I’ll Be On Al Jazeera’s The Stream With Sal Khan Tomorrow

I’ll be on Al Jazeera’s The Stream with Sal Khan tomorrow 10/2 at 3:30PM EDT as part of a segment on Khan Academy. You can watch live from their website if that’s what you’re into. I’ll update this post with the segment afterwards if that’s possible.

2012 Oct 3. Here’s a link to the entire broadcast. They give me two questions – one about the best use for those lecture videos in the classroom and the other comparing the Khan Academy model to math instruction in high-performing countries.

At first, Khan poses his lectures as a “first pass” or a “first scaffold” at new material. This is less effective and less engaging than a lecture posed in response to a precursor activity that sets students up to need that lecture and understand its context.

I pressed that angle in my second question and Khan then took a fairly agnostic approach to the instructional sequence. Basically, “do whatever works.”

Personalization is the point and Khan Academy has certainly figured out how personalize lecture delivery. But personalizing the precursor activity that sets students up to need those lectures is much, much harder. I didn’t get the sense from our exchange that that kind of personalization is anywhere on Khan Academy’s horizon.

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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.


  1. Why can’t Khan Academy just go with the fact that they have an awesome library of tutorials that can be used by millions worldwide for remediation/practice/recall of math topics? They are going to hurt their brand by keeping up the facade that they can deliver high-quality initial instruction that will be long-lasting for students. There are so many things that Khan Academy can do to help math education, but there are so many things that they aren’t going to be able to do well. And they shouldn’t try to do those things until they rethink what will really work for students.