Puzzling, Ctd.

A response to my last post from the MathTalk forum:

Compared to an exploratory curriculum for kids who are not distracted by hunger and not shut down by years of failure, the Khan academy videos pale. But compared to the status quo, it seems to me to be a contribution. And used as supplementary material, they seem wholly a win.

This is almost exactly right. You want to put a million videos on YouTube explaining math? The world is all the better for your contribution. But don’t mistake your contribution for a solution to a larger problem. Don’t mistake your contribution for a solution to a larger problem and then embed it in a student’s compulsory public education.

My own work has received a fraction of Khan’s accolades and funding and I still feel the need to disclaim every few days that applied math isn’t the only math worth studying and video doth not a complete curriculum make. Once Gates puts a few million dollars behind your collection of YouTube videos, I imagine the pressure becomes unbearable to claim it’s the solution to a problem way outside of its jurisdiction.

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I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.