Whilst I have seen some criticism of that content its vastly superior to anything Ive seen a teacher create in an LMS. As for the teachers at my own kids school I don't think most of them are either capable or willing to use an LMS. They managed to jettison their old "too hard" LMS a couple of years back promising to replace it with something easier which never happened, so now they don't have anything. My daughter has never used an LMS / learning platform until now.
As with going Flipped, the use of external services such as Khan can be perceived as that educator being lazy an pawning off educational responsibility to some on-line tool. Students, parents, and even admins see it as a crutch and that "the educator should be doing this in the classroom".
With that said, I tell my students that it is a different way to see/hear the work than what I present in class and they should seek out other on-line explanations too. The search is an educational experience in itself and yes, they come back to me with interesting results. I opened a Forum for them to report their results.
For Khan Academy, I find their explanations a bit involved and have used LearnZillion with better results.
I played with Kahn Academy a bit, and thought it seemed quite fun.
If you think it is a threat to Moodle, then I think you misenterprit what Moodle is. Moodle provides the onilne space that teachers and students need to do their teaching and learning. Or, to put it another way, it provides the teacher with the tools require to build such a space. That space will probably be different for different teachers, and for different groups of students learning different things.
It is absolutely fine if what the teacher wants to do is to direct their students to Kahn academy. That is why Moodle has the external tool modules to let teachers easily link to external tools. See https://www.edu-apps.org/index.html?tool=khan_academyIf you were a marketing manager, thinking that Moodle has to 'sell' its own tools in order to 'win', then you might see Kahn as a threat. However, if you think that the mission of Moodle is to enhance education throughout the world, then I think you would see Kahn academy as a fellow traveller on that missions, and one we can, and do, work with.
I haven't misinterpreted what Moodle is but students only get out of an LMS what their teacher puts in, which in the case of my daughter is zero.
If other solutions offer not only software but content / courses you can easily take and re-purpose that is a big advantage over an "empty space".
I know a few teachers, I don't remember any saying "we need more tools". What you hear quite often is "we need more time".
In Martin's iMoot presentation he mentioned wanting to pay people to create courses which could be distributed / re-used through a Moodle Hub.
I think that kind of thing will become more important over time.
Moodle doesn't have to start as a blank slate. Moodle.net currently has 63 courses listed: http://moodle.net/?sesskey=8iCD4tllfg&_qf__course_search_form=1&mform_showmore_id_site=0&mform_isexpanded_id_site=1&downloadable=1&audience=all&educationallevel=all&subject=all&licence=all&language=en&orderby=newest&search=&submitbutton=Search+for+courses
The other thing is, courses need to be OER ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_educational_resources ) so that teachers and curriculum developers can adapt them to their particular contexts and learners' needs. Otherwise, all you end up with is materials that are only really suitable for one organisation/institution or for standardised tests/accreditation.
I've spent 12 years, both as a teacher and DoS, having to deal with publishers' course books and test preparation materials and have seen how poorly they serve learners' needs. All the experienced teachers I've worked with regularly supplement, adapt, and leave out significant amounts from course books. Teacher managed courses, where they can develop their own curricula according to learners' needs on an on-going basis, offer an alternative to that.
Re: "I know a few teachers, I don't remember any saying "we need more tools". What you hear quite often is "we need more time". -- Yes, this is an issue that elearning might be able to help with in terms of reducing admin, e.g. managing reports, grades, and course work, and reducing photocopying, but the main issue is that too many teachers are asked to teach too many hours per week and are often given "front-loaded" syllabuses (i.e. information dumps) that they have to "cover" in too little time. Technology can't help with that.
Ive looked at Moodle.Net before and set up a Moodle Hub a while back. That was a great idea but never quite got finished. They were talking about putting some kind of e-commerce features into it at one point, not sure if that will be re-visited in light of Martins recent comments.
In spite of the customisation done by teachers on a given course, I would imagine "Subject A level 2" would be perhaps 70% similar across different organisations particularly when you are:
"given "front-loaded" syllabuses (i.e. information dumps) that they have to "cover" in too little time"
If that content were translated into Moodle courses on an accessible hub I would have thought it would be beneficial vs x number of teachers replicating it individually? I think some local authorities started forcing lesson plans to be made publicly available for similar reasons?
KA is very granular making things easier to re-use / tailor to specific needs (or would if it were an open platform). Another interesting point is they are building it around:
which has been widely adopted in the US (from what I have read).
So teachers would not only be given a "front loaded information dump" they would be given content and tools built around it (which could be on a Moodle Hub).
