April 9th, 2013

Khan Academy: Medical Education and Lessons for Librarians

Recently I read The One World School House by Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy. We are already diving into Khan Academy with gusto and gratitude because while our son will complete his 6th grade coursework in June (he’s in 5th grade, our district doesn’t skip grades but accelerates curriculum) he’ll cover 7th grade coursework this summer with us so he is prepared for another jump ahead to 8th grade coursework in the fall.

This excerpt in particular has been resonating with me, from pages 251-252

The school I envision would embrace technology not for its own sake, but as a means to improve deep conceptual understanding, to make quality, relevant education far more portable and – somewhat counterintuitively – to humanize the classroom. It would raise both the status and the morale of teachers by freeing them from the drudgery and allowing them more time to teach, to help. It would give students more independence and control, allowing they to claim true ownership of their educations.

To humanize the classroom with technology.

I love this. I sincerely care about both the subject I’m teaching and my students being able to deeply understand it, regardless of if I’m teaching in person or via distance learning. I don’t want to be a presence of disembodied pixels scratching a superficial surface of learning. I try to keep authenticity at the core of every webcast I host and/or present, every Moodle course I teach, and in our Thursday night #medlibs chats. I have been thrilled to see so many new students and colleagues joining in, and am so thankful for everyone stepping up to share in leadership of the discussion.

So how does all of this tie in to medical education, let alone medical librarianship?

Did you know Khan Academy already has a Healthcare and Medicine section with some really great resource videos? Last week the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced a collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges and Khan Academy to provide free online resources to help students prepare for the revised Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) coming in 2015.

Per the news announcement

“This exciting new collaboration with Khan Academy and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will provide all students with free access to high-quality online educational materials to help them prepare for the revised MCAT exam in 2015,” said Darrell G. Kirch, MD, president and CEO of the AAMC, the organization that administers the MCAT exam. “We view this effort as an important addition to the work the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals are doing to encourage and attract future physicians from diverse backgrounds, including students from economically and educationally disadvantaged communities.”

Medical students and residents are encouraged to find out more at MCAT Video Competition, but I especially encourage librarians to scroll down that page a bit and check out out the wealth of resources under How To Make a Khan Academy Video. The guidance and tips there are key for all effective and engaging instructional videos. Think of your screencast tutorials and Jing recordings on your library website/LibGuides – is there potential for some revamping?

Posted at 07 33 AM | 2 Comments » | print this post

2 Responses to “Khan Academy: Medical Education and Lessons for Librarians”

  1. Michelle says:

    I had no idea the Khan Academy had a Health and Medicine section, but then I am on there right now focused on 4th grade partial quotient division which is the new (stupid IMHO) way they are teaching long division.
    Don’t get me started on lattice multiplication!!!

  2. Nikki Dettmar says:

    I am so with you. We felt stupid/clueless how to interpret math homework with partial quotients & lattice methods and wouldn’t have survived without Khan and other videos. I’m happy to report they haven’t screwed up fractions, geometry and algebra too much. My own 7th grade memories of negative numbers include our teacher throwing books & erasers so I’m hoping his summer will be less traumatic.

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