With the recent explosion around Khan Academy, I’d like to ask: SO?! Yes, videos for explaining things in a visual way are great, but come on, instructional videos are not new. This is similar to those studies that come out saying, “It’s better for you to eat fruits and vegetables daily.” [gasp] Really?!?!
Why are we enamored by a “new” way of content being fed to students. There is still an element of passive learning… it doesn’t matter that they “answer questions” after the video. What about doing? What about exploring? What about tinkering? What about all of those aspects involved in active learning where we are at the center, pulling together our own knowledge about the world and trying to make sense of it all around us? What would happen if we let students start to grapple, fumble, discover their own way through content and create the video themselves? Active learning would happen.
Take a look at this video. Yes, well-done by high schoolers out of New Hampshire. It’s phenomenal actually. Case in point on what our students are capable of creating if we give them the space, time, tools, and faith to create!!
Let’s change the one way street of content … our students are more than able and willing to be the creators. And this is what makes learning exciting!