Flipping the classroom

I was struck whilst listening to Salman Kahn on Ted Talks describe how his online approach to teaching maths has changed the role of the classroom, and what parallels we can draw for learning in the workplace. He tells a convincing and articulate story of how he started to teach maths concepts to his cousins remotely through you tube videos, which resulted in him setting up the online Khan Academy. Kids appreciate the fact they can learn and practice maths at home and at their own pace. They can go as fast or as slow as they like, rewind or replay parts of a video if they don't grasp it first time and reach out to coaches or mentors for further assistance or help.

In a pilot, a school in the US is making the homework the time when you learn the theory, using the Khan Academy, and the classroom as the opportunity for the teacher to work more engagingly and closely with the class or individual pupils.

E-learning in business is often driven by a need to cut delivery costs, reduce travel time, and make training more bite sized and accessible to people as they juggle their working week. Whilst these are real and important needs, the Khan Academy demonstrates that an additional and potentially unappreciated advantage of self-paced learning is to take the theory and process out of workshops, integrate them into an overall learning journey and let the face to face time be used for more team or individual practical application and unblocking of their challenges.

The insights Khan has uncovered echo our own thinking – we can positively engage with the new reality of workplace learning and provides a useful framework when developing capability programmes, meshing how we learn and the collaborative or social technologies available today. The classroom will continue to have a role in learning but its potential will be more and more as a place of practice and application.

For more information about how Brand Learning can help you lift your organisation’s capabilities, please get in touch or contact me directly @BruceyGoosey. You may also like these films, perspectives and resources on Learning.

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