“The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “the children are working as if I don’t exist.”
- Maria Montessori

During the last year, I’ve been following the KhanAcademy locomotive as it chugs on to distant fertile lands and glory.   I’m a big believer of video and its revolutionary impact to disrupt normal channels of educational delivery.  The KhanAcademy user group (google) emails are just mind boggling. Seems everyone from the granny on the couch to CEOs of major companies are leaving desperate messages – “get intouch with me!”, they scream.  However, I must say that they are on the wrong educational bandwagon.

This post I recently read, highlighted one problem not addressed by the Khan Academy – the motivation of the learner.  Even self directed learning won’t just magically generate a “self directed learner”.  What counts is the environment in which the learner is found. The teacher is essential to this. However, in a very indirect and “get out of the way”, way.

I firmly believe that given a free start, each child, each student, wants to learn and will learn.  We must create the environment from which their seed will grow.  Just like there are seldom any “bad” teachers, just teachers in the wrong environment and place – so too we must get students encountering a world of learning that they themselves encounter, they explore, they engage and nurture. Sugata Mitra has it right – learning is a self-organizing principle.

So without further ado, here is the man. Click the photos of the presentation to get to my favorite presentations detailing his beliefs. See my own posts mentioning him.  Here’s my bio of the man for further reference.  Sugata Mitra

I sure wish Bill Gates would have given him that big bundle of cash.