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Current time:0:00Total duration:20:27

Salman Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education | TED Talk | 2011

Video transcript

Khan Academy is most known for its its collection of videos so before I go any farther let me show you a little bit of a montage so the hypotenuse is now going to be 5 this animals fossils are only found in this area of South America nice clean band here and this part of Africa we could integrate over the surface and the notation usually is a capital Sigma National Assembly they create the Committee of Public Safety which sounds like a very nice committee notice this is an aldehyde and it's an alcohol start differentiating into effector and memory cells a galaxy hey there's another galaxy oh look there's another galaxy and $4 is there 30 million plus the 20 million dollars from the American manufacturer if this does not blow your mind then you have no emotion we now have on the order of 2,200 videos covering everything from basic arithmetic all the way to vector calculus and some of the stuff that you saw up there we have a million students a month using the site watching on the order of a hundred to two hundred thousand videos a day but we're going to talk about and this is how we're going to the next level but before I do that I want to talk a little bit about really just how I got started and some of y'all might know about five years ago I was an analyst at a hedge fund and I was in Boston and I was tutoring my cousin's in New Orleans remotely and I started putting the first YouTube videos up really just as kind of a nice to have just kind of a supplement for my cousin something that might you know give them a refresher or something and as soon as I put those first YouTube videos up something interesting happen or actually a bunch of interesting things happen the first was the feedback from my cousin's they told me that they preferred me on youtube than in person and and once once you get over the backhanded nature of that there was actually something very profound there they were saying that they preferred the automated version of their cousin to their cousin at first it's very unintuitive but when you actually think about from their point of view it makes a ton of sense you have this situation where now they can pause and repeat their cousin now they can without feeling like they're wasting my time they could if they have to review something that they should have learned a couple of weeks ago or maybe a couple of years ago they don't have to be embarrassed and ask their cousin they can just watch those videos if they're bored they can go ahead they can watch it at their own time at their own pace and probably the the least appreciated I guess aspect of this is the notion that the very first time the very first time that you're trying to get your brain around a new concept the very last thing you need is another human being saying do you understand this and that's what was happening with the interaction with my cousin's before and now they could just do it kind of in kind of a in the intimacy of their of their of our own room the other thing that happened is you know I put them on YouTube just just you know fur for the you guys I saw no reason to make it private so I I let other people watch it and then people started stumbling on it and and I started getting some comments and some letters and and all sorts of kind of feedback from from random people around the world and you know these are just a few this is actually from one of the original calculus videos and someone wrote just on YouTube it was a youtube comment first time I smiled doing a derivative and let's let's pause here this person did a derivative and then they smiled and then in response to that same comment this is on the thread you could go on YouTube and look at these comments someone else wrote same thing here I actually got a natural high and a good mood for the entire day since I remember seeing all of this matrix text in class and here I'm all like I know kung fu let's see and we got a lot of feedback along those lines you know that's clearly was helping people but then as the viewership kept growing and kept growing I started getting letters from from people and it was starting to become clear that it was actually more than just a nice-to-have that this is just an excerpt from one of one of those letters my twelve-year-old son has autism and has had a terrible time with math we have tried everything viewed everything bought everything we stumbled on your video done decimals and it got through then we went on to the dreaded fractions again he got it we could not believe it he is so excited and so you can imagine you know here I was a an analyst at a hedge fund I it was very strange for me to do something of social value I was a but uh I I was excited so I kept going and then a few things other things started to dawn on me that not only would it help my cousin's right now or these people who are sending letters but it could may be that this content will never go old that it could help their kids or their grandkids if Isaac Newton had done YouTube videos on calculus I wouldn't have to sue sue assuming he was good we don't know the other thing that happened you know even at this point you know I said okay maybe it's a good supplement is good for motivated students it's good for maybe home schoolers but I didn't think it would be something that would somehow penetrate the classroom but then I start getting letters from teachers and the teachers would write saying we've used your videos to flip the classroom you've given the lectures so now what we do and this could actually happen in every classroom in America tomorrow what I do is I assign the lectures for homework and what used to be homework I now have the students doing in the classroom and I want to I want to pause here for I want to pause here for a second because there's a couple of interesting things one when those when those teachers are doing that there's there's the obvious benefit there's the benefit that now they're there students can enjoy the videos in the way that my cousin's did they can pause repeat at their own pace at their own time but the more interesting thing this is the unintuitive thing when you talk about technology in the classroom by removing the one size fits all lecture from the classroom and letting and letting students have a self-paced lecture at home and then when you go to the classroom letting them do work having the student the teacher walk around having the peers actually be able to interact with each other these teachers have used technology to humanize the classroom they took a fundamentally dehumanizing experience a bunch of thirty kids with their fingers on their lips not allowed to interact with each other a teacher no