Visit this survey and give your opinion. We’ll announce the winners in a week.

Sal Khan Comments On #MTT2k In Chronicle of Higher Education

Sal Khan, responding to our #mtt2k contest in a (paywalled) article in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

There’s always the critique that Khan Academy is not pedagogically sound, that we’re procedural-based, focusing on mechanics without base understanding but I actually think we’re the exact opposite of that.


With procedural, worked problems: That’s how I learned, that’s how everyone I knew learned. But we do have videos explaining the ‘why’ of things, like borrowing, or highly rigorous concepts like college-level linear algebra, so it’s kind of weird when people are nitpicking about multiplying negative numbers.

Maybe something got lost in the edit, but I can’t seem to reconcile those two statements. On one line, Khan Academy is the opposite of procedural learning. In the next paragraph, Khan offers a full-throated endorsement of procedural learning through worked examples.

We will never say that our visual library is perfect. And we’re constantly trying to improve. But I think it’s a straw-man argument to pick one video and say, ‘This is a procedural video, it is not conceptual, they’re all like this, these people don’t have an understanding of pedagogy.’ That is, frankly, a bit arrogant and disparaging.

The statement “this should have been better” isn’t the same as “this should have been perfect.” Khan has god-knows-how-many videos at this point, some of which he made with only his cousins in mind, and we should expect a wide distribution of quality.

Setting aside any of our concerns about the best place for video lectures in a math classroom, we all have an interest in Khan’s video lectures being as mathematically correct as possible. But Khan thinks it’s arrogant and disparaging for people who have spent decades witnessing and cataloging every possible misconception about negative numbers to step in and say, “Your video may lead to misconceptions about negative numbers.” That’s a pity. I encourage Khan and his staff to find a more productive way to engage this deep bench of unpaid, well-informed critics.

BTW. If Khan is wondering why math teachers worry about his pedagogical content knowledge, this is the sort of decision that gives us the heebie-jeebies:

Mr. Khan says he intentionally mixed up the transitive and associative properties to show that understanding that a times b is the same as b times a is more important than the procedural process of memorizing vocabulary.

Comments closed.

The MTT2K Prize

Let me just point you to Justin Reich’s post on The MTT2K Prize he and I are co-sponsoring and co-judging. I only want to add a +1 and maybe a smiley face next to this sentence:

As far as I’m concerned, MTT2K has brought all kinds of good to the world.

I’d like to see some more of the kind of engagement we saw this last week, the kind where online criticism turns into improved outcomes for millions of students in the span of 24 hours. I’m excited to see what comes of this.

Khan Academy Does Angry Birds

In case you missed it, Justin Reich and I are co-sponsoring the #mtt2k prize and the eligibility window for applications closes August 15. Upload some commentary on a Khan Academy video to YouTube and tag it #mtt2k. You could win a few hundred dollars to take the missus or the mister to the boardwalk before school starts.

Here is my submission, playing out of competition.

If you couldn’t make it through the setup (a Khan-style explanation of Angry Birds) here is the punchline:

Okay, wait. Obviously, Khan Academy would never lecture about Angry Birds. But what makes Angry Birds different from math and science? Angry Birds makes it easy to play, experiment, get feedback, and learn. I’m not saying lectures and explanations are never necessary in math and science — or in Angry Birds, for that matter. When I couldn’t get past that one really tricky level, I went online and found a walkthrough. But the walkthrough — the explanation — wasn’t the first thing I did when I experienced Angry Birds. So why does Khan Academy make an explanation the very first thing a student experiences with a new topic in math. When we put the explanation first, we get lousy learning and bored students.

Comments open until I come to my senses.

17 hours later. Comments closed. I couldn’t handle it. Sorry.