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"Let Go!"

"Let Go!"

Written by Travis Powell
January 11, 2012

TED Talks: Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent (aid) education

About Khan Academy

I use Khan Academy  as a resource to clarify mathematical concepts for an integrated classroom of 9th – 12th graders at a Charter school in Oregon. I personal use Khan on a regular basis to continue my acquisition of mathematics & quantitative reasoning. I am 38 years old, and and the more I learn the more I come to the realization of how little it is I know. My honesty disarms my need to pretend I know more than do. I will tell you when I do not know something and if inspired, I will work to find the answer. 

Many of the colleagues (students) that I have worked with over the years, have arrived at the Charter with a defeated spirit as it concerns education. Many describe a “Ground Hogs Day Syndrome,” concerning their educational career. Continually repeating processes that do not yield to clarification of the subject matter, nor model the relevance of core concepts being applied to ones world. 

They are bright, insightful, intelligent, artistic, … however, their perspective of their ability has been altered due to their remedial skills in mathematics. This has fostered a resistance to remedy these deficits or work to grasp more abstract concepts. 

The Prussian model of education I received, did not properly introduced me to the mathematical concepts, quantitative reasoning, or the beauty of the application of math that makes our world possible in 2012. 

Questions I continually ask myself are:

“How do I as an educator better equip myself and my colleagues with the resources to become their own master teacher?”

“How do I purposefully design an environment that is structured for the individual?”

“How do I let go of control & offer options for individuals in educational environments?” 

“Is what I am doing, helping or hurting?” 

Do no harm! 

I have attempted to answer these questions by acknowledging that, technology is exponential and the opportunities to utilize these technologies are exponentially changing educational environments.

Khan Academy is an invaluable resource made available to anyone, free of charge.

This is one resource that my colleagues and I use to remedy deficits in our mathematical understanding and aid in our belief that we are more than capable. 

For those that are filled with trepidation of the thought of being replaced by automated systems, don’t be. Automated systems are not educators. 

“LET GO!” 

Travis Powell 


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