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Can Online Videos Humanize Instruction?

In an interesting Wall Street Journal article, Salman Khan describes the development of the Khan Academy, a free online library of K-12 math and science video lessons and practice exercises. Begun as a way for Khan to help tutor his younger cousins from afar, the service now houses more than 2,200 videos and is used by teachers and parents the world over.

The beauty of the platform, Khan argues, is that it lets educators "change the basic rhythm of their classroom." Rather than giving one-size-fits-all lectures, teachers can have their students view the lessons outside of class, at their own pace, and then use class time to work with them on problems and solutions. Instruction, in other words, becomes more personalized. "It is often said that technology makes modern life less personal," Khan writes, "but in this case, it has allowed teachers to take a big step toward humanizing their instruction."

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