Ready or not, the classroom is changing forever. Thanks to people like Sal Khan, learning has become easier for anyone around the globe. It’s as simple as watching a YouTube video.Whether you agree or disagree with what Khan is doing, there’s no denying that his videos have played a crucial role in the current renaissance of education.
The Educational Renaissance
That’s right, we’re in a renaissance. I use that term because it’s become readily apparent that we are seeing more innovation than ever before. More teachers are taking chances and harnessing the power of technology than ever before.
But who is the next person* to continue the evolution of the education world? While Khan is obviously not going anywhere anytime soon… it’s important to see what others are doing. Hopefully seeing all these various innovations will inspire a snowball effect and cause even more teachers to keep the renaissance moving along.
One of those innovative people is Paul Andersen. A science teacher and technology specialist in Montana, he’s slowly building up an array of helpful Khan-esque YouTube video lessons that are insightful and useful for students around the globe.
When asked about how he feels about being compared to Khan, Andersen mentioned the following:
I love the work of the Khan Academy. I especially enjoy the philosophy of using good questions to place students where they belong. This works especially well in a math classroom. However when I watched the 60 Minute special on how it is being used in the classroom I felt sorry for the teacher. Videos, questions and activities should supplement the classroom, they should not become the classroom.
I was lucky enough to get an email from Andersen this morning alerting me to a recent project he’s undertaking: gamification of the classroom. (We covered gamification in the March (Volume 3) issue of the Edudemic Magazine.) He alerted me to a recent TEDx talk he delivered where he outlines how he’s been using game design in the classroom to enhance learning.
[*Important sidebar: I fully understand that there are tons of amazing teachers out there doing amazing things. That's why Edudemic exists, after all. This article is simply meant to showcase the Khan-esque work that Andersen is doing.]
He would appear to be the next Sal Khan as he’s been posting a regular series of YouTube videos on all things science and education in general for the past year. Biology, physics, anatomy, earth science, chemistry, the list goes on. Check out his YouTube Channel here. Andersen teaches at Bozeman High School in Montana. He was the 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. He also has an entire website devoted to his videos and teaching methods at bozemanscience.com. A great new resource for finding innovative teaching methods!
Paul graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Biology with Broadfield Science Certification. He holds a Masters of Science in Science Education. Paul serves on the Board of Directors for the Montana Learning Center. He is also the program coordinator for the Springtime in the Rockies conference.
Reflections on the Flipped Classroom
A sample video by Andersen discussing the flipped classroom model:
There are surely more people following in Khan’s footsteps right now. If you know of any, let us and the Edudemic community know about them! In fact, we’d love to hear about ANY teacher doing innovative things. It’s why we’re here.
To make a suggestion, simply leave a comment on this post or e-mail us anytime at edudemic[at]gmail.com. Thanks in advance!