Our students are willing to fight for the more traditional approach to education, keeping more teachers in the classroom, according to a recent debate competition conducted by the Gem Project’s interactive literacy program.
February sparked an interesting question for young students who are enrolled in New Horizon Community Charter School. One February afternoon, students gathered to anticipate a Gem Project public speaking and debate workshop at Springfield Branch Library, located in Newark, NJ.
As the students waited for their topics, Gem Project leaders started discussing the plight of technology, its advancements in society, and their own communities. Almost all students had a Facebook, while others admitted that they were too young, and were banned by their parents from having an account. Without a doubt– technology is relevant in their lives.
That afternoon students were divided into their teams and tackled the topic, Should computers replace teachers in the classroom ? When they initially learned of the topic, in unison they uttered a resounding, NO!
Khan Academy, a not-for-profit organization, challenges the recent discussion our Gem Project youth had about technology and teaching a couple of weeks ago.
Khan Academy’s mission is both simple and audacious. Interviewed recently by Sanjay Gupta, it serves as a not-for-profit organization that is determined to offer anyone anywhere free world-class education, through technology. For now, their goal is not to rid teachers from the classroom, but to make their roles more effective– by reinforcing their teaching techniques.
What exactly is it?
Well, it’s a hub an internet hub that has over 3,000 educational videos, that are all measured to test impact over time.
Salman Khan is the founder of this operation, which has been believed to change the state of education according to its backers, The Gate Foundation and Google.
In 2004, Sal was a hedge fund analyst. His life began to change when his young cousin, based out of New Orleans, expressed to him that she had difficulty with Algebra.
Keep in mind, most brilliant undertakings occur because of the result of trying to solve a simple problem. This prompted Sal to remotely teach her through a series of online videos, which he later posted on Youtube.
Can you guess what happened next?
Sal received an overwhelming response of need. 5 years later he quit his job as an analyst and worked full-time on building his organization, practically in his closet. Contacted by phone by Bill Gates Chief of Staff, his organization received full support in funding with the Bill Gates Foundation and support of Google. In many talks Gates refers to Khan’s website as a great educational tool, fitting to have taught his own children from it.
Today, millions from all around the world benefit from Khan Academy. Recent chairman of Google says the following on innovation and why Sal is special, even if he did not possess the typical educator’s background in the show, 60 minutes, interview:
“It’s always the graduate student or crazy person or somebody with a great vision. Sal is that person in education, in my view. He built a platform. ”
Today many classrooms, mainly in California, benefit from pilot programs provided by the academy with mathematics. Studies have shown a drastic improvement in grades, due to the supplemental material. Research findings will be made available early this summer.
Salman Khan has 3 degrees from MIT and a MBA from Harvard University.
You may view educational resources in the teaching resources section of this website under the about column.