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Re:Learning: the podcast charting the changing landscape of education

A look at The Chronicle of Higher Education's new podcast and a review of its interview with innovative educator Salman Khan

Yesterday, The Chronicle of Higher Education launched Re:Learning, a new podcast designed to discuss the future of education. Host Jeffrey R Young speaks to one guest per episode, whether a teacher, edtech entrepreneur or longtime educator. Beginning in strong fashion, the first episode comprises an interview with one of education’s most innovative and influential figures, Salman Khan.

The interview finds the founder of the Khan Academy as articulate and effortlessly likeable as he appears in his hugely popular videos (those unfamiliar should watch his TED talk let’s use video to reinvent education). One of the most interesting parts of the discussion sees Khan expound on why he believes teaching process should be as personable as possible and why students should know early on that making mistakes is an important part of the process. He explains:

 

“When I make a video, I genuinely am enjoying that […] My sense of wonder is engaged. I’ll giggle every now and then because I make a mistake, which I think students say, "OK, it’s OK to make mistakes, and it’s OK to giggle while doing mathematics, and it seems like a small thing. But when was the last time you giggled, you know, while doing a math problem?"

 

Khan has already founded a brick-and-mortar school, the Khan Lab School, which serves students from kindergarten age through to eighth grade. When Young asks if he has considered branching out into college education, Khan gives a remarkably honest answer. Rather than keep his cards close to this chest, he makes it clear he’s spent a lot of time thinking about it practically. He enthusiastically explains what he’d want a Khan college to look like. He says he would encourage a move away from the rigid classroom-and-exam structure to one that foregrounds interaction, time spent outside and a portfolio-based curriculum.

 

“When they graduate, instead of saying, "Hey, I have a magna cum laude GPA, blah, blah, blah, blah in this major," you’ll say, "Here’s my portfolio," and your portfolio is going to be one-third just of really well created things that you’re most proud of [...]”.

 

It’s fascinating to hear Khan discuss his vision of the future of the Khan Academy – as well as the future of American higher education – in such an unguarded manner. Going by the first episode, that could be this podcast’s real strength: creating an environment where educators can speak about their perspective on the industry passionately and honestly without being afraid to show their workings.

 

 

Which education podcasts do you rate? Let us know by leaving a comment or tweeting us.




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Rob Parker

Rob managed FULL FABRIC's digital communications between September 2015 and September 2017.

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