In a recently published NY Times article entitled Online Learning, Personalized we can see a paradigm for innovative learning in classrooms. The article begins by describing a charter school classroom in California where a mathematics teacher views students’ individual work on a laptop while moving about the room interacting one-on-one.
Students are using software created by Salman Khan, Harvard-trained son of an immigrant single mother, whose Khan Academy math and science lessons on YouTube garner 3.5 million viewers a month. Mr. Khan would like these digital lessons integrated into school curriculum and more than 36 schools have signed on, with lessons and software completely free to anyone with Internet access.
In a May PBS interview on Charlie Rose, Mr. Khan explained the genesis of his tutorial lessons and the effect they can have on students. (He also gives a lucid explanation of learning gaps.) While his program has its critics, Mr. Khan has funding support from donors such as Bill Gates and Google and has won support within the education community, many of whose members are influenced by his model. Check out the interview below: