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  • Silver 17:33 on February 16, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: khanacademy   

    IT systems: analyse the hardware and sof… 

    IT systems: analyse the hardware and software necessary to implement Khan Academy as a learning tool in an average Estonian school (approx. 300 words).

    What is necessary to make Khan Academy work in an Estonian school?

    This learning tool is at many aspects one of the greater achievements today, thus require much. Even though, a computer today is ultra fast and powerful, it might at some time run short of supplies that would be necessary for this kind of a project.

    The first necessary part for making this work would be a server1– a more powerful computer that provides other computers connected to it with information, data or other resources. Although it is possible that a single PC can handle this task as mentioned before today’s computers are very fast and powerful, it is much up to the school and its financial state. This means that there in some cases would not be a need for a server, since there are so few students and they could not overrun the computer with requests. In larger schools, facilities a server would be necessary just to cope with the thousands upon thousands of requests by students every day.

    Since records are made of students, who use the tool for learning, there is a necessity for a database2 – stores information in a computer in an organised form. What this does is that it keeps track of students’ activities, stores them in an organised form, letting authorised people access it at all times. This is necessary for helping students, parents and teachers keep track of the students’ studies by looking at tables and graphs. The database will be of good use when dealing with information that would take too much time to monitor manually, such as this project.

    1,2 – “Tomorrow’s technology and you” Ben & George Beekman

    Area of impact: education: Evaluate the possibilities of Khan Academy changing something permanently in education (approx. 300 words).

    Khan Academy – the leading developer in changing the world of education.

    Just from the first look, may it be a promotional video or a personal experience, it can be seen that the developers behind Khan Academy have created something that will change the educational system as we know it.

    As the educational system is concerned, this system would make it a lot easier for teachers to assess students as they individually develop by following graphs and tables and thus not having to follow certain rules set by the educational system which leaves some students worse off. Overall it would make student development easily monitor-able, problems locate-able and easily eliminatable.  It also will be financially beneficial as school houses wouldn’t have to be rented, because all of the information is available online. This would also make the information easily accessible from virtually anywhere from the planet, eliminating the fact of falling behind when illnesses or trips occur. As already mentioned, the possibilities are endless.

    On the other hand, it is hard to implement this type of learning on other subjects, such as English, where the discussion part plays a large role in the students’ understanding of the subjects. Jet another problem would be essays, when and how will they be assessed? An overall issue concerning this system is privacy and academic honesty. Since privacy is a large concern in all aspects that deal with the Internet, it is reasonable to believe that this could become yet another suspect of this kind of felony. As it comes to academic honesty we, IB students, take it for granted not to cheat, but this might not be the case with some students who would desperately be trying to impress their fellow students/parents/teachers using methods that might not be ethical(in some cases even legal).

    As to everything in this world, every coin has two sides. So does this one, on one hand it is a great breakthrough in education, making it easier and more accessible to everyone willing to participate. On the other hand, it’s a way that would lead to difficulties, at some cases even felony. Overall my opinion is left unchanged as I think of the system as a great way of adding variety to studies. This way of learning could become of good use when implemented partially, thus getting the best out of both systems: the strict and rule based learning from one end and the fun, achievement based learning from the other.
    Social and ethical concerns: Identify and evaluate at least two social/ethical concerns related to implementing Khan Academy in Estonian schools (approx. 300 words).

    What concerns might there be when implementing Khan Academy to Estonian schools?

    When a new, innovative idea comes along, people tend to either only look for errors or only see what is good about it. Previously I noted some of the positive aspects, but what can be the concerns(social/ethical)?

    Since schools at the moment require a student to be present and actually show up to the classes in person, people do not really pay attention to the positive effects that this creates, such as social intercourse. This project, when fully functional, would eliminate school, as a physical object from the picture. This means that it is not necessary to be physically present at lessons. One can do them at any given moment, group-work can be handed out and done separately using given possibilities. This eliminates the face-to-face communication that is so very essential to becoming a successful person, that can cope in every given situation. This means that by eliminating the factor of having to show up, one eliminates the possibility of being socially active, a part in a functioning society.

    When all studies are moved to the Internet, there is a higher risk of lack of academic honesty. This means that since the students, when using a personal computer can not be monitored as a student in a classroom can, there instances might occur where the student is using materials that are not allowed. This in turn of course creates for a system of education that does not monitor the knowledge of the student but the skill that one possesses when using the Internet and looking up all the answers. Thus the students will be less ethical and when one is unethical, no one knows what might happen and this would damage the society as a whole.

  • Erik-Silver Toomere 11:47 on February 15, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: khanacademy   



  • Brent 10:52 on February 15, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: khanacademy   

    Yes we Khan! 

    The article talked about education via internet. The site and software in mind was the Khan Academy. At first the K.A. only taught maths, but after a few generous donations it received, it has developed into other subjects like history and science.

    The article has brought out many great points, which really do make KA a good place to learn.

    First of all, students can set their own pace. That is something that is hard to do with a real teacher, because teachers follow the overall pace of the whole class. If a student cannot cope with that pace, they will just fall behind. With KA, students set their own pace, rewind back a text if it is too difficult, so it’s good.

    Teachers can easily follow the progress of the student. It was said in the article, that teachers have the possibility to observe and help along the students that have trouble understanding some problem.

    IT’s free!!!

    It’s GREAT

    *The thing*

    Life is full of challenges. One of the most notorious place where these challenges arise is MATHS. Maths is everywhere, but mostly it is our enemy in school. But indeed it is a smart enemy. However one tries to tackle it, it constantly comes up with new and improved obstacles to thwart one’s progress. Luckily there are mentors who help , but being in a class, they do not always have time, to help. The Khan Academy can come and help. The Khan Academy presents a excellent opportunity, as a lifeline, for students in need for more support at maths. Because of its videos and hints it can make the toughest exercises understandable for the one’s in need for additional help. The possibilities of teacher observance also means, a teacher can give the student, in need for support, additional attention ,in school. Though the Khan Academy may have its limits, with subject that aren’t logical by nature or facts based. It is a great help in the subjects it already can help.

    *The Last task*

    The Khan academy is an Internet based and Free, learning program. Because it is free, the schools do not have to pay for the rights of using it, thus more funding can go into making it possible, for the schools to use it.

    To use the Khan Academy, the required hardware would be, a computer, monitor, mouse and a keyboard. Because Khan Academy only requires the Internet capability the computers do not have to bee too powerful and thus not too expensive. For a class of thirty the cost of buying this hardware would be about 6824€ which may sound like much, but it would be a one time investment. The problem here can be, that If Khan Academy would be used, not only for maths, but also for the other subjects, it is striving for, the cost of buying the computers may get too high for schools which have more than a few hundred students.
    Another option would be to buy a mainframe. Because of the cost of a mainframe (starting from about 74 000 € ) it would be smart to buy one for a number of schools. The terminals would be cheap to get and in the big picture this would be a more affordable option for larger schools.
    The cost on behalf of the software would only come from the OS, because the Internet browsers are free, and as said before, so is the Khan Academy itself.
    If the Khan Academy would become an official part of the curriculum it would logically bring with it many changes. The amount and the impact of the changes depends on the extent Khan Academy would be integrated into the education system.
    It would help teachers spot students who have difficulty going through the material. The Khan Academy has many features, which help teachers observe the progress of students. Because of those features, the teachers can help the students with greater efficiency than they do right now, because they would not waste time repeating the whole material to all of the students, but just problematic parts to the students, who actually need it.
    The Khan Academy itself can also help teaching the students, with the ability to show hints which show how to solve the particular exercise, the student has trouble with. It also has an arsenal of videos, which also show how to tackle any problem maths is capable to throw at someone.
    All these features would change the educational system in a way of making the teachers more like mentors and just leave the mainstream teaching process into the hands of the mighty Khan and his Academy.
    The problem with the Khan Academy Can be that it eliminates the social side of studying. Right now students communicate with teachers and each other to tackle the problems they are faced. If Khan Academy would be integrated, this would thwart the development of social skills. Students would no longer require to talk to each other, or find the answers out by discussions. This would be a serious problem, because the popularity of internet based communications is already making people less capable of communicating live, with each other. Khan Academy would just help along the development of this problem by bringing it to the school as well.
    Introducing Khan Academy to the curriculum then would make teaching and studying relatively easy, but as a downside would eliminate social development of the students. That’s why it would be smart to integrate it only partially into the system. Otherwise it would have a large negative impact in the long run.

