Alumna’s Innovative Teaching Featured on 60 Minutes

A UT-Austin alumna made 60 Minutes last night for the best of reasons: her teaching innovation.

Courtney Cadwell, BA ’95, Life Member, is an educator in Los Altos, Calif., using the Bill Gates-backed Khan Academy video tutorials to teach her students. The students will watch the videos at night, then come work on model problems at school.

It’s called flipping the classroom. In other words, what kids used to think of as classwork they now do at home, and what they used to do at home they do at school.

“I feel like I’m using my time more effectively with my students,” Cadwell told reporter Sanjay Gupta, “because instead of making the assumption that the entire class is weak in this area, and I need to spend time reviewing this, I can really pull those three, four, five kids, do a mini-workshop, address those needs, and allow those other students to move on to problem-solving activities, or project-based learning with their peers.”

Using a Khan dashboard, Cadwell can chart how much time students spent on a problem. Color-coded bars turn blue when a student has mastered a concept, orange if he’s still working on it, and red if he needs help.

The testimonials the students offered on camera, from “There isn’t really a hard part” to “It’s opened doors that I couldn’t open before,” were impressive. Watch the video above, or read the story here.


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