Effective Technology in Education Innovation

Khan Academy, which began in 2004 as a small collection of youtube tutorials by Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard, has become a library of free educational videos that has has earned the recognition and support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Google. With over 3,000 mini lectures in 15 subjects, mostly in sciences, technology, and math, Khan Academy’s mission of “providing a free world class education to anyone, anywhere,” is reaching across the globe, from rural Asia to classrooms in America, and is transforming the paradigm of education with a de-centralized, student-centered approach to learning.

At KhanAcademy.org, video lectures are simple, the only audio being Khan’s voice and the only visual a colorful virtual whiteboard. They are also short, each lesson about fifteen minutes long, despite covering subjects in diverse fields levels K-12. However, Khan has found that he simplicity lends accessibility. In an interview with 60 minutes he said, “I’ve got a lot of feedback from people who say it feels like I’m sitting next to them and we’re looking at the paper together…I think that’s what people like, the humanity of it.” In addition, the website also offers practice exercises and peer-to-peer tutorials, and software to track one’s own progress.
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CKS works with Sam Pitroda and the NInC towards a Centre of Design Innovation

February 1, 2012. New Delhi. The National Innovation Council, headed by Sam Pitroda, is working on building twenty educational centers across India that focus on Design and Innovation. In order to accomplish this, they invited several relevant entities, of which CKS is one, to present their ideas and provide their expertise for constructing such a center. CKS presented its proposal for one of these centers today, and looks forward to knowing the outcome.

Apple’s Educational Innovation

Thursday, Apple announced three new apps, aimed at innovating education, specifically the use of textbooks, as well as selling the ipad as the new essential educational tool.

The first app, iBooks Author, allows educators to create an interactive textbook of their own design, which can be perfectly fitted to the course they teach.

iTunes U, the second app, allows educators and students to share entire courses, including all the materials. Video or audio lectures and ebooks would allow anyone to take any class available from anywhere in the world.

Finally, a new textbook store, iBooks 2, would sell ebook versions of high school and college textbooks. CNN reported that, “Apple said it is partnering with several major textbook companies — including Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who will make e-books for the store…” These textbooks have advantages in their ability to be more interactive, advertizing simulated dissections and responsive diagrams, as well as note taking abilities.

While there is much to be excited about, in regards to the more interactive text books or even lower prices of the ebook version, the question of general affordability of the necessary apple products, or the feasibility of a classroom full of ipads are concerns that need to be raised. Apple’s intention, however, to recreate how courses are taught, is an interesting direction in educational innovation.