  • Silver 10:51 on February 15, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: khanacademy   

    The Khan Academy is: A free educational … 

    The Khan Academy is:

    • A free educational program, that provides infinite possibilities.
    • Gaining popularity as we speak, as the only thing nessesary is an internet connection (at this moment, already over 2000 educational videos, that students can play, pause, rewind etc.
    • An educational program suitable for the Future, development is rapid to make for a more fun and interesting learning experience.

    Evaluate Khan Academy from the prospective of IB HL math student


    • On this site, since everyting has been collected into a neat list of topics, it is very simple to revise for the maths exam.
    • Achievements are motivating, they make students want to achieve them, thus creating an interresting learning experience suitable for both the old and the young.
    • Random exercises provide a possibility of doing exercises at home to furthermore consolidate the material one has learned at school.
    • Teachers can monitor the students progress and easily see where the student is stuck. This helps for a fast pace learning process where every student is individually assessed and helped, when needed.
    • Every problem comes with a possibilty of using hints to aid the student through harder and harder problems.
    • Almost endless potential.


    • Since computer technology is subjectible to hacks, the information gathered about the student might not be valid enough for a correct conclusion.
    • The program could have errors, that would give invalid information about a student.
    • Achievements could become a source for “nolifing”, which means that a student spends too much time being hooked to the site doing non-chellenging exercises consurning his level. This prevents a smooth and constant development of student knowledge.
    • As a IB student, the problems might seem out of context and be too easy or one-dimentional, ignoring the need for actual logical thinking.
  • Erik-Silver Toomere 10:50 on February 15, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: khanacademy,   

    Khan Academy 

    Why it’s going to be awesome:
    1. Video education means that students can learn at their own pace, teachers are there only to help students along if/when they get stuck
    2. It only costs as much as you pay for the Internet, so it is free
    3. Hopefully Khan University will be the harbinger of the future

    My personal opinion why it’s awesome:
    In my opinion Khan Academy will definitely be the stepping stone towards future in education.
    When I was a little boy one of my favourite movies was Starship Troopers, there I saw the amazing future where in the school the students did not have to lug around big bags filled with textbooks and workbooks, every classroom simply had a device similar to the iPad where all the school material resided in. Now, years later when everybody has an iPad or laptop, I can say with certainty that it is a future that we will soon have with the Khan Academy!
    They currently have around 2000 videos on maths and of course the interactive tasks you can do. And personally I like this very much because I suck at math. I will obviously begin using Khan Academy in my math studies and see how it goes. I can not give my full evaluation but what I have seen thusfar is amazing.
    So yeah… I think it is very awesome!

    Just awesome:
    The ITGS triangle and Khan Academy:
    IT systems: analyse the hardware and software necessary to implement Khan Academy as a learning tool in an average Estonian school
    In this matter there are three ways, there are the two cheap-ish ways and the big spender way. I am going to analyze all of them in order.
    First cheap-ish way, for this we have to turn our eyes South-West to Argentina where there is a government-led programme titled simply “Laptop per child”. The idea is very simple: cheap laptops with very basic operating systems are given to children for free for them to do their school-related things.
    I suspect that Ordi could accomplish this in Estonia if they really wanted to.
    The total cost would probably be around 20-60 Euros per laptop, multiplied by all the first graders in Estonia in 2011, which should be 13 992 and arrive at a total sum that is between 279 840 and 839 520 Euros. Cheap-ish.

    Second cheap-ish way is to put video projectors in every classroom, project Khan Academy and let students copy-paste things old school pen and paper way.
    If we take the 13 992 students again and divide by 30 students per classroom we will need to put projectors into 466 classrooms, cheap projectors cost around 100 Euros thus the total sum would be 46 600 Euros minus the cost of pens and papers. Rather cheap really.

    And then the big-spender way, give every child a personal computer or a tablet or furnish classrooms with Windows Surface-type of tables, apply some Firefox and Facebook or Google and Khan Academy will arrive at everyone’s fingertips. Literally. The total cost of this would be astronomical but it sure would look cool and like something from a science fiction movie.

