education · learning · school

Using Modern Technology to Teach Old Lessons

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

I saw technology in the classroom change even during my twenty-plus years as a student, from slide projectors to overhead projectors with the write-on plastic to laptops with a projector plugged into a USB port. My elementary class was probably one of the last for which it was still okay to turn in a hand-written paper; I think by 6th grade it was expected you had to type it out, either at home or on one of the school’s four-colored Apple computers. As school evolves, so does technology. While some are skeptical of change, others embrace it:

Los Angeles history teacher Enrique Legaspi… went to a workshop that discussed ways to use Twitter in teaching and now his students—even the shy ones—at Hollenbeck Middle School in East L.A. are speaking up more.

In the video [below], you can watch Legaspi teach a World War I lesson, and hear him explain how Twitter has revolutionized discussions, helped him know more about his shy students, and modify his instruction to meet their needs.

more via Twitter in the Classroom: Watch This Teacher Engage Shy Students in Learning History – Education – GOOD.

I’m still ambivalent towards using technology for technology’s sake, especially when it comes to school and learning. However, I also understand how hard it can be to engage kids in learning, and I’m open to using different tools, even if it’s Twitter. I’m curious what other experience teachers and educators have had with using technology.

*Edit:* This experiment is also interesting in light of recent surveys that say Gen Y students don’t actually use Twitter all that much: http://t.co/eEOohph via @jeffbullas.

community · education · learning · technology · youtube

Khan Academy – library of free educational videos

Khan Academy
Image by AJC1 via Flickr

Your feel-good story of the day, and one example of how the Internet is being used to democratize learning and teaching for anyone with a Internet-enabled device.

The Khan Academy is…. a non-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.

All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.

Despite being the work of one man, Salman Khan, this 2100+ video library is the most-used educational video resource as measured by YouTube video views per day and unique users. What started out as Sal making a few algebra videos for his cousins has grown to over 2,100 videos and 100 self-paced exercises and assessments covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history.

more via About | Khan Academy. I have no problems with the library being Math-focused right now; I think Math and Science can be one of the hardest subjects to teach, while simultaneously being one of the hardest things to teach yourself.

Salman Khan recently gave a TED talk, and was joined on stage by Bill Gates. You can hear his reasoning behind the Academy here: