English and history faculty member Mike Kalin recently wrote a piece on WBUR.org’s Cognoscenti section. He posed the question, “Are Teachers In Brick-And-Mortar Schools Even Necessary?” Read more below.
Khan Academy, an educational website created in 2006 by a former hedge fund manager, currently provides free online lessons to over 10 million students per month. With access to over 5,000 videos and 100,000 practice problems, students receive instruction in virtually every subject, including history, literature, math, physics, economics, chemistry, and even cosmology and astronomy. The rapid growth of Khan Academy raises a serious question: If Khan Academy, just one of among many similar sites, can deliver personalized content in a faster, cheaper, and more effective manner than our current model, would the billions of dollars that states spend on teaching salaries each year be better used to equip each student in America with a brand new personal computer? To push even further, are teachers in brick-and-mortar schools even necessary?