For this week’s blog I chose to explore Khan Academy. Khan Academy is a website where there are free lessons offered to anyone and everyone. Khan Academy utilizes the internet to reach its goal of providing a free education to anyone, anywhere. Essentially this website has created a global classroom, which is unique in its self. People in China are able to log into their computer and receive the same education as people in Ireland, America, and Egypt etc. The internet/technology has made it possible for an equal opportunity at receiving an education. There is even a blog and discussion section of the website. People are able to interact with one another and further develop the way they learn. Through this website you’ll have more than one teacher, and the classroom will no longer be limited by four walls, instead the world will become your classroom.
Along with the website being free and providing equal opportunity, it also caters to those who have either grown up in the digital age or those who have adapted to the ever changing technological world. For the younger generations this approach to receiving an education might be more helpful or appealing rather than the traditional classroom. The newer generation has a vast knowledge of technology and depends on it on a daily basis. It is a tough feat to get today’s younger generation to unplug or ditch their technology. This website may be the best way to engage them and best meet their needs.
The website has numerous subject areas that provide instructional videos, practice areas, quizzes, tests, and a discussion board where student and teacher can discuss problems or issues the student may be having with the material or topic at hand. The videos are helpful because you are able to pause, rewind, and fast forward. This is important because it provides each student with the opportunity to go as fast or slow as they need to. The practice areas that have practice questions provide the student with the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned from the videos to real use. If a student has a difficult time with working out a practice problem there are step by step breakdowns and hints offered to help the student understand what they are missing.
I think this website could be a great tool to use in the classroom. I don’t however think it should be used as an alternative to school. I believe school is more than just academics. It provides a social setting and realistic outlook of the world. You’re forced to face each other in a classroom which alters how you may interact with one another. Through the internet you can be anonymous, unfeeling, or lacking in empathy towards others. This is possible for the simple fact that you can’t see how big an impact you may have on others, where as in the classroom you can. I think in order to learn about the world you have to live and thrive in it, not just sit behind a computer screen.