    Area of impact: education: Evaluate the possibilities of Khan Academy changing something permanently in education
    This all depends on whether Khan Academy becomes ‘mainstream’ or not. By that I mean whether schools begin using Khan Academy or not. If yes then the education system will be changed permanently for years to come.
    Students can choose their own pace for studying and they can repeat things until they understand all of it thoroughly. Instead of just sitting, listening and noting down what the teacher says students can actually now take control and study themself for themselves.
    School as a concept will change as well. Schools will just become places where students gather if they really want to have contact with eachother for study groups or just group work and teachers will be there to give examples or assistance ‘old school’.

    Of course there are minus sides as well. What motivates the students to carry on studying if they can control when and how they study? If a student decides that he does not want to carry on studying then there is nothing to stop him from skipping ‘school’ and school work.

    For all of this to work Khan Academy has to first cover everything there is to cover in a curriculum and then find a way to make it favorable enough for the schools to adopt it.

    Social and ethical concerns: Identify and evaluate at least two social/ethical concerns related to implementing Khan Academy in Estonian schools
    I believe the ethical side is the language. Khan Academy is versatile enough to be implemented since Day 1 of school therefore what stops an Estonian youngster from choosing English to remain his or her primary language? What stops the Estonian language from dying out? On one hand it would be beneficial for Estonia to become a fluent English-speaking country, on the other hand what is the point of having a cultural country without the main cultural element: the language. It is great to think of an unified Europe speaking one country but ethically it is impossible to mix such diverse cultures.
    Though seeing as we already abolished one cultural element we had, the Estonian kroon, then abolishing the language sounds impossible unless it happens willingly and unknowingly, a very Orwellian topic indeed.

    The social side is the teachers. After setting up the Khan study system what stops the teachers from leaving? A lot of the teachers teach because they enjoy the contact with students. If all they do is stare at changing numbers on computer screens they will eventually get bored and move on to other things or only carry on doing the teaching thing as a part time job which might mean they check Khan only like once a week thus the point of Khan Academy being semi-real time disappears.

  • Sander 10:50 on February 15, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: khanacademy   

    Bullet points about the news post about … 

    Bullet points about the news post about Khan Academy

    • Free online education , available in video form, with other things added on (tests, visualization of results, etc)
    • A more fitting way to learn, because the system caters for each student’s needs specifically, with feedback
    • The site will be expanding to cover more subjects and possibilities. It has received backing from both the Gates foundation and Google.

    After getting 10 minutes of experience, I found the Khan system to be very simple and easy to use. From the viewpoint of a person who learns Maths in the IB, Khan academy is really useful for extra revision outside of  class.  Another thing to note, is that for students who aren’t native speakers of english, solving problems in english could familiarize you with some of the language invlovled in solving maths exercises. This could severely cut down on situations where the instructions  on a test are not understandable. The system is not yet evolved enough to completely replace a teacher, however. The analysis of answers and solutions is top-notch, but the available videos might not completely explain the topic as per the specific needs of a student. There is, however a button to show you the working of a specific exercise, but that is in no way completely foolproof.  All in all, the system right now is a good way to brush up on your skillz, or to make yourself comfortable with some type of exercise. Learning something completely new, however, could have some downfalls. When the system integrates more specific feedback and more specific instructions for stuck students, it could be implemented in schools full time.

    Hardware and software required to implement Khan
    There are several variables that come into play when implementing any sort of digital learning methods. First of all, computers with internet access are required to get anything working at all. This should not prove to be too difficult of an obstacle to overcome, as most schools in Estonia already have computer classrooms and the necessary facilities. A few minor details to consider are the availability of headphones, in the classroom for when a student needs to watch a video. Speakers will not work for obvious reasons. As mentioned before, the necessary facilities are already present in almost all schools in Estonia. Some changes will have to be made though. For example, creating specific classrooms for internet based studying, for example large auditoriums with tens of computers so that large classes might study in the same room. This is because some sort of teacher supervision is still necessary in the classroom, for when a student needs help with the system, or  with a specific task. As such, teachers also have to be schooled in use of the system.
    From the software point of view, necessities are a rather small problem as well. Directly, all that is needed is  a internet browser, like Mozilla Firefox and  flash so that the necessary apps might run. Seeing as how these things are freely available on the internet, the necessary software is very easy to get, and easy to implement.
    Conclusively, the things needed to implement the system are widely available and easy to use

    About the possible impact on the education system.

