We’re thinking about doing an Algebra I class for upperclassmen differently next year. Essentially, abandon the “one-size-fits-all” model and go with a more individualized approach. This is an obvious role for technology. Why not have students learn the material via video lectures and computer exercises, with the teacher providing personal, differentiated support as needed?
A name for this approach- “flipping the classroom”- is starting to pop up all over. In this video, Salman Kahn of the Kahn academy presents the idea of having students watch recorded videos of lectures at home, and spending class time working on problems with the teacher (thus, flipping the traditional method).
However, in this post, Sylvia Martinez points out that both Kahn and Conrad Wolfram (see my earlier post on Wolfram) are wildly applauded for their TED talks, but are talking about heading in very different directions- while Kahn’s videos teach the curriculum of algebraic manipulation that we all know, Wolfram argues for using technology so we don’t have to do those algebraic manipulations anymore (and can focus instead on the problem-solving).
Some people say that we need a little of each of these approaches- some say they’re mutually exclusive.