Via The New York Times
Jesse Roe, a ninth-grade math teacher at a charter school here called Summit, has a peephole into the brains of each of his 38 students.
He can see that a girl sitting against the wall is zipping through geometry exercises; that a boy with long curls over his eyes is stuck on a lesson on long equations; and that another boy in the front row is getting a handle on probability.
Each student’s math journey shows up instantly on the laptop Mr. Roe carries as he wanders the room. He stops at each desk, cajoles, offers tips, reassures. For an hour, this crowded, dimly lighted classroom in the hardscrabble shadow of Silicon Valley hums with the sound of fingers clicking on keyboards, pencils scratching on paper and an occasional whoop when a student scores a streak of right answers.
The software program unleashed in this classroom is the brainchild of Salman Khan, an Ivy League-trained math whiz and the son of an immigrant single mother. Mr. Khan, 35, has become something of an online sensation with hisKhan Academy math and science lessons on YouTube, which has attracted up to 3.5 million viewers a month.
Now he wants to weave those digital lessons into the fabric of the school curriculum — a more ambitious and as yet untested proposition.
This semester, at least 36 schools nationwide are trying out Mr. Khan’s experiment: splitting up the work of teaching between man and machine, and combining teacher-led lessons with computer-based lectures and exercises.
“What Khan represents is a model that’s tapped into the desire that everyone has to personalize the learning experience and get it cheap and quick,” said Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement at the Education Department.
Today, the Khan Academy site offers 2,700 instructional videos and a constellation of practice exercises. Master one concept, move on to the next. Earn rewards for a streak of correct answers. For teachers, there is an analytics dashboard that shows both an aggregate picture of how the class is doing and a detailed map of each student’s math comprehension. In other words, a peephole.