Khan Academy: The future of education?

Discuss before you watch

·         Have you heard of the “Khan Academy”? What do you expect to learn about it?

Focus on Vocabulary

Join with arrows


1.      A 10-minute                                             a. tag
2.      A math/ computer                                     b. degree from Harvard
3.      A revolutionary                                         c. classrooms
4.      Competitive                                              d. organization
5.      A big                                                        e. help from the teacher
6.      A price                                                     f. wiz
7.      An economics                                          g. approach to education
8.      One-on-one                                             h. salaries
9.      A handful of                                             i. deal
10.  for profit/ non-profit                                  j. video/ tutorial


1.      To gather                                            a. yourself full time to Khan Academy
2.      To tutor/ reach                                    b. a big boost
3.      To go                                                  c. global/ public
4.      To amass                                            d. millions of students world-wide/remotely
5.      To tackle/ break down/ struggle with  e. massive amounts of data
6.      To focus                                             f. somebody’s progress overtime
7.      To wind up                                         g. a library of math lectures/ a fortune
8.      To devote                                           h. posting lessons on YouTube
9.      To pilot/ fine tune                                i. a complicated subject
10.  To give your math                               j. to problem solving activities
11.  Monitor/ track                                      k. new software
12.  To address                                          l. students’ needs
13.  To move on                                         m. on the math

Watch and make connections

Watch again and answer the following questions trying to use some of the new vocabulary

1.      Who’s Sal Khan?
2.      Who backs him?
3.      What’s the Khan Academy and what’s its mission?
4.      Who’s one of his most famous pupils? How/ When did he meet him?
5.      What qualifications does Sal Khan have?
6.      Where does he work from?
7.      What are his video lessons like?
8.      How many lessons has he amassed so far?
9.      What’s his uncanny ability all about?
10.  How much reading does he do ahead of time?
11.  How long would it take to cover all the lectures he’s done?
12.  Why is it that he’d rather not put himself in the video?
13.  Why does his method appeal to so many people?
14.  How did Sal Khan get started?
15.  Where does Sal Khan get funding for The Khan Academy?
16.  How’s the "flipping the classroom" approach working in Los Altos school district and in Eastside Prep?
17.  What´s the role of the teacher in the Khan Academy?
18.  How does Cadwell feel about implementing the Khan Academy? Why?
19.  What do the skeptics argue?
20.  Where’s the Khan Academy math program being piloted? What are the test revealing?
21.  How many visits does the Khan Academy get worldwide?
22.  What’s  Eric Schmidt’s take on Sal Khan?
23.  What’s does Sal Khan expect for the future? What does he assure he won’t do?

Take a look at the following presentation on how to go about Flipping the Classroom. 

Flipped classroom from mrsfitzsocialstudies

Discuss after you watch

1.       In your opinion, is the Khan Academy revolutionary in its approach to education?
2.       Could it be an adequate replacement for a classroom?
3.       What are its assets as compared with traditional classroom interaction? What about its liabilities?
4.        Would you say these videos harken back to the idea that teaching is simply telling?
5.       Do you think the Khan Academy might be a vehicle for bridging educational divides by helping ALL students reach mastery of core skills and concepts?  
6.       How useful might these video lessons be for complex subjects?
7.       Would you use the Khan approach with your kids? Why? Why not?

Video Transcript


An Old Flame

Discuss before you watch

  • What do you understand by Web Therapy?
  • What’s an old flame?
  • Talk about an old flame of yours. How did you meet him/ her? What kind of relationship did you have? What went wrong? 
  • Why do you think this episode may be called that way?

You're going to watch the first in a set of 3 short episodes of an improvised series starring Lisa Kudrow.

A.  Watch the episode once and answer the following questions:
LINK:  http://www.lstudio.com/web-therapy/an-old-flame-1-of-3.html

1. What do we get to know about the therapist? (name, marital status, personality, kind of treatment she advocates, etc.)
2. What do we get to know about the patient? (name, job, personality, etc)

B.  How much do you remember? Say if the following statements are T or F (account for it). Then watch the episode again and check your answers.

1.   Richard and Fiona already know each other.
2.   Fiona has never tried the traditional 50-minute session.
3.   Fiona takes for granted Richard is in love with her.
4.   Fiona denies flirting with Richard in the past.
5.   Fiona has never met Gina at Lachman Brothers.
6.   Richard made the appointment to get back in touch with Fiona.
7.   Fiona is surprised Richard has a girlfriend.
8.   The session finishes punctually.

D.  Who says the following? When?  What do the words/ expressions underlined mean?

- It’s been a very long time!
- His opinion never counted, as far as I’m concerned.
- They end up going on and on about dreams and feelings and memories ….
- The bulk of the help is really done in 3 minutes.
- I don’t wanna do it  for a whole hour.
- You’ve gained weight or you’ve lost weight.
- You just misunderstood the nature of our relationship.
- You made it pretty clear … that you wanted me to kiss you.
- For the sake of privacy. 
- Sometimes I misread people.
- Beckoned you?
- I thought that was kind of harsh.
- And she’s distant and moody.
- It’s been well over 3 minutes.
- We can see each other again next week and we can pick up where we left off.



