Today's Newsletter: Khan Goes Brick & Mortar

“We view the virtual as something that can empower the physical — that if students can get lectures at their own time and pace, they can get exercises, they can have a programming platform, that doesn't mean that the classroom gets replaced; it means the classroom gets liberated.”
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When Sal Khan launched his nonprofit, Khan Academy, in 2006, he told Forbes Magazine he planned to “reinvent education” with his free video tutorials. So, where does Khan’s brick-and-mortar, $23,000 a year Khan Lab School in Silicon Valley fit into that goal? In a recent interview, Khan told NPR: “We view the virtual as something that can empower the physical — that if students can get lectures at their own time and pace, they can get exercises, they can have a programming platform, that doesn't mean that the classroom gets replaced; it means the classroom gets liberated.” Khan says mixed-age students in this “lab” spend half the day doing mastery-based, personalized learning and the second half of the day making things. He tells NPR: “we will share everything that we're doing in this lab school… schools. All the curricula, we're going to open-source it and figure out what works, what doesn't.” Khan Academy’s mix of bricks and bytes lends powerful credence to the argument for using blended learning to achieve a more personalized learning experience. A recent survey from Fuel Education reports that blended learning is almost twice as popular as fully online learning models. This leads to the obvious conclusion: one size does not, of course, fit all. How do you manage this sometimes-messy differentiated approach? We welcome your stories. – Christine Weiser, Executive Editor

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