Pardon the hyperbole, but this may be one of the biggest partnerships in education since chalk met the chalkboard. MIT has officially joined forces with Khan Academy to launch a new set of educational videos.
But it’s not what you think.
In this new partnership, MIT students will be making videos, not the professors. It’s a truly inspiring time in education when you see a school ask its own students to become the teachers. It’s like the ultimate flipped classroom. It’s a flipped school.
“Our students have responded with all the energy and enthusiasm we knew they would. We worked with them to design the program, and the results are fantastic.” -Ian A. Waitz, Dean of the School of Engineering and the Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
The entire initiative is known as MIT + K12. Waitz started it to “help address growing challenges in primary and secondary education in the United States, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.”
A 2010 survey of American teenagers showed that only 5 percent view engineers as significant contributors to society. Moreover, the National Academy of Engineering reports that less than 5 percent of all university degrees awarded in the United States are in engineering, compared to 21 percent in Asia and 12 percent in Europe. -MIT Press Release
Under MIT+K12, MIT students produce videos that are five to 10 minutes long on topics of their choosing; they can also develop video concepts requested by teachers, K-12 students and other users. In the three dozen MIT+K12 videos posted so far, students have focused on topics ranging from flying robots to basic chemistry to Earth’s rotation.
MIT+K12 also offers opportunities for K-12 students and teachers to communicate with the MIT students making the videos, and vice versa. “From the outset, MIT students wanted to know their videos would be useful to the students watching them,” Waitz says. “The only way to really figure this out is to put the groups in touch with each other.” -MIT Press Release