Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Hybrid Education

In the last post, I put forth the idea of hybrid schools as a new paradigm for education that combines online technology with personal interaction with teachers and classmates.  In the excellent example of the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, that is accomplished by having online instruction with teachers and material on a flexible bases, and regional centers, where students and teachers, especially in the arts, can get together, and perform or display their skills, knowledge, and abilities.  

Today, I want to talk about another model for education that is getting rave reviews.  It is presented on network news programs as the largest 'virtual school' in the world.  It is the Khan Academy,
and it uses 'Youtube' videos in 10 minute instructional periods of time to present classes on all sorts of academic subjects.  At present, their are 2,200 videos online, free of charge, and an audience of 43,000,000 viewers.  The fact that it is a billed as a 'virtual school' is somewhat misleading, at least according to its originator Salman Khan.  Mr. Khan sees one of the most effective ways of using his 'Khan Academy' material as a supplement to traditional schools, but in a kind of 'role reversal' way.  In other words, as another type of 'hybrid' educational system.  Starting with a 'pilot program' in Los Altos California, 5 classrooms in the traditional school replaced their math program with the Khan Academy program.  Instead of being given homework to do each night, the students were assigned to watch the Khan videos, and participate in a tracking system that he has developed.  The next day in class, teachers, who have access to the tracking information don't lecture, or present new material.  Instead they interact with the students that need help - at whatever point in their development that the students need that help the most.  The role of the teacher has, in other words, become personal, and specific to the students needs. The teacher / student relationship is more like a partnership than distant and removed.  I've talked about this at length in a previous blog, and I encourage you to take a second look at it.

I've included a short video of Mr. Khans Academy as a sort of introduction.  There are however dozens of videos online about the school, the individual, and the effectiveness of this new model for learning. I encourage you to take a look. Some are 5-6 minutes like the one below, but many are much longer.  Mr. Khan became noticed by the public several years ago when Bill Gages mentioned that he and his kids enjoyed the instructional videos. 

In the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of what I am working on, and presenting insights and techniques from this overview of hybrid learning that I have presented.  The combination of high tech, and high touch that I have espoused for years has exciting possibilities to revolutionize public and private education more than ever.  I think its potential to not only include the arts in general education, but to elevate the arts and the teaching of the arts is enormous.  

Until next time

Ron Zell

c) 2011 by Eduarts4us. All rights reserved.

No comments: