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It is an honor to have you visit, read and respond: I hold you, your writing and your wisdom in high esteem. It is not that I entirely love every single element of Khan Academy; of course not. However, it lacks some essential elements for me to see it as anything other than another teaching tool – albeit a potentially powerful one. Reading your response brings me some chagrin; I know that in my writing I can become sometimes too worked up, sometimes in negative and sometimes in positive, directions, and let my enthusiasm get the better of me. We don’t need a new way to get lectured; we need to stop lecturing. That being said, if the model is to replace DI with Khan, and then focus mostly on standardized test results, much of the value of KA’s potential will pass by the wayside. These are difficult questions for anyone to have to ask of oneself as a professional educator, but I want to humbly suggest that they are great questions to be asking, with or without Khan Academy to prompt them. I was there with you. It had the same Rock Star feeling. Teachers can review the analytics of the student practice, and similarly identify exactly in which skill areas students are finding difficulty, and intervene accordingly. I perceive that there is a spectrum of educational philosophies on display in this discussion, and I perceive myself to be something of a center-left thinker, but (obviously) not a progressive or constructivist purist. Essentially, I find myself agreeing with the likes of Will Richardson, Gary Stager and Chris Lehman. If we feel that a child can educated through a lectured video series, we are failing our kids. I know I am not the only one to notice the response this new technique of reverse instruction is receiving: educators all over are jumping to the concept with great enthusiasm. This admin button appears wherever you have rights to alter a set of blocks. The story begins only two or three years ago, I believe: Khan, hedge fund manager, was tutoring his nephews and nieces at a family gathering in math, and after the family dispersed, he offered to continue tutoring and began using web-video as a tool for tutoring. Really? Because it’s video and it’s online? I’ve forgotten 90% of the math I “learned” because this is the exact same way that it was delivered to me only with a real teacher in the room trying his or her best to cover the curriculum so I could pass the test. Having seen the Khan material used in a class recently to highlight a concept, I was actually quite taken aback at how rudimentary the lesson was in terms of pedagogy. The point: steal ideas from everyone, apply what you can and leave out the rest.

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Teachers have a much greater importance in my kids’ lives than what Sal Khan offers. In his talk ten days ago, help doing my essay Khan explained his emphasis on “mastery:” students are not able to proceed to the next unit of study until they get ten problems in a row correct. The capture and storage or printing of any photos or artwork contained on this website is expressly forbidden. If the Kahn Academy is used to provide last minute cramming before a test how is it really any different to a text book – albeit one that uses a different modality? Education will only truly be transformed when we stop trying to jam content into our kids’ heads and start allowing them to explore and learn in contexts that feed their desire to keep learning. The problem is when teachers start to say that ‘this is the way to teach’…there is no such thing! Look, I don’t think Khan Academy can or should be a holistic program of education. How is this any different than reading a text book, answering the question at the end, checking the answer at the back, and then re-reading the text to “find the right answers”. I think KA will be an amazing resource, it is free, and very valuable. I think, and I know Khan thinks, that our classrooms can become again rich, employment law homework help stimulating, collaborative labs and studios, not lecture halls, if the content delivery/skill modeling can happen in short, concise nuggets of online videos, not too long for those who don’t need them, pause-able and re-playable for those who do. If we think that a problem set that, when the student gets the answer wrong, directs them back to the video is educating our kid, I fear we are not developing the thinkers the world needs? The ones who are asking these questions are the ones who will successfully transition; it is the ones not asking these questions we need to be concerned about for their future. Whether I agree with it or not, I still have to cover 12 chapters of my Algebra 1 textbook. Others, such as those who dont want to be in school, likely wont jump on Khan’s approaches either. Yes. Will I use it during class time? I have been writing a lot in recent months about how use of Khan academy on-line video lectures, and other tools akin to KA, are inspiring new approaches to teaching and learning,  (Reverse Instruction, Collapsing Binaries, and Advancing the Flip) so it was very exciting for me to hear Khan discuss how educators around the country are engaged in a fast-rising conversation about how his videos for content delivery so that our classrooms can become places of tutoring, collaboration, projects, and inquiry learning. Again, it lies outside the realms of this response. All this is explained in a ten minute video that I suggest to you, my fellow principals and 21st century educators, you really do want to watch. Being five years removed from high school, I still remember sitting in class, wondering if the teacher had any idea how well anyone grasped the key concepts of the course. As an administrator, you will have the custom page editing tools auto-load. I know that you are not suggesting that this is a replacement for good teaching, but rather something to augment the understanding of certain specific ideas. For both these sets of teachers, if we can offload these elements of teaching to KA, our classrooms can then return to being the laboratories and studios we seek for inquiry, application, constructivism, testing, and mastery. Today, our students live in a world of information overload.” We need to work with students to create dialogue around the information and encourage them to challenge ideas. If they miss class they can still access the lecture; if they are reviewing weeks or months later it is always still there for them.