    Living in an age where technology is slowly taking over every aspect of our lives, the possible impact of online studying possibilities is huge. There are several issues in today’s education system, which online study possibilities like Khan Academy could remedy.

    First of all, the issue of individual feedback. In a class of, let’s say, 30 people, it is very difficult  for a teacher to cater for each student’s individual needs. the implementation of Khan academy could make it  easier for the teacher to see a pupil’s shortcomings, and easier yet to fix these problems. A system where the student first does an exercise, looks at an explanatory video if need be, then moves on adds steps before the teacher actually has to intervene in the student’s style of studying. As an extension, the teacher only has to intervene when it is absolutely necessary. This cuts down  on the amount work the teacher has to do, allowing her to work more effectively in the places where help is needed. After implementing this system class sizes could be increased, because the teacher could cater for all the students more effectively.

    The second, and rather obvious, change which the academy could bring about, is the availability of education. As mentioned before, with the workload of the teacher minimized, the classes could be bigger. More kids could get educated. This is also true outside of school. Because the only things needed to use Khan, are a working computer and an internet connection. People not attending school could also put the system to use in countries with a bad, or nonexistent educational system. Furthermore, the system could be used to supplement the already existing education. It is a great tool for brushing up on one’s skillz before exam or whenever. Needless to say, when the classroom and the teacher aren’t compulsory anymore, the possibilities are immense.
    While not completely ready to replace the modern educational system, sites like Khan are a great supplement.  In the bigger picture, it could make existing education better (that is, more thorough) and expand the reach of a working educational system. No doubt, great things are to come if this new area is explored upon.

    Social concerns
    In addition to the large impact it could make on the educational system, the system also has a few setbacks.
    Most importantly, the lack of social interaction. School is just as much about studying and learning as it is about learning to socialize and work together with different types of people.
    So, it is rather obvious that learning over the web would exclude any sort of social activities, which are commonplace at school. The the main objective of a school, is to prepare it’s students for further life. This includes teaching kids how to socialize, respect authority and cooperate with people, as well as  working under pressure. Kids who learn completely in an online environment might miss out on those experiences and be unprepared when they eventually have to get a real job somewhere. This is an especially big concern among estonians, who are already considered to be somewhat asocial and lacking in the field.
    Another topic of concern is the role of the teacher, which might be endangered with the implementation of Khan. As mentioned before, the workload of the teacher will be reduced, as will be the necessity for a larger number of teachers. If it takes a smaller amount of teachers to teach a larger class, then the need for teachers will logically be smaller. This could end with many teachers losing their jobs, as well as the downfall of the profession itself.

  • alex 10:48 on February 15, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: khanacademy   

    1. The first main point of this article … 

    1. The first main point of this article was that lessons and subjects would be hosted in the internet with videos, tests and other materials to make the lives of children easier and meet their needs.

    2. Teachers can use the KA to see the childrens progress and would act as corrective influences rather than constantly intervene.

    3. The students can all study at their own pace and level without the pressure of time and teachers.

  • Taavi 10:48 on February 15, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: khanacademy   

    Khan Academy 

    1. The education provided by Khan Academy is free of charge.

    2.The users can pause, rewind or replay lectures, something that is impossible with human experience.

    3. The students themselves choose what they want to learn and they learn it by themselves, teachers only being the supervisors.


    Khan Academy on first look seems like a great user friendly studying experience. I like how the web page is built up with instructive videos which in my opinion are quite useless but some might find them useful as auditory explanations might be easier to understand than dull black and white text. I myself found the hints very useful as they help to solve a certain problem and give the tools right away not some vague explanations. The exercises at first seemed to be rather different but actually they started to reappear after 20 or so in the case of chain rule. I tried out only a few other exercise sets but only up to 10 so I cannot say for sure that in all of the topics the exercises start to repeat. As I was new to chain rule and I got acquainted with it through the Khan Academy and was able to learn it in about 20 minutes means that it certainly helps in learning new topics. So my overall opinion of it is that it is a good possibility to learn new topics or revise old ones as they actually do help in understanding the principles.


