Former Hedge Fund Analyst Number 2 TED TALK for 2011
The Huffington Post recently announced its Top TED talk picks for 2011. An amazing number 2 pick may well change the future of education. Even more amazing a hedge fund analyst discovered this, not a doctor of education.
For over 3000 years education technology has been pretty simple. A teacher stands before the class and tells them about something. The class listens, or daydreams, or ignores or fidgets. In order to see if anything was “learned” the teacher asks questions and tries to determine if the class got it. Today that process is known to be deeply flawed but no alternatives have emerged until the most unlikely intervention of technology into the class room.
The innovator would not have been predicted by any member of the education establishment. Who would expect a hedge fund analyst to set in motion the first real time observation of learning as it happens for public school classrooms? That is how it happened. For the full story in the innovator’s own words see this 20 minute speech .
Warning this may forever change the way you think about education and perhaps the world!
You can see the full embodiment of this breakthrough at education. or go to YouTube and search for Khanacademy, sign up and look at the “dashboard.”
The elevator pitch for this is as follows:
Khan stumbled upon a teaching method. The method works especially well for math but is now being applied to many other subjects. Subject matter is divided into small concepts. There is an explanation in a computer interactive system and then some problems to solve using the concept. The student solves problems until they get ten correct, then they go to the next step. To progress the student masters the concept. They can go back and review the explanation to move at their own pace, they move forward only when really able.
For me the most profound discovery is the dashboard and its tools for actually measuring learning. A quick look at his data suggests that many years of educational theory may be totally wrong. Khan academy results challenge a long held believe that human learning results fall on the standard “Bell shaped curve.” But when children master each step (indicated by correctly solving ten practice problems in a row) they all seem to end up with near the same results. Almost everyone gets to the end although each has a different rate and profile of learning process.Continued on the next page