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So I agree with you- Sal Khan, Transformer. However, our teachers see advantages and strengths in the KA system over Khan, and, in what is a big difference, Khan Academy is entirely free. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. But I continue to think there are basic fundamental skills students still need to develop, and things they need to learn and master, and that sometimes we need to teach them this with direct instruction. I am not a fan of awards and I do not believe a Nobel Prize for education would help us in creating a better system… especially if the winner is someone who has taken key pieces from a bad system and emphasized them through technology. I can’t believe I never thought of this before, but what an amazing idea: I can’t wait to try this back at  my school. We are in the midst of creating Fake Facebook Walls for famous mathematicians. SchoolBlocks offers a unique and powerful personalized search system. No individual, by my lights, is going to more greatly transform how learning works in the next decade than Khan, and in person he was charming, energetic, and inspiring. True, some students may respond well to a video format such as that offered by the Khan Academy. Like many others I can concede that The Khan Academy certainly has a place in education. As such, student abilities are going to be even more widely distributed than they are now. However, every educator will stress the importance of students being able to synthesise their knowledge, of being able to see the whole rather than the part. Distribution or publication of printouts in the absence of specific authorization from Cengage Learning is expressly forbidden. It may be time for educators to revisit this concept and the associated one of a “standardized” education itself. I wrote a post of my own in response to this. If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website. Then that child utilized that knowledge to teach some of his peers or even used it to create something derivative that taught how to do something he was passionate about. The “badge” system for merit in using the Khan academy practice tools makes me a little uncomfortable, and I shudder to think what Alfie Kohn would make of it.

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It is a reflection of the attitude that education is nothing more than the transmission of skills – which should not be confused with understanding or insight – and certainly not wisdom. Since 2010, CalcChat has served more than 6 million students with FREE worked-out solutions and tutoring. I agree with you and believe that Sal Khan is presenting an innovative, progressive way for teachers to better work and serve in their classrooms. I’ll end with an extended quote from Khan, from a piece he wrote last fall in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Youtube U. As Gary so rightly suggests in that thread, a la Seymour Papert, once you teach a child something, you take away his chance to learn it. In my observations, I have seen many , many classrooms where teachers feel an enormous obligation to deliver content and model/train skills via lectures, at the white-board, in the front of the room, for most or all of a period. Login to view additional information on features available to registered users. Telling a creative teacher, who can bring multiple resources to a variety of learning styles, not to use Khan academy would be folly.

Three CAC Professors Secure Competitive Lecturer Positions

CAC celebrates having three of their current lecturers win competitive lecturer contracts.

Dr. Jennifer Myers — Film Studies (AMC)

Myers was originally hired at UWT in the Winter of 2013. She has taught courses in Media Genres, Great Directors and Introduction to Film Studies during her time at UWT and has created a course on campus called “World Film” (T FILM 387, 388) which examines major cinematic movements, trends and individual works between 1927 and 2000.

In Spring 2015, Myers was hired as a Full Time Lecturer after a competitive interview process. She will continue her job teaching and in service of the university.

In her free time she escapes to the great outdoors, skiing, fly fishing and hiking. She is a frequent flier to Oregon where she spends time with her family. Her mother suffers from acute Rheumatoid Arthritis and her niece is severely Autistic, so Myers spends as much time as she can caring for and loving them.

Carbon Challenge Tests Student Resolve

In case you missed the possible grumblings of the many carnivores of UWT transitioning to vegetarian or vegan diets this past Fall quarter, many staff, students, and faculty have since completed the Carbon Challenge, a grant receiving project as a part of UW’s Green Seed Fund.

Students, staff, faculty and even the president of the University of Washington Ana Mari Cauce herself pledged to make a change after receiving the challenge.

Since Autumn of 2014, Dr. Ellen Moore (Communication) has challenged the students in her Contemporary Environmental Issues in Media course to lose 5,000 pounds...of carbon. Moore was inspired after participating in a variant of the challenge in 2014 in competition with her fellow commissioners of the Sustainable Tacoma Commission –– “Tacoma’s Biggest Loser” –– in which she “lost” the most carbon and was crowned the winner.

