Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Khan Academy - Pro's and Con's (Part 2)

Well, I'm back after a trip down memory lane with organic chemistry and the Khan Academy. I decided to choose a field that i had some competency in and chose three videos as random (the first three i noticed in the side pane to be exact. Sn2 reactions, Sn1 reactions, and the Markonikov Rule. Below i've embedded the first of the three as an example.

Sn2 Reactions: Sn2 Reactions

My initial reaction was that he certainly sounds well informed and competent. I would otherwise guess that he was a chemistry teacher with more than a few classes under his belt. The second was the color coding, which aside from being highly interesting aids in identifying the reaction's constituents and in seeing stereo chemistry. Thirdly, i found his style to be somewhat slow, which i grant is due to the fact he doesn't know where his students are in relation to the material. In my own classes leaving groups and constituent names would be givens and only mentioned verbally once where as here they are constantly reiterated. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and overall i found his teaching style highly informative and easy to follow.

Where do i see this going in terms of flipped classrooms? I could see lessons like this replacing the basic instruction. In this respect students can learn, as we have said repeatedly in class and in other forms, at their own paces, rewinding the teacher as needed. The classroom instructor then is freed to help students with focused instruction on areas that the video may be lacking, to correct misnomers/mistakes in the lecture, or thirdly, to simply guide the students on what material to access and watch.

The flipped classroom is a fascinating idea... now if only we could somehow incorporate tablets into the desks themselves...   

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