Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quick thought about Kahn

I am looking at the Kahn discussion from the outside since I have been out of the classroom for several years. I admit my first look was one of dissapointment as it does appear to be procedural. It does a good job of procedural, however. They seem to get the math right. Were it riddled with errors, it would deserve severs criticism.

I am once again impressed by P.J.'s take on this and it got me to thinking about print paterials that are similar.

I am willing to bet, if I beleived in betting,  that most of you who are over thirty posses(ed) copies of Schaum's outline for something.  Calculus was a big seller. There was not much more than worked out examples, but many students found tham very helpful. I suppose they still exist. They served a purpose. I think there was a similar product for novels, Cliff's Notes, I think. Cliff's Notes presented a summary of books like War and Peace in thirty pages.  This was certainly not the same as reading War and Peace, but it did help some students wade through the novel and keep track of who was who and what was going on. Scahum's did the same thing for math and science. No one that I know ever used one as a replacement for a textbook, but thousands of students learned important procedures from them. 

Am I too far from being accurate to say that Kahn Academy presentations are a digital version of Cliff's Notes/ Schaum's outline, or am I missing something important? 

By the way, I found Scham's usefull as a source of worked out examples. I could give my students one of their problems to work without having to create one and work it out to makes sure it "worked out nice".