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I Have Two Words for the Teachers' Union



February 17, 2011 – Comments (20)

Khan Academy

You are now obselete, a dinosaur. I'm sure that people with your skills should have no trouble finding gainful employment in either the food service or hospitality industries.

Have a nice day.

David in Qatar

20 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 17, 2011 at 6:16 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote: must be reading

Now Watson is going to hospitals to replace doctors and nurses.

Kindle replaced bookstores, printers, and employees.

NetFlix replaced Blockbuster, video stores, and employees

eMail replaced postal workers....

Watson could replace politicians....libraries......

We could get rid of the IRS with the massive savings as we wouldn't need to fund education or most government functions...

drones replace soldiers...

cameras replace cops....

consolidate city functions into the clouds....

by the time we are finished.....most of us are obsolete....


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#2) On February 17, 2011 at 7:05 PM, chk999 (99.96) wrote:

That is freaking awesome DiQ!

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#3) On February 17, 2011 at 7:10 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:

That website is awesome David! Thanks for posting man! MIT's open courseware is also great (Gilbert Strang's Linear Algebra course is the best I have ever seen, and it's free!)

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#4) On February 17, 2011 at 7:38 PM, toshimelonhead (98.02) wrote:

I find the Khan Academy is a good supplement but does not totally replace a classroom education.  I did use it to save me in AP Physics and Calculus but with those videos are missing something.  I can't point to it at the moment.  If paired with someone who could add sample problems, the place would rock for math and science.  Otherwise liberal arts courses are better done elsewhere.

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#5) On February 17, 2011 at 8:44 PM, truleuneek (< 20) wrote:

I looked at some of the finance sections and liked ir.  I'll have to spend some more time there.  Perhaps someone from here wants to add more to their selection?


I think it is a good starting point, but it doesnt replace the ability of a teacher to answer questions and encourage students.  As a senior in high school, I was going to go to a community college until one of my teachers from a cass I took as a junior pulled me aside and told me I shouldnt waste my time at a CC and go to a university instead.  He even offered to pay the application fee and write a letter of recommendation.  I went directly to a university, and now have a bachelor's degree.  No, a video won't replace a good teacher.

I do remember one professor who would use the whiteboard and work out problems all class long. He would talk to himself and the whiteboard, not answer any questions.  Those in class would either copy all he wrote and then try to decipher it at home, or not write down anything and try to understand what he was doing.  At his speed, doing both wasn't possible.  The guy was a math genius but he couldn't teach a toddler how to crawl.  I'd rather watch these videos than go through his class.  At least I can pause these things. :-)

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#6) On February 17, 2011 at 9:36 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

This is just the beginning. Khan Academy will not be the only one to enter this field (they might not even be right now.)

I can think of many situations where students will need more than online learning.

However, we are talking about a fraction of the resources currently allocated to an outdated institution: classroom learning and, more specifically, the unionized teaching profession.

While Khan Academy was going up, so was a colossal $578 MILLION jail cell politely referred to as a public school.

$578 million dinosaurs vs. free education model of the future

David in Qatar 


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#7) On February 17, 2011 at 9:37 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

so was a colossal $578 MILLION jail cell 

I'm referring to this monstrosity in LA

David in Qatar 

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#8) On February 17, 2011 at 9:40 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


If you only knew about the current virtual learning programs under development, you would be shocked.  Think about being in a flight simulator to teach about space, or biology or just about anything.

But NEVER forget, every $1 dollar of deficit spending adds $4-$7 of GDP....and for a nation that is running a deficit as large as ours, that is a lot of GDP

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#9) On February 17, 2011 at 9:49 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


I might be shocked. I will definitely be thrilled.

I'm not sure if your second comment is tongue-in-cheek, but I hope so :)

David in Qatar 

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#10) On February 18, 2011 at 11:14 AM, amassafortune (29.17) wrote:

Now if someone comes up with Khan-like content within an addictive and social online setting like World of Warcraft, that will be the beginning of the end for the live classroom setting. As with brick and mortar retail, B&M learning is already a waning concept.

I do think teachers are not truly aware that what is being asked of them now has already been given (taken) incrementally in the private sector over the past 15 yrs.

Alstry makes the point - technology supports deflation. Here's one more for the list - Bots replace investors.  

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#11) On February 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM, Turfscape (< 20) wrote:

Seeing sites like that encourages me regarding the future state of education. I think we, as a society, are going to find effiicient ways of merging computer-based training modules with a traditional education model to provide a more effective path to learning. This should not be feared by teachers....well, not good teachers. Educators will be needed. But, the paycheck collectors...those folks that tend to put in the minimum effort, read out of the text book and cash their check every will be weeded out quickly.

That is progress. And progress should be embraced, not feared.

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#12) On February 18, 2011 at 11:49 AM, Slider08 (< 20) wrote:

Real education happens in a fully-interactive environment. This is a nice supplement (and has been around a while), but it's not going to replace competent teachers.

You know you're being too sensationalist when Alstry excitedly joins in. I usually like your posts, but I'd give this a -1 if I could.

Also, when can we start considering Alstry as spam?

 And... just for Alstry, here's a (flawed) WSJ article on technology and (un)employment:


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#13) On February 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


See comment #6 for clarification.

David in Qatar  

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#14) On February 18, 2011 at 12:37 PM, Slider08 (< 20) wrote:

I can think of many situations where students will need more than online learning.

Ah, my bad.

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#15) On February 18, 2011 at 12:42 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

No prob. In the title, admittedly, I was trying to get a rise out of poeple. It's a guilty pleasure.

David in Qatar 

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#16) On February 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM, sansbeanie (21.35) wrote:

Thanks whereaminow!

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#17) On February 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM, smartmuffin (< 20) wrote:


Good stuff.  I've always taken a bit of a delight in the fact that I'm usually able to learn as much in two hours on Wikipedia (insert jokes here) about a topic that many of my college educated friends "took a class" in.

I'm not sure that elementary/middle school teachers will be made obsolete.  Children and teenagers need the structure that "B&M" schools provide, as they just won't learn on their own without being hand-held.  It's the colleges who demand $40,000 a year to teach you material that you can find on Youtube that are in an awful lot of trouble, though.  Especially as more and more of their graduates find that their fancy piece of paper does NOT in fact guarantee them a lifetime government job with full benefits and far more pay than they deserve  :)

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#18) On February 22, 2011 at 2:02 PM, mtf00l (43.10) wrote:

Although it hasn't happened or started yet, I suspect educational institutions will do what government contractors have done.  The biggest will acquire the smallest and we'll have four or five "school systems" nation wide.

Yes, education provided by the lowest bidder...:D

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#19) On February 22, 2011 at 4:04 PM, Melaschasm (69.35) wrote:

K12 is one of the bigger education companies for home schooled children.  There are a few others, some of which provide computer classes for private schools.  Even a few public schools are starting to use these systems.

IMO:  For 6th graders and up, I think that computer education with one teacher per 50 to 100 students will be the future.  With competition, we will have dynamic video education at the speed of each student.  The teacher in the classroom can answer questions for students.  This will eliminate the huge problem of teachers spending so much of their time teaching the slowest students while the brightest goof around because they are bored. 

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#20) On February 26, 2011 at 1:48 AM, ikkyu2 (98.18) wrote:


Sorry - little 80's flashback. 

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