Interesting article “The Wrath Against Khan: Why Some Educators Are Questioning Khan Academy” by Audrey Watters posted back on July 9, 2011.

I’m not sure how I can get back the hours spent on Khan this week. The exercise was interesting. I can appreciate the flashcard drills, the sly popular culture inclusions of Hogwarts characters and references of Legolas to help frame problem-solving questions, or the whole gamification of learning math. I did manage to get the dragon avatar I wanted, though the whole process did make me think of Chantek the orangutan alongside me as I performed the Skinner praise and reward thing for those virtual badges.

There is instant feedback for correct/wrong answers and a mission progress bar. “Hints” are available if desired and the occasional video pop-up along with a cheerful, yet annoying, background tune. Still, I found the experience very cold and alienating, like something was missing. I am not sure if I was really learning, or just going through some neat review tool of lessons learned a LONG time ago. The interaction made me wonder if this platform was ideal for an individual, who has no prior exposure to the content, to really learn the material (yes, it’s simple math, but still). There is no community for this particular “World of Math” module. No collaboration or “live” communication with anyone that I can easily find unless I invited a classmate through the “add a coach” checklist. Plus, after 15 minutes or so on the platform, I have to sheepishly admit that I was less focused on the content and more interested in accumulating reward points. Was it just me and this particular “World of Math” module?