Yesterday I Tweeted out a link to a video titled “Meet the YouTube Next EDU Gurus,” a video that I found disconcerting on a number of levels, (not the least of which the music.) I know that in one way, the subjects of the video exemplify the participation, transparency, and, at times, creativity that I actually hope my kids aspire to. But what bothered me is that we seem to have reached a “Khanification” of education moment where anyone with a passion can make a video and be given “teacher” status. A moment captured by this Michael Schnieder Tweet back to me:
Which begs the questions, a) what should an education degree or a teaching certificate require when increasingly anyone with a connection can be a teacher of content, and, b) more importantly, what changes when the world begins to accept a definition of “teacher” as someone who knows “how to make and post a video”? (Read the comments below the vid.)
In many ways, I’ve been pushed by Sal Khan’s lack of teaching experience more than by his videos. But now this growing acceptance of non-teachers as teachers of content and skills (and, in some cases, better teachers of content and skills) poses an ever greater challenge for us to redefine the profession. And it circles back around to that question that I pose in the book: what is our value as classroom teachers in a world suddenly filled with teachers?
Here’s a hint: our value lies in that which cannot be Khanified. We better figure out ways pretty quickly to articulate that value in spades to parents, boards, corporations, etc.