How I Use It
I would use this video in a Middle School or High School geometry class either as a review or intervention for students who are struggling with the concept of similarity. Or, I would use it in a flipped classroom situation where I would assign students to go through the course before we covered the material in class. Then students would come to class prepared with questions and problems that we could go further into.
"After months of hearing about Khan Academy and seeing Salman Kahn interviewed on Charlie Rose, I got my first experience with the website. Although I looked specifically at the course on Similarity, many of my comments apply to the Khan Academy experience as a whole.
First of all, the site looks clean, streamlined, without too many visual distractions. Secondly, it is not simply a collection of videos. Along the left side is a visual map that shows a sequence of videos and quizzes, which fills in as each is complete. This gives you the choice of either following the suggested path of learning, skipping around, and even going back if necessary. The videos and practice quizzes are well-sequenced, building one upon the other in a logical fashion. The videos themselves are clear and are engaging in subtle ways that are not gimmicky or distracting (no postulates turned into rhyme or song, for instance). The presenters voice is bright enough to keep your interest, but not so cheery as to be annoying. There were times when the pace went a bit too fast, but the nice thing about learning from a video is the ability to backup and watch a part over (and over if necessary!) again. And when the presenter makes and self-corrects a spelling error, the otherwise dry subject matter is given a human touch. The content was delivered in a straightforward, consistent way, but also included elaborations like “another way to think about this is....” which helps learners who may have a different learning style. The visual demonstration was also effective, using a consistent color patterns to help the learner focus on the important relationships between shapes, equations and postulates. And just as my attention started to lag a bit, I got a pop up awarding me 500 good listener points. After a few videos comes some practice quizzes. These keep learning positive, as they only acknowledge correct answers. There is a button for hints, and a link to the corresponding video if you need further help. Finally, there is a place for questions and comments from other viewers. I was pleasantly surprised that most comments were on topic and positive in nature (as opposed to the usual spam mess one sees on YouTube)."