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    Salman Khan -- A Breath of Fresh Air in Instructional Design...
    blog entry posted February 8, 2014 by Richard E Lillie, last edited February 8, 2014, tagged research, teaching, technology 
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    title:
    Salman Khan -- A Breath of Fresh Air in Instructional Design -- Makes Me Think!
    intro text:

    Earlier today, Bob Jensen posted a link on AECM to a Harvard Business Review article (January-February 2014) titled Life's Work: Salman Khan.  I've written about Salman Khan and the Khan Academy several times before.  I use technology extensively in my course designs.  Where appropriate, I draw on Khan's methods and techniques to improve what I do for my students.

    Salman Khan

    Like Salman Khan, I am very much student-centered in my approach to designing the teaching/learning experience.  My approach to teaching came from the years when I was an audit manager in the National Continuing Education Department at Grant Thornton International (GTI).  I quickly learned that you do not teach adult learners.  Rather, you guide them through a learning process.  Adult learners take responsibility for their own learning.

    In the HBR article, Khan states that "one meta-level thing is to take agency over your own learning."  I agree with his statement.  However, I think it is important to understand the point at which a learner may be development wise.

    Taking "agency" (responsibility) for your own learning assumes a learner has the maturity needed for this level of responsibility.  I believe this is where faculty play a major role in the teaching/learning process.  I don't equate "tech-savviness" with "maturity."  Just because someone can interact with others on Facebook and Twitter does not necessarily make the person ready to take total control of the teaching/learning process.

    A learner in the "becoming stage" (i.e., in the process of earning a degree or credential) needs guidance, influence, and a structured learning process.  Whereas, a learner who has moved beyond the "becoming stage" (i..e, has earned a degree or credential) into the "continuing education stage" has reached the point of personal development where it is OK to do whatever turns you on.  Learning is more "learning for learning's sake." 

    Khan states that Khan Academy is all about giving more breathing room to the learner.  He believes he can use technology to deliver information at a student's pace.  He says "there is something you get only from a human voice..It's incredibly valuable."  On this, Khan and I agree.  

    I learned the art of instructional design by the seat of my pants.  I quickly realized that "CPA" stood for "cut, paste, and attach."  I created some pretty interesting instructional materials with a pencil, ruler, invisible tape, IBM Selectric typewriter, a variety of font balls, colored markers, and some fairly modest software applications.  I was amazed what I could accomplish with an Apple2Plus computer.  This all brings back a lot of enjoyable memories.

    While at GTI, I started experimenting with computer-based instructional design.  I played around with sound and video.  It was difficult to do and include in course design.  The technology was far too clunky, complicated to use and far too expensive.  While experimenting, I began to follow the work of Ruth Colvin Clark and Richard E. Mayer dealing with multimedia learning.

    Khan's methodology is all about connecting with the learner in ways that empower the learner to progress as quickly as the learner is capable of doing.  I agree with this objective to a point.

    Rick Lillie, CSU San Bernardino

     

     

     

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