matter how good has to give this kind of one size fits all lecture to thirty students you know blank faces slightly antagonistic and now it's a human experience now they're actually interacting with each other so once the Khan Academy kind of you know I quit my job and we turn into a real organization or not-for-profit the question is how do we take this to the next level how do we take what those teachers were doing to their natural conclusion and so what I'm showing over here these are actual exercises that I started writing for my cousin's the ones I started were much more primitive this is a kind of a more competent version of it but the paradigm here is well we'll generate as many questions as you need until you get that concept until you get ten in a row and the the Khan Academy videos are there you get hints the actual steps for that problem if you don't know how to do it but the parrot I mean it seems like a very simple thing ten in a row you move on but it's fundamentally different than what's happening in classrooms right right now in a traditional classroom you have a couple of a homework homework lecture homework lecture and you have a snapshot exam and that exam whether you get a 70% at 80% and 90% or 95% the class moves on to the next topic and even that 95% student what was the 5% they didn't know maybe they didn't know what what happens when you raise something to the to the zeroth power and then you go build on that in the next concept that's analogous to imagine learning to ride a bike and I give you a bicycle maybe I'll give you a lecture ahead of time and and I give you that that bicycle for two weeks and then I come back after two weeks and I say well let's see you're having trouble taking left turns you can't quite stop you're you're an 80% bicyclist so I put a big C stamp on your forehead and then I say here's a unicycle but as ridiculous as that sounds that's exactly what's happening in our classrooms right now and and and the idea is you know you fast forward and students start good students start failing algebra all of a sudden and start failing calculus all of a sudden despite it being smart despite having good teachers and it's usually because they had these Swiss cheese gaps that kept building throughout their foundation so our model is learn math the way you would learn anything like the way you would learn a bicycle stay on that bicycle fall off that bicycle do it as long as necessary until you have mastery the traditional model it penalizes you for experimentation and failure but does not expect mastery we encourage you to experiment we encourage you to failure but we do expect mastery this is just one another one of the modules this is trigonometry this is shifting and reflecting functions and and they all fit together we have we have about 90 of these right now and you could go to the site right now it's all free not trying to sell anything but the general idea is that they all fit into this knowledge map that top node right there that's literally single-digit addition it's like one plus one is equal to two and the paradigm is once you get ten in a row on that and it keeps forward you to more and more advanced modules so if you keep so it keep this further down the knowledge map or getting into more advanced arithmetic further down you start getting into pre-algebra and early algebra further down you start getting into a Algebra one algebra to a little bit of precalculus and the idea is from this we can actually teach everything well everything that can be taught in this type of a framework so you can imagine and this is what we are working on is from this knowledge map you have logic you have computer programming you have grammar you have genetics all based off of that core of okay if you know this and that now you're ready for this next concept now that can work well for an individual learner you know and then I encouraged one for you to do with your kids but I also encourage everyone in the audience to do it yourself it'll it'll change what happens at the dinner table but what we want to do is use the natural conclusion of the flipping of the classroom that those early teachers had emailed me about and so what I'm showing you here this is actually data from a pilot in the Los Altos School District where they took two fifth grade classes and two seventh grade classes and completely gutted their old math curriculum these kids aren't using textbooks they're not getting one-size-fits-all lectures they're doing Khan Academy they're doing that software for roughly half of their math class and I want to make it clear we don't view this as the complete math education what it does is and this is what's happening in Los Altos it frees up time this is the blocking and tackling making sure you know how to do with a system of equations and it frees up time for the simulations for the games for the mechanics for the for the robot building for the estimating how high that hill is based on its on its shadow and so the paradigm is the teacher walks in every day every kid works at their own pace and a teacher get this is actually a live dashboard from Los Altos School District and they look at this dashboard every row is a student every column is one of those concepts green means the students already proficient blue means that they're working on it no need to worry red means they're stuck and what the teacher does is literally just says let me intervene on the red kids or even better let me get one of the green kids who are already proficient in that concept to be the first line of attack and actually tutor their act their peer now I kind of come from a very data-centric reality so we don't want that teacher to even go and intervene and have to ask the kid awkward questions Oh what do you not understand or what do you do understand in all of the rest so our paradigm is to really arm the teachers with as much data as possible really data that in almost any other field is expected if you're in finance or marketing or manufacturing and so the teachers can actually diagnose what's wrong with the students so that they can make their interaction as productive as possible so now the teachers know exactly what the students been up to how long they've been spending every day what videos have they been watching when did they pause the videos what did they stop watching what exercises are they using what have they been focused on the outer circle shows what the exercises they're focused on the inner circle shows the videos they're focused on and the data gets pretty granular so you can actually see the exact problems that the student got right or wrong red is wrong blue is right the leftmost question is the first question that the student attempted they watch the video right over there and then you could see eventually they were able to get ten in a row it's almost like