In a previous Blog, we examined the importance of the Khan Academy (www.khanacademey.org) to the future of learning. (Learning that is readily available to all individuals, regardless of age or position.)

A couple of week’s ago, NBC Nightly News produced a segment on the Khan Academy’s potential importance to public education. And thanks to the Gates Foundation, actual classroom incorporation is underway.

The Los Altos School District in California (5th and 7th Grade Math classes) is piloting the Khan Academy model, allowing students to operate at different paces while providing the teacher with an online dashboard that can be used to measure individual progress and adjust instruction accordingly. In essence, the teacher’s role becomes one of guide and mentor.

More than two decades ago, those same benefits appeared in the industrial learning centers America’s manufacturers implemented with the then-new Interactive Laser Videodisc technology. Trainees moved forward at their own pace and the instructor’s role became one of guide and mentor. The concept revolutionized adult training and there is no reason to believe that the same will not be true in the public school classroom.

And, why not?!?

Today, there are fewer educators who regard student control over the sequencing of material to be inappropriate. In addition, the demise of the traditional lecture and text lesson plan is being augmented with richer lateral thinking.

Although one-on-one learner-controlled multisensory media programs are not yet the norm in education, the potential is enormous.

Today’s responsible educators have perceived the video-laden, multisensory framework of our children’s world, and recognized that traditional classroom instruction must evolve in order to keep up with the new learning environment.

Highly visual instructional resources are more and more available to our teachers. Thus, educators are becoming more familiar and comfortable with multisensory media technology in their classrooms.

Examples of effective teaching with multisensory media are appearing in every one of our fifty states. And, the results will prove greatly beneficial for the millions of our youth who enter our classrooms already comfortable in that environment.

More on Thursday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning