Modern school education, part 4

After a long break after the publication of the first three parts ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), I present the fourth part, which, in fact, is a continuation of the first. In this article I want to show my vision of the design tasks for online education.

I took the same task that was discussed in the first article: How often does Venus travel across the disk of the Sun? The beauty of this task is that using two or three numbers you can get an unobvious answer that this phenomenon is observed at intervals of 105.5, 8, 121.5 and 8 years.

So, let's begin. Impatient right here: ( mirror )
Further on the items:

It is boring to solve a problem in the absence of context. If the task is taken from life, then we can at least say who solved it for the first time and what benefit it has brought to humanity.

I was too lazy to write this in this task, but it is never too late to copy the text from Wikipedia.

As I wrote in the first part of the article, the complexity of the task is one of the most sensitive places, especially in the light of the rainbow education reforms.

Here I brought three levels. The first is for people with a competitive spirit who are ready to sit and think for an hour. They are given a minimum of data. However, clues are suggested that suggest the course of the decision. You can also look at them to test your train of thought.

The second for the average student. The task is divided into a number of subtasks, each of which is solved in one action. It looks like a standard school puzzle from a textbook.

The third is for people far from the topic. Which do not want to go deep, but should have a general idea. They are invited to immediately look at the solution to the problem, and then answer a couple of questions. Humanities should at least see how the answer is made up of numbers and formulas, and that there is no magic in it.

For problems in physics, geometry, mathematics, and computer science, beautiful blueprints and schemes of what is happening are needed. Three times better when they are interactive. I wondered if there are any programs creating interactive web applications with graphs, drawings, etc.

The leader among such programs, I would call . There is everything you can think of. But two minuses cross out everything:
1. The client must download their plug-in weighing> 100 MB, but this can still be experienced.
2. To create requires Mathematica, which is paid.

Therefore, I have chosen GeoGebra ( for myself, which does everything in Java and allows the client not only to view other people's drawings in a browser window, but also modify them. She also translated into Russian, which is important. She loses to Wolfram the lack of the ability to build graphs, but there are other free packages.

The drawing available to the student is used in the video solution. That is, he can twist it and realize what he did not understand.

Next, I give a solution to the problem, designed in the form of a video. What I did is extremely schematic and does not pretend to be either quality or completeness. It would also be necessary to provide a written summary of the decision, for which I no longer had the strength. As I see it, the solution should also be for different categories of people. If desired, the student can skip sections of the solution and then for him the video will have a review character and he will be able, for example, to pass the easiest difficulty level. An interested person will be able to see all the material, which is twice as much. I tried to do this on the basis of the YouTube built-in functions, but it turned out to be crooked, so I advise you to just look at this picture:
If you do not repeat the Western experience, but look a step forward , the same GeoGebra engine allows you to insert audio files with a little twisting. Thus, the analysis of the task (as well as the lecture itself) can be done not with videos, but completely interactive. However, this is much more expensive due to the need for detailed thought out of each lesson and programming interfaces.

In addition, engines like GeoGebra potentially provide the ability to interrupt a lecture on a student’s question. This is an already tested scheme on many platforms, but everywhere these questions are limited to tests or short text questions. Here we can ask the student to draw in the current drawing the reaction force of the support or to mark the obtuse angle of the triangle, these are actions that can easily be tracked at the program level. But again, programmers are needed.

The main technological ideas that I wanted to mention:
1. The use of beautiful videos and pictures.
2. The ability to skip part of the solution if it does not raise questions or is simply not interesting.
3. Interrupt the video for short questions to keep the student focused.

Additional questions and materials
A few questions to ponder and unanswered. It seems to me that one should always leave a person with a feeling of ignorance. It motivates strong students, and it makes no difference to weak ones. Therefore, it will not be worse.

There should also be a link for those who want to dig a little deeper.

It all depends on the audience. From the recent TED lecture from the creator of Coursera, you can draw on the idea of ​​creating virtual “classes” based on common interests / age / level of training and provide them with the opportunity to communicate with each other on the topic of tasks. Alternatively, provide each group with a mentor who has successfully completed this course.

Now try to take off

In the comments, I would like to ask you, in addition to the discussion and critical remarks regarding the structure of the problem analysis, to answer the following questions:
1. How much, in your opinion, does it cost to create one such task-lesson when ordering, say, a course of 10-20 problems ?
2. How much would you buy such content for your child?

With this post I wanted to show that all the technologies are already there. But even companies specializing in online education do not use them. There are two reasons for this, it seems to me. The first - it is morally difficult to break away from the concept of teacher-chalk-board. The second - the creation of something new requires investment and a period of trial and error. I think that small companies do not have the means, and large companies are afraid to experiment.

Crowdsourcing & crowdfunding

I don’t believe in commercial education for exactly the same reason that I don’t believe in paid medicine. Therefore, the question arises of where to get resources (not even money, but resources - man-hours). For example, is it possible in Russian realities to offer students to check each other's homework (again, like Coursera)? Or, in the likeness of Kickstarter, to collect donations? The ideal option is the patron's money, but then dreams.