you can almost see them learning over those last ten problems they also got faster the height is how long it took them so you know when you talk about self-paced learning it makes sense for everyone you know education speak differentiated learning but it's kind of crazy what happens when you actually see it in a classroom because every every time we've done this in every classroom we've done over and over again if you go five days into it there's a group of kids who've raced ahead and there's a group of kids who are a little bit slower and in a traditional model if you did a snapshot assess but you say oh these are the gifted kids these are the slow kids maybe they should be tracked differently maybe we should put them in different classes but when you let every student work at their own pace so we see it over and over and over again you see students who took a little bit extra time on one concept or the other but once they get through that concept they just race ahead and so the same kids that you thought were slow six weeks ago you now would think are gifted and we're seeing it over and over and over again it makes you really wonder kind of how much all of the labels maybe a lot of us have benefited from we're really just due to a coincidence of time now as valuable as something like this is in a district like Los Altos our goal is is to use technology to humanize not just in Los Altos but kind of on a global scale well what's happening in education and actually that kind of brings an interesting point is it you know a lot of the effort in humanizing the classroom is focused on student to teacher ratios in our mind the relevant metric is student to valuable human time with the teacher ratio so in a traditional model most of the teachers time is spent doing lectures and grading tests and whatnot maybe five percent of their time is actually sitting next to students and actually working with them now hundred percent of their time is so once again using technology not just flipping the classroom you're humanizing the classroom I'd argue by it by a factor of five or ten and as valuable as it is in Los Altos imagine what that does to the adult learner who's embarrassed to go back and learn stuff that they should have known before before going back to college imagine imagine what it does to a kid a street kid in Calcutta who has to help his family during the day and that's the reason why he or she can't go to school now they can spend two hours a day and remediate or get up to speed and not feel embarrassed about what they do or or don't know now imagine what happens where you know we talked about the peers teaching each other inside of a classroom but this is all one system there's no reason why you can't have that that peer to peer tutoring beyond that one classroom imagine what happens if that student in Calcutta all of a sudden can tutor your son or your son can tutor that kid in Calcutta and I think what you'll see emerging is this notion of a global one-world classroom and that's that's essentially what we're what we're trying to build thank you huh time okay I've seen some things you're doing in the system that have to do with motivation and feedback energy points merit badges tell me what you're thinking there oh yeah no we have an awesome team working on is not and I have to be clear it's not just me anymore I'm still doing all the videos we have a kind of a rockstar team doing the software yeah we've put a bunch of game mechanics in there you get these badges we're gonna start having leaderboards by areas and you get points it's actually been pretty interesting just the wording of the badging or how many points you get for doing something we see on the system-wide basis like tens of thousands of like fifth graders or sixth graders going one direction or another depending on what you know that bad you give them and that collaboration you're doing with Los Altos how did that come about yeah don't los altos been kinda it was kind of crazy they once again I didn't expect it to be used in classrooms someone from from their board came and said oh what would you do if you had carte blanche in a classroom and I said well you know I would just every student work at their own pace on something like this we'd give a dashboard it you know and they said oh this is kind of radical we have to think about it and I mean the rest of the team like oh you know they're never going to want to do this but literally the next day they're like can you can you start in two weeks yeah okay so it's fifth-grade math it's four that's point two fifth grade classes and to seventh grade classes and I think they're doing at the district level I think what they're excited about is they can now follow these kids it's not an only in-school thing I mean we've even you know on Christmas we saw some of the kids we're doing and we can track everything so they can actually track them as they go through the entire district through the summers as they go from one teacher to an X you have this continuity of data that that even at the district level they can see so some of those views we saw were for the teacher to go in and track actually what's going on with those those kids so you're getting feedback on those teacher views to see what they think they need oh yeah actually most of those were were kind of specs by the teachers we made some of those for students so they could see their data but you know we have a very tight design loop with the teachers themselves and their lure saying hey you know this is nice but I like that focus graph a lot of students a lot of the teacher said I have a feeling that a lot of the kids are jumping around and not focusing on one topic so we made that focus a diagram form so it's all been teacher driven it's it's been it's been pretty cray is this ready for primetime do you think a lot of class classes next school year should try this thing out yeah it's ready it's you know it's uh we got a million people on the side already so we can handle a few more and it's uh it's no no reason why why it really can't happen in every classroom in America tomorrow and that the vision of the tutoring thing the idea there is if I'm confused about a topic somehow right and user-interface I'd find people who are volunteering maybe see their reputation and I could schedule and connect up with those people absolutely you know and this is something I recommend everyone this audience to do is you can that those dashboards the teachers have you can go log in right now and you could get you can essentially become a coach for your for your kids your nephews your cousins or maybe some kids at the Boys and Girls Club and yeah you can start becoming a mentor tutor really immediately but yeah it's all there well it's amazing I I think you've just got a glimpse of the future of Education thank you thank you you