When I was at school my friends attending other schools were all using the same text books, but I don't see that principle being applied to LMS content, unless you would like to correct me on that? (I am not a teacher).
I also think creating online resources is a distinct skill from that of teaching face to face. I could put together decent online resource but would be awful in front of a class of kids. I think the reverse is true for many teachers, and in the case of my daughters school that seems to have resulted in the demise of their LMS.
Had they been given something they could teach with as opposed to the tools to build something they could teach with I think things may have been different.
yes, had a brief look at KA. Really nice platform-agree.
Nice that external tool module can connect with it-I wasn't aware of that, meaning KA and Moodle can work together.
Noted, also that re-usable courses as resources already exist in Moodle.net.
Jez, when you refer to Martin's words and ideas-I must be honest I wasnt there, so, tricky to understand the context of what he was on about
Anyway, THE GAP-for me...as follows:
re-usable courses/hub/exemplar courses that may even come with Moodle, of which include a solid focus on
-learning how to learn
-development of skills (both subject-wise and learning online)
-the promotion of transferable skills across learning domains
In other words not just shareable resources that focus on the development of subject knowledge.
That is the gap, from where I stand:- Strong underpinning philosophy and pedagogy as a running thread across such communal workshops/resource banks-hub etc
"when you refer to Martin's words and ideas-I must be honest I wasn't there, so, tricky to understand the context of what he was on about"
Martin gave a presentation at iMoot and was talking getting better resources into Moodle.Net by paying people to do it noting that you could not expect people to do everything for free in their spare time.
I take your point on learning how to learn and skills development and in an ideal world that would come to pass, but a lot comes down to aptitude and time. I also think the end result is often a "jack of all trades".
An alternative is specialisation of labour, what you see in larger organisations / corporate e-learning teams are technical authors working alongside instructional designers and subject matter experts. Smaller organisation's don't have the resources to do that, at least not individually. Collectively I guess they could provide subject matter knowledge to a central team building content for Moodle.Net.
Will be interesting to see what comes of Martins idea!
Jez, interesting posts, as per-I like to read about your thinking-given you stated you are not a teacher...this stretches my thinking, so ta.
Now, I can be like a dog-with-a-bone, so if you do not respond to me I will understand that I have been understood to be in that mode and we all move on...OK-cool.
Point 1- Martin gave a presentation at iMoot and was talking getting better resources into Moodle.Net by paying people to do it noting that you could not expect people to do everything for free in their spare time. OK I get this-makes sense, yes, I understand.
Point 2-I take your point on learning how to learn and skills development and in an ideal world that would come to pass, but a lot comes down to aptitude and time. I also think the end result is often a "jack of all trades". I disagree, Jez-strongly disagree with that. My reasoning is due to the fact that one can have a brain full of subject knowledge...you know like the sums on KA platform....could get my kids to complete reams of them....and we could even decorate the walls with their problem solving skills/answers....but what is essential is how they apply that knowledge in the real world.....now I saw no real-world examples on the KA platform....for application purposes/knowledge consolidation etc etc...am running heavily into teacher-speak now...sorry about that...but you get my point eh (hopefully).
RE: Moodle.net.....very controversial thing for me to say....but-is it not the same thing as it stands?....packed with subject related knowledge...like traditional elementary schooling? Have not looked there for some time and I may be wrong....I remember seeing a fantastic photography course/art course-but the last time I saw something about Moodle.net -come to think of it now it might have been the Orange school....I rememeber seeing such stuff akin to subject-driven passing on of info sort of thing....
So, I do think oppts in courses for application of skill-set/transferable skills in order to consolidate that extremely important 'subject knowledge' is key to any hub/communal course sharing for it to be attractive for teachers and learners alike...and of course taking a step back further...not all learners have those skills...so they just absorb the knowledge....like I suspect the KA students of this world and then sit a test....my daughter gives the best quote about that....she is sitting GCSE exams as we speak...and she wakes up and says....oh another memory test today then....hey ho.
Moodle.net is a site where educators can publicise their online courses (MOOCs or payable or free courses ) and where they can publish their free downloadable courses and content. As an example, an educator in Japan has recently added some great chemistry quiz questions to our Moodle.net content database and my own daughter created a Google Street View Mystery course added to the downloadable courses section. One of my favourite free online courses is the OU "Hands-on Moodle quiz course" in our enrollable section. We are currently working on revamping and improving Moodle.net to encourage more people to add courses and resources, to get more material out there.
Mount Orange is our School demo site and it has many of the courses on Moodle.net as examples but its main purpose is to enable people to go into a Moodle site with "real data" and users, rather than just playing on an empty site with no activities or grades. Here's a sample course Celebrating Cultures, inspired by our Learn Moodle Mooc. While all these courses are guest access, you need to log in to be able to get the full feel of a site with user data.
you are a Gem Mary, thanks.
