After reading this article –
and trying out some of the videos/ tutorials available on http://www.khanacademy.org, I am not entirely skeptical as the author of the former blog post seems to be. He/she does have a point though – decimal points are a difficult lesson to overcome for many, and it is imperative that Khan Academy gets it right, as they are such an important, well known, commonly used enterprise for teachers and parents.
However, the point I would like to make here is that the concept of an online tutorial and testing centre – to allow all to have a right to an education – is a fabulous idea and should not be criticized in it’s theoretical form. Perhaps in execution there is criticism warranted, but little at that.
Mr. Khan offers many strategies of working out particular problems in his videos, and this means there is a level of finding something that works for all learners. Additionally this database of knowledge is available for free off the internet – it could be used by children/adults trying to learn beyond their primary education – which may have been all they have had access to. Students in Australia may need to use it to further clarify their knowledge at home. Teachers may need to use it if they are running a relief lesson in mathematics and need to sharpen their skills.
Khan Academy is a very useful resource and can be relied upon by many – no matter of class, race, religion – as long as they have access to a computer. Therefore, it is very important that Mr. Khan teaches strategies, works to correct misconceptions and that is assessment quizzes represent what must be learnt (outcomes) accurately.