Khan Academy and Computer Imagination

May 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sal Khan of Khan Academy was on Charlie Rose today, and it made me remember how awesome his TED talk was. I love what he says about the value of being able to watch a video tutorial over and over or stop it in the middle and go back to a part you want to review until you really get it. It’s a great example of what one of my grad school faculty members, Marty Siegel, calls computer imagination — exploiting what computers (more specifically YouTube-mediated video in this case) do well that other mediums don’t. Letting kids go at their own pace with “lecture material” for homework has created an opportunity to use classroom time for exercises, where kids can work on problems either alone or in groups and get feedback from the teacher before they have to turn something in.

We came to a similar conclusion about the usefulness of video that you can watch as many times as you want during the Not Enough Cooks in the Kitchen project, and that led us to envision video-recording and library/archive features for our kitchen video chat app. This would not only allow people to create digital keepsakes of their lessons with family and friends but also give them the opportunity to review the techniques they were shown as many times as it took to make them their own.

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