Yesterday I visited some friends who are teaching kids at a local government village school and have freedom to teach how they want. I’m pitching tablets for everything and may have talked myself into using tablets and Khan Academy to teach math to 7 – 13 year old non-english speaking kids. I’ve played around with Khan Academy enough to know there’s a learning curve to using it. There are some great tools for teachers, parents and coaches, but I need to understand where they are and how to use them.
To get going I decided to do a ‘mission’ and try to complete the Algebra track. I’m great with the algebra actually, but from time to time they throw other questions in there. When they asked me to divide 407 by .42 memories of crying on the couch asking my dad for help with long division came back to me. It’s sooo tedious. I had to ask for a couple hints, eventually got it, and remembered seriously hating that chapter in my education. I think I’m going to let my kids use calculators when they face these problems, even if they’re crippled for life and unable to do long division of decimals in all the real world situations it constantly arises.