Here is to a relaxing weekend.
Regards point 2 I was referring training everyone to use Moodle, image editors, screen recorders, authoring tools or whatever it is you need vs using technical authors / specialists. Those being someone you could go to with your content, explain what you needed and say "can you make an online course out of that for me please".
That is what commercial companies and some Universities do but would not work for schools, they don't have the budget to employ people like that.
However there are over a million teaching and support staff in the UK. I wonder how many of those build their own Moodle / LMS courses from scratch when they could be working collaboratively?
There are already repositories of lesson plans teachers can use, what if you could get Moodle mbz files to go with them?
My original post mentioned the fact my daughters school dropped their old system because it was too complicated and never replaced it.
I wonder, had they been given usable resources they could re-purpose as opposed to the tools to build from scratch whether things would have been different.
As for KA, all I can say from personal experience is its free, my daughter took to it, she learned from it..
Aha! you returned to my post-am glad you did.
I respect every word you have chosen there. And, agree.
I want to say, this thread is not about finding evidence/criticality/debate-tis about dialogue...my favourite form of communication. What comes with that is an emotional dimension-when posting I am thinking about my kids and their education....as a few others here are too......
Apologies...that is where my passion stemmed from in my last post.
@Matt, (dumps, too much content, too much admin etc) "Technology can't help with that"
I'm not convinced of this. One little case study: friend at school inherited the role of dean as well as being HoD and teacher, began to run his life out of an iPhone.
Image captures of absence notes, online signup for appointments by kids, online access to timetables, detention lists, lost property, class grades, forum threads for the Y10 student council, email group reminders and calendar.
I think we agree on that point. It's what I meant when I wrote, "Yes, this is an issue that elearning might be able to help with in terms
of reducing admin, e.g. managing reports, grades, and course work, and
reducing photocopying... " I guess there are a lot of etceteras to add to the list.
I use KA a bit.
I heard Sal Kahn last week live on Skype at a conference. Very very interesting. It is what is is. What we think he is doing may be different to what he thinks he is doing.
Picture a learning pathway. A > B > C > D > Test
Lets say they are interested in figuring out if a change in order helps. They can run a trial A > C > D > B > Test with a few tens of thousands of users in a month. Then use their analytics tool to compare.
I found this fascinating.
I watched a couple of his presentations which were both entertaining and interesting. I am a little skeptical as to how much of an "accident" it all was given his intellect, MBA etc. I am sure the potential of what he was doing was clear to him early on.
I think what he may think he is doing is building the Google of learning systems!
Analytic's and spit (A/B) testing have been standard procedure for online companies for many years, used to optimise conversion rates. Sal said they should do the same with learning platforms, which is true. The key to that as you say is having the user base to test variants on, and of course software that can deliver different views of the same content. I think KA are in a pretty unique position in terms of being able to implement something like that.
One interesting thing he showed was a chart plotting student progress within a class showing one pupil who had been bouncing along the bottom start to climb to the top of the class. He made a point that a lot of successful people may have just got lucky at school in terms of being assessed / streamlined at a point in time when they were doing well, or conversely unlucky, which in the case of that pupil would have been put into a lower class before whatever it was "clicked" for them.
It will be interesting to see how they break out of mathematics into other subjects. Maths is an easy one for them to work with as there is a correct answer you can test for.
So far I like it, and more importantly so does my daughter but its not really a summer activity. I think over winter when the days are short and wet it will get used more.
Kahn appears to come from a conventional mathematics and economics background where the educational model was more than likely a "skills building" model, i.e. discreet items of knowledge (concepts) that build one upon another until one day a successful learner can pull it all together and master the topic.
Unfortunately, this model doesn't describe what typically happens; learners that faithfully and conscientiously do all the course work and homework and perform well on the discreet item tests don't necessarily do well at using math and economic theory in real world tasks. In other words, "good" performance on courses and tests isn't a reliable predictor of "good" performance in the real world.