The real deal with Groupon

(Activity shared by Rocío Alvarez. Thanks Ro!!!)

Before you watch

Vocabulary Work: Discounts and price reductions

Match the expressions with their definitions

1.      discount (noun)
2.      special offer (noun)
3.      cash discount (noun)
4.      on offer (expression)
5.      off (adjective, adverb, preposition) 
6.      on sale (expression)
7.      economies of scale (noun) 

a.       available for people to buy at a price that is less than the usual price. The British expression is on offer.
b.      used for saying that a price has been reduced by a particular amount
c.       a reduction in the price of something that is offered if you pay the full amount immediately in cash.
d.      a low price that a shop offer for a short period of time
e.       a reduction in the price of something
f.        being sold for a lower price for a short time
g.       reductions in the cost of making and selling products that are made possible because a business is very large.

  •  What kind of discounts do you usually get?
  • Do you usually take advantage of special offers? If so, when was the last time? What did you get?
  • How do you usually find out about the current discounts?
  • Have you ever used GROUPON? Do you know how it works?
Links to online video: 

After you watch

What was the video about? Use the mind map to help you and also add more information to it.

Language work

ü  Look at the extracts from the video and put the verbs in the right form

1)      If we ___________ (be) smart, evil people, we ________________ (be) more cunning and subtle in our evil ways.
2)      Analysts began _______________ (call) Groupon "unviable," "a Ponzi scheme," and wondered if any grownups were minding the store.
3)      I ________________ (check) it once yesterday afternoon. And then, I felt dirty and I __________________ (not check) it again since then.
4)      ________________________ (Groupon become) part of our lives like Google and Amazon?
5)      The company began in 2008, when everyone _________________ (look) for a bargain.
6)      Groupon ended up ________________ (have) a wildly successful opening day trading on Nasdaq as a public company.

ü  Complete the sentences with other, another, the other, others, the others.

1)      Is Groupon the next Amazon or ________________ MySpace?
2)      There are 500 ________________ competitors out there that all want to do and be Groupon.
3)      Can you name ________________ CEO with a demo on YouTube in which you're sitting around in front of a Christmas tree doing yoga?
4)      Am I as experienced or mature or smart as ________________ CEOs?
5)      …when you enter their offices and there's the Forbes cover. But it's surrounded by ________________ covers of hi-tech has-beens.
6)      Amazon is getting into this business. ________________ are getting into this business -

Look at these expressions in context, do you know what they mean?

  • “The company took off, almost overnight. It's global now…”
  • “The answer depends in part on the 31-year-old who came up with the idea”
  • “The company began in 2008 at the height of the recession, when everyone was looking for a bargain and then it grew so quickly, so fast it took everyone by surprise.”
  • “Groupon looks like a real business. Where most websites rely on algorithms, Groupon relies on actual human beings.”
  • “What these human beings, the salespeople, do is think up deal ideas…”
  • “Groupon has found out by trial and error how to present its deals.”
  • “Now Groupon is tailoring its offers by age and gender.”
  • “Four hundred writers and editors - more than most newsrooms - come up with hundreds of these pitches a day, with twists of phrases and logic…”
  • “The loopy write-ups give Groupon its personality, which seems to seep down from the very top.”
  • “Andrew Mason is known as a little whacky himself. As a gag, his executive washroom is a port-o-potty.”
  • “…with a demo on YouTube in which you're sitting around in front of a Christmas tree in your skivvies doing yoga?”
  • “And his urge to be goofy makes him one of the most unlikely corporate CEOs you'll ever meet.”
  • “…it's that I've been unwilling to change myself or shape my personality around what's expected.”
  • “But it's surrounded by other covers of hi-tech has-beens, as if they're asking themselves: "Could we be the next to fall by the wayside?”
  • “…the biggest downside is how easy the model is to replicate.”
  • “But what Andrew Mason will tell you is that so far, they've killed them all off.”
  • “…they spend more money than they take in on such things as wooing new subscribers and…”
  • “…but with the steep markdowns, she lost $20,000.”
  • “Analysts began calling Groupon "unviable," "a Ponzi scheme," and wondered if any grownups were minding the store.”
  • “It looked as though something was fishy.”
  • “…it seemed like a bush-league mistake.”
  • “…we would be more cunning and subtle in our evil ways. You know?”
  • “But his impatience drove him to do something that drew the wrath of the regulators”
  • “Here's some of the adjectives that were used to describe you when that memo leaked: Thin-skinned, impetuous and childish.”

Video glossary:
Fad: a style or activity that suddenly becomes popular but which usually does not stay popular for very long
Overnight: for or during the night
IPO: initial public offering: the first sale of a company's shares to the public
Came up with: to suggest or think of an idea or plan
Bargain: something sold for a price that is lower than usual or lower than its value
Rely on: to depend on or trust someone or something
Think up: to invent a plan or solution
Trial and error: a way of achieving an aim or solving a problem by trying different methods and learning from your mistakes