Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 13th Apr 2012 20:21 UTC
In the News Six-month-old web site Codecademy claims you can learn programming through its online tutorials. The free modules on JavaScript are now available. The site also allows anyone to post their own programming courses. The site has good funding, but question is: can you really learn programming this way? One blogger enthuses that Codecademy's approach "looks like the future of learning to me," while another slams it saying "Seriously? Wow, bull**** badging and sh**ty pedagogy wins the day in ed-tech investing." What do you think?
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RE[3]: Human's brain
by xiaokj on Sun 15th Apr 2012 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Human's brain"
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That is a good resource -- I have already begun a bit on that, but I decided I'd rather finish with SICP.

But that is missing the point -- I point out that it is certainly useful for students to have yet another resource, but ultimately I don't think it is a force for greatness.

Maybe I can put it this way better: Things like Khan Academy pulls up the poorest section of the community by giving them lessons at all. However, it is not going to help teach the really difficult topics because it would entail long discussions of complex topics, something that they have rightly avoided. In that sense, it may even hinder the slightly better section from actually learning more.

Bertrand Russell had even stuff to say about lectures, let alone video lectures. I think video lectures of the Lewin style is a lot more useful than Khan Academy style lectures. But he has a point -- books are still the premier route to disperse knowledge in a complete and comprehensive manner. Working out examples, asking tutors and hard work just cannot be replaced.

Similarly, that is not to say that I am against lectures. I have first hand experience in the massive difference between great lecturing and horrendous smothering in affecting productive learning.

So, more to the point, that I can learn something from such stuff does not imply much about its suitability. And as I have already said, how is it going to be suitable for disseminating engineering concepts properly? Sure, if you just reproduce books on-line, that is going to work, but seriously? In fact, I think that engineering concepts is something that lectures can do a lot better than books, to the contrary of what Russell thought.

Khan Academy is something I can specifically gripe on and on about. But I'll bash it too much. Trust me in that I really can show a lot more about how it is lacking from the educational standpoint. Frankly, I'm pretty scared of the hordes that think that it is doing a good job. They don't even know how bad it is.

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