In contrast, a reliable predictor of academic success in schools, colleges, and higher education is when learners form their own study groups and connect with each other, exchanging their understandings of the subject matter and resources provided by the course, as well as doing background research and finding additional resources elsewhere. A highly successful example of altering curricula to capitalise on the positive effects of study groups this is peer instruction as developed by Eric Mazur et al. See: Peer Instruction: Ten years of experience and results http://web.mit.edu/jbelcher/www/TEALref/Crouch_Mazur.pdf
BTW, this predates "Flipped classrooms" by a couple of decades. So much for buzzwords :P
If you want your school kids and even some undergraduates to do better on discreet item tests, resources like Kahn Academy are excellent and do a great job. The problem isn't with the resources, it's with the learning objectives. We should be aiming at objectives that are useful to the greatest numbers of people for real world tasks rather than objectives that are easy to teach and test. This is the big issue facing education and training systems and is somewhat skewed by the standardised text book publishing and testing agencies. They can maintain bigger market shares and higher profit margins from objectives that are easy to teach and test. Think of it as the "fast food" of education and training; convenient, consistent, and easy for everyone, very profitable for the publishers and testing agencies, very easy to serve up on demand, but ultimately leads to poorly educated learners.
However, if you know what you're doing; and some teachers clearly do seem to; you can use resources like Kahn Academy to powerful effect.
My son has been using Khan Academy since last semester. He found the video lessons very helpful in explaining the math concepts in Beestar exercises. Beestar math program is completely free. My son likes it and works on its weekly math practice on time in order to quickly go over almost all math topics taught at school. Whenever he encounters a new math concept, he would search Khan and watch the exact video lesson. In this way, he can always fully graspe the math skills and build a solid foundation.
Beestar is user-friendly. The practice questions are clear, interesting and representative. As a parent, I can monitor my son's performance online any time I want. I feel happy to see his rapid progress during such short period. We will keep using these two excellent sites together in the future.
To update this thread, Math teaching researcher Dan Mayer has done a systematic analysis of KA:
December 4th, 2014 by Dan Meyer
"tl;dr -- Khan Academy claims alignment with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) but an analysis of their eighth-grade year indicates that alignment is loose. 40% of Khan Academy exercises assessed the acts of calculating and solving whereas the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium's assessment of the CCSS emphasized those acts in only 25% of their released items. 74% of Khan Academy's exercises resulted in the production of either a number or a multiple-choice response, whereas those outputs accounted for only 25% of the SBAC assessment."And a follow up:
December 15th, 2014 by Dan Meyer
"My analysis of Khan Academy's eighth-grade curriculum was viewed ~20,000 times over the last ten days. Several math practice web sites have asked me to perform a similar analysis on their own products. All of this gives me hope that my doctoral work may be interesting to people outside my small crowd at Stanford.
Two follow-up notes, including the simplest way Khan Academy can improve itself... "
Basically, if your intent is to turn Math learners into human calculators, KA will do the job. If you want them to understand Math, then KA is clearly insufficient.
Can someone point to research based on the impact of KA, please? I will show more interest then.
This is a case study of one. Going by the name Spanish Bride, the wife of Cameron Slater sometimes posts on his blog, Whale Oil. (Warning, this is a controversial blog in our part of the world)
Here is a recent post of hers where she talks about getting some maths online help for daughter being home schooled. This is a little window at the need/perceived need of people out there. This is not to say anything about the educational value of such offerings.
Did you know that for $19.99 a week she can have online live help from a tutor anytime? We tried it today and she live chatted the tutor. They were able to work on an equation together on a virtual whiteboard. She wrote a part and the tutor wrote a part. How cool is that? link removed) when she needs them for $19.99 a week. She can even select tutors who specialise in certain types of math eg algebra. The tutor she initially chose from a photo referred her to another who understood this particular type of Algebra. The website I have linked to has tutors for 40 different subjects! You get access to all 40 for one weekly charge. This is a fantastic business model for the consumer and I hope also for the tutors who can work their own hours to suit from home. With the ability to help from another country because of the time zone differences, 24/7 availability is possible.
That sounds more like a criticism of her school curriculum than anything. Why isn't she learning the concepts in school?
Let's do some arithmetic:
$19.99 * 25 students = $499.75 per week.
30 weeks * 499.75 = $14992.50 per academic year for one class.
1 teacher maybe takes * 6 classes? = $89,955.00
How much does a Math teacher get paid in NZ?
Maybe her Math teacher doesn't have the autonomy over curricula and assessment s/he'd like in order to provide more meaningful classes. What if the students/parents got together and hired teachers for learning activities with a curriculum that focused more on understanding (For example: Schoenfeld, 2014, etc.) than remembering and following procedures ad nauseum? Perhaps she'd even enjoy Math classes and look forward to them.
What's standing in the way of more meaningful curricula in your children's school?
do the same maths for the amount of time wasting that can be had in showing someone how to do something/explaining over and over again to develop depth in thinking-that never gets applied...and that is a lot of time-wasting... and has a reverse effect on any money making ideas. I number that up in the following way:
poor decision making+maintenance =LOSSES