This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

Comparing resources. Khan v Infographics.

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    I viewed materials from both The Khan Academy and  I thought both were great for different reasons.

    What elements of these do you think are appealing to different kinds of learners?
    As Khan mentions in the home page TED video,  the KA system might appeal to “motivated students”, ‘home schoolers” and as function well as “supplementary” materials. Khan mentions adults who perhaps feel embarrassed at gaps in their knowledge of subjects like Maths who can easily play catch up with this system. It’s also good for both those who want to dip in and out of a subject and those wanting to gain a sound understanding of an available subject.

    The Khan Academy materials might possibly address the needs of a wide range of learners, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Khan mentions his system reaching all types including those with learning difficulties. Very clear and upbeat verbal instruction and simple visuals, (though at times the digital pen could get messy). The hands-on part comes a bit later with the accompanying exercises.  Maths not being my strongest subject,  I looked at the basic arithmetic videos with my 8 year old daughter this morning. I think I was more sold than her. The system is clear, concise, and for me, logical.
    Ideal for information and news junkies. I thought this site was great but then I’m a huge fan of information graphics. They suit the visual learner. They generally cover a very small but often essential set of points pertaining to a single topic. In that sense that are highly focused. There’s a huge growth in information graphics with sites like Guardian Data and finding visually exciting ways of making data interesting to the non statistician. This is becoming big business and is no doubt an appealing way to graze information. There’s also a huge growth in the graphic novel and such story telling methods to engage people. The rise of graphic journalism is one such interesting development in conveying information. Check this great piece out for telling the US Election story. I could go on.
    In short, these are good materials for instructors looking to have information presented in a visually engaging way.

    What kinds of learners, if any, would they be inappropriate for and why?
    I can’t think of any. I would like to know what other ocTEL members think about this.

    How do each of these resources differ from that of the resources we’re using in ocTEL?
    They are highly visual which adds another important means of engagement.

    What ways can you see to improve the effectiveness or potential reach of these resources?
    By making sure that other means of learning are not neglected simply because there is a trend for such methods.

    James Kerr

    The US newspaper USA Today used to be criticized (pre-Internet) for watering down the news and appealing to the masses because of their over-simplified presentations in graphical formats rather than presenting the news stories in greater detail with words.  All style, no substance.  Funny, how today the concept of a “newspaper” is quickly fading, while infographics are growing in popularity.

    I am not criticizing infographics; I find them extremely helpful and valuable as resources, when they are assembled with primary sources by or with input from content matter experts.  However, as anyone can make and “publish” an infographic online, one needs the same set of search skills and filters to identify a quality infographic resource as performing straight Internet searches (Google).

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