Saturday, February 11, 2012

Silicon Valley, and @ddmeyer Post about Math Education

Dan Meyer is a former Ukiah High School graduate and current Math Education guru.  When he’s not figuring out the best ways to introduce inquisitive learning into the Match curriculum, Dan is commenting about the interesting relationship between technology and education. 

Probably one of the most important posts on technology and education ever written graced the pages of his blog recently; a thesis about the perceived notion of what Math should be to the tech executives of Silicon Valley versus the notion of how Math should be taught to students by teachers in the classroom.  Sure, its focus is on Mathematics, but we can all take something out of not only the blog post but the comments as well.  Dan’s post stirred up quite the conversation about not only technology’s role in the realm of education, but over-arching theme of “technology as a tool” versus “technology as THE tool”. 

Take the following comment about Khan Academy:

“Teachers are a great medium for lots of things that a YouTube video isn't. "Conversation, dialogue, reasoning, and open questions," as I put it in my post. If you, as a teacher, aren't taking advantage of your medium, if you're functionally equivalent to a YouTube video, you should be replaced by a YouTube video.

Sudarshan (a commenter) summarizes that elegantly:

Incompetent/bored math teacher < khan academy < better online learning platform < Good math teacher.”

Pretty damn poignant. 

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