education | April 30, 2013

Education Speaker Sal Khan Inspires Teachers To "Flip Their Classrooms"

In his breakthrough book, The One World School House, education speaker Salman Khan encouraged teachers around the world to "flip the classroom." And recently, several instructors in both Wyoming and Idaho have incorporated his Khan Academy lecture videos into the curriculum. Injecting his accessible online videos into the traditional class material allows students to learn at their own pace. They can watch the videos multiple times, and at home after school. This frees up more time for teachers to give one-on-one instruction and help students who are struggling. This method also allows students of all skill levels to go over the material until it clicks—without slowing down the pace of the class.

Several teachers in Wyoming have incorporated the videos to various degrees in their courses. One instructor says that the tech-savvy students in his class are particularly keen on the use of digital media to enhance their learning. Wyoming Area Secondary Center math teacher Mike Romanowski says that he doesn't think that the videos will replace a good teacher—but they are certainly a valuable tool. He also adds that he's excited to see where the use of video and digital technology in learning will take the education system. "The possibilities are endless," he says. 47 schools in Idaho are also incorporating Khan Academy materials into their courses. This will give over 10,000 students from K-12 the opportunity to benefit from this new way of learning.

Khan recently took a trip to several of these schools and spoke to 200 educators about how to incorporate his material and utilize this "blended learning" style. "In our latest visits to Idaho, we already started to hear success stories," Khan said. "Teachers told us about students who were able to race ahead while other students took time to finally fill in unique 'Swiss cheese holes' or gaps in knowledge from previous years. But we’re also excited about the stories we haven’t heard yet — especially stories from rural and frontier regions where we haven’t been able to visit. There’s a tremendous amount of possibility in these regions where resources have historically been strained."