A marvelous short article strikes right at the heart of debate about on-line content delivery in education, asking what if the Khan Academy was made in Japan? Khan, and many MOOCs, are based on one model of education, which is for a teacher to show students how to do a problem and then they spend a lot of time practicing doing it. This is the US model, and as author points out, it is tied with education processes which ensure most of the rest of the industrialized world’s students do far better than ours, even though the US spends by far more per pupil than any other such country. The contrasting approach is to frame problems, having brought students tools which may or may not be sufficient to address the problem, but then invite them to figure it out. Learning comes from struggling to figure out how to do it, not just copy what the teacher did.
All of this is on point for campus debate about how to deliver content in the digital age, and to date, all we have heard is discussion about how to do the same old delivery for less overhead.