    To implement Khan Academy as a learning tool in an average Estonian school the first necessary equipment is a class with 30 computers and as it is supposed to spread into other subject aside from maths the school would need approximately 700 computers which means about 500 000 Euros per school which is a lot and cannot be afforded by many. The other possibility is that each student has homework from the Khan Academy or a compulsory time to spend on Khan Academy. This would only require the teachers having a computer which is less expensive. As for the students one computer per household is already required by the e-school systems so there is no problem in implementing Khan Academy as a learning tool. The only difficulty being the language barrier between average Estonian pupil and the English web page. The software needed to implement the Khan Academy is also required by e-schools system as Khan Academy is web based it only needs an Internet Browser which everybody already has in their personal computers. So the Khan Academy could be easily implemented as homework but it is hard to use it during the lessons as there is no way a school could provide everyone a computer for use.


    Khan Academy has a bright future as it is web based and it is totally free thus available to everyone everywhere. Because it is web based means that people all over the world have an opportunity for a good education even in the remote areas where there is Internet connection but not decent infrastructure. Thus the Khan Academy will make it possible to education get all over the world. Because it is free means that even the poor have an opportunity for a good education and an education that is equal to the one that the rich can achieve as all the same exercises and teachers are for all the users of Khan Academy. This is where the two main ideas end but the good part continues as this kind of learning experience means that all the students can learn at their own pace meaning that eventually they all will be at the same level which might not happen in the case of the school education today. Another positive side of the Khan Academy is that the teacher has an overview of all the students what they are doing in the class and at home so the teacher knows where someone is struggling or what they have not done. So basically Khan Academy could permanently solve the issue of poverty, immobility, the difference of students, teacher overview which are pretty much the main issues in nowadays education. There are minor difficulties that could prevent Khan Academy and one of them is that it needs Internet connection. The Internet connection does not reach all the remote places in Africa nor even in Europe thus preventing a lot of children from receiving this opportunity but as there are several funds supporting the spread of the Internet it will not take long till the Internet reaches all of the people. Another bad thing about Khan Academy is that it would lose the human to human conversation part from the education which is actually considered to be one of the most important aspects learnt at school. So it is hard to imagine that Khan Academy will overtake the education system but it could certainly improve it further and it could be used as an alternative to what we know as “normal” system.


    First concern that comes to my mind is that human-human interaction will be lost from the education system if only Khan Academy is used.  This means that the social part from the school will be lost thus the students would not become well rounded persons. In the case of Estonia the issue is that Estonians are usually very laconic and if Khan Academy is used they will speak even less and therefore our human relationships will fall into decay. That will lead to the point in the future where there are no international relationships because you cannot build a relationship in merely virtual world.  So this could be a major problem for Estonia. Another  concern related to implementing Khan Academy in Estonian schools is that it would create a competition between students which might sound good at first but actually schools are trying to avoid competition between students. It is because school is after all a place where you practice and learn for the upcoming life not compete with the peers otherwise the ones who are not on the winning side lose motivation to learn as they feel sad about not being good. So Khan Academy would create a state where some students might lose their eagerness to learn.

  • Paavo Viilup 09:22 on February 15, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , education, khanacademy   

    Khan Academy (class of Feb 15) 

    Read this: http://singularityhub.com/2011/02/13/yes-the-khan-academy-is-the-future-of-education-video/

    In a blog post, summarise three key ideas presented in the article.

    Then, we’ll watch the video posted in the article.

    Evaluate Khan Academy’s usefulness from a personal perspective. Write approx. 150-200 words.

    The ITGS triangle and Khan Academy:

    IT systems: analyse the the hardware and software necessary to implement Khan Academy as a learning tool in an average Estonian school (approx. 300 words).

    Area of impact: education: Evaluate the possibilities of Khan Academy changing something permanently in education (approx. 300 words).

    Social and ethical concerns: Identify and evaluate at least two social/ethical concerns related to implementing Khan Academy in Estonian schools (approx. 300 words).

    Further instructions to follow during class.

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