Of course, the big news this week is that MIT and Harvard announced that they’re joining forces to offer free online courses starting next fall. We gave you the scoop on that yesterday. Now we give you another MIT announcement that has largely flown beneath the radar.
MIT is teaming up with Khan Academy (whose founder went to MIT and will deliver MIT’s commencement speech this spring), and together they will produce “short videos teaching basic concepts in science and engineering” for K-12 students. The videos will be produced by MIT’s ever-so-creative students themselves and then be made available through a dedicated MIT website and YouTube channel. You can click the links to start watching the first batch of videos, or watch an example above, The Physics of Unicycling. H/T @HKPerkinson
These lessons exemplify the worst kinds of teaching. Just because they are cleverly done on mondern technological devices does not make them effectice for learning. They violate even the most basis ways that people learn science—experience first, name afterward. They are expository, not Socratic, and they simply are worse than traditional teaching because of the hype and reputations of the institutions involved. I might add that Both MIT and Harvard (I have a degree from Harvard) have a massive ratio of prestige to quality.
I for one am happy for online courses like these, they’re much more effective than having to enroll at some traditional institution where the risk of encountering bad teachers or everchanging trends of pedagogy is relatively high. Pedagogues ruin teaching like fanatics ruin religion.
I’ve been unicycling for 35- years… really enjoyed this video. Finally, I know what I’ve been doing! Thanks for making it (even if it isn’t highbrow enough for Mr. Aldrtidge – if that’s really how he spells his name :)
lol…loving the comments! I like that I have a free supplement to the teaching that I do at home. It won’t take the place of curricula but it could help in explanations. So…Yay!
That’s why it’s such a particularly delightful treat for my science-loving homeschooler… who himself unicycles. :)