Watch this video first:
Okay, this isn't actually a podcast, its a video, and I thought it was awesome, and I would really like to use this program in my classroom. Although he didn’t detail how it works for English, I imagine the Kahn Company found a way. I loved this idea of flipping the classroom. I wonder why more people haven’t thought of it. Even the smartest kid or the fastest writers can’t keep up with everything a teacher says. And even if you could, it is nice to be able to re-listen and review. The only down side stems from the fact students can’t ask questions right away, but since when was lecturing interactive? Students can ask questions the next day in class or email their teacher. I particularly like how the program shows teachers where each students pauses, what they focus on, what problems they miss, how long they spend on a problem. That way a teacher can identify what problems a student has because sometimes a student doesn’t know why he or she is struggling. This is what Kahn calls humanizing education. This gives even students in large classes more one-on-one time with their teacher, since the teacher isn’t lecturing.
I particularly like how it allows students to pace themselves. I personally either was on the class level or ready to move on. If I could have continued working when others were either a head of or behind me, I could have learned or accomplished more. Some concepts are just harder to grasp for sometimes; this structure gives them that time. It doesn’t allow for the “swiss cheese” style learning that Kahn mentions. Students aren’t expected to master all the information, just 70-95 percent. Through this program, they do master it.
I also think it will be helpful for teachers with an incoming class to view their progress. The teacher will know before class starts where they might need more review, where the classes’ (and individuals’) strength lies. This will save teachers time getting a feel for this class (at least in this respect) and allow them to get into their subject matter quickly.
I am looking forward to more wide-spread use of this system, and I hope to see it in my classroom one day (soon).