CAC Students Speak Up, Saying, “No,” to Methanol Plant

A $3.4 million proposed methanol plant at the Port of Tacoma has sparked outrage and controversy in the local community.

Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) proposed the construction of the plant, and if passed, construction will start as soon as 2017 and begin operating in 2020. Community members are concerned about the negative health and environmental factors that come along with building, and operating the plant.

Brendan Resnikoff, a senior in American Studies, believes that this poses a great risk to Tacoma and it should be evaluated based on the risk to human health, rather than the economic impact.

Tacoma community members have persistently attended hearings, and voiced their opposition to the plant.

Matt Kish: Moby-Dick in Pictures

In March, the CAC welcomed self-made artist Matt Kish to campus.

Kish talked with students and faculty about his book, Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page. What started for Kish as simple desire for a fresh, creative outlet quickly gained a following.

Kish currently works as a librarian, but never attend art school. He has always had a strong interest in art and has been published in several collaborative illustration projects. However, feeling a lack of creativity in his life, he decided embark on a new endeavor. His mission: create one picture for every page of a book that had inspired him throughout his life—Moby-Dick.

Dia de los Muertos with UWT & TAM

Every November the Tacoma Art Museum holds a Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos free community festival and for the fifth year in a row UWT’s Hispanic studies professors and students joined in.                      

The Day of the Dead is a time of year when the two worlds–the world of the living and the world of the dead are close enough where spirits can come back to this world and have some type of communion with them. 

“It’s important to note that not everyone believes and celebrates it the same way, but the idea is to remember family members that have died,” said Hispanic Studies professor Augustus Machine. 

This year’s 11th annual festival included “a Calavera costume contest, traditional foods, and outdoor memorials.” Community members can also set up altars remembering their lost family members, or celebrate the holiday with a themed altar. 

Arts Alive at UWT

CAC hosted several events at UWT recently that united students and invigorated the campus community.

 Bread and Puppet Theater

Last October, the Bread and Puppet Theater paid a visit to UWT. The theater is well known for performing shows that exhibit social relevant storytelling through puppetry, street and community theater, and song. The politically radical theater is based in Glover, Vermont, but tours all over the world.

CAC faculty members Beverly Naidus (Arts, Media, Culture) and Michael Kula (Writing Studies) helped organize and facilitate the visit to campus, where the group performed their Vietnam War era protest piece: Fire.

Art Students Featured at Museum of Glass

This past March, a group of students came together to build a sculpture overlooking the Thea Foss Waterway. The project, inspired by the book The Boys in the Boat, was installed at the Museum of Glass as part of the Pierce County Library’s Pierce County READS program.

The art piece, created as part of T ARTS 367 Objects and Art taught by AMC Senior Lecturer Tyler Budge, is a tribute not only to the book, but to the “boys” who hailed from University of Washington and went on to win the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in the rowing competition against Nazi Germany.

Budge was contacted by the UW Library and asked if he would like to be a part of the presentation. He said if his class could be a part of it, then he would most definitely be willing to create a piece to commemorate the book and the story behind it. Once the decision was made, Budge tossed his syllabus aside and his class and he began the process of creating their masterpiece.

La Fountain Addresses The Drag of Poverty

In April, nationally recognized scholar Larry La Fountain presented to faculty, staff, students and Tacoma community members his work entitled “The Drag of Poverty: Erika Lopez, Holly Woodlawn, Monica Beverly Hillz, Welfare Queens.”

La Fountain, a scholar, writer, and performer, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and now teaching at the University of Michigan, focused on the issue of being a drag queen and the effects it could have on other social issues such as race, class, sexuality and gender. His visit to UWT was made possible through efforts of American Studies and AMC assistant professor Ed Chamberlain.

Much of La Fountain’s presentation focused on Holly Woodlawn in Andy Warhol’s film “Trash,” Monica Beverly Hillz commonly known from the reality television show RuPaul’s “Drag Race,” and Erika Lopez’s, “The Welfare Queen.”

Pulitzer Prize Winner Speaks at UWT

In April, Pulitzer Prize winner for feature writing and author of Enrique’s Journey, Sonia Nazario, spent a day at UWT, interacting with students and faculty and giving a lecture, all as part of the acclaimed UW Walker-Ames Lecture Series.

Enrique’s Journey is the story of one Honduran boy looking for his mother, after she left her starving family to find work in the United States.

“Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers,” according to enriquesjourney.com.

She echoed her discussion from her book of her three-month journey made on top of trains across South America to chronicle the story of Enrique, and how her experiences changed her view of unaccompanied, undocumented child migrants.

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