“Let's Use Video to Reinvent Education”

Critique Paper

The Salman Khan’s speech “Let's Use Video to Reinvent Education” takes place at the TED studio. The speech concerns the question of reinvention of the education process in the modern American schools.  The author proposes his own method of reformation of the education system, and his speech is intended for the disclosure of the main points of his idea and its presentation to the audience.

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At the beginning of his speech, Salman Khan arouses public interest by showing the videos relevant to the topic that will be discussed, so that the audience could get an approximate idea of what he is going to speak about. The videos also gained the public’s interest and attention from the very beginning and contained the preview of the lecture and brief information about the work of the system he presents (01:28). After stating the purpose of the speech – how to use the system of video-based self-education (01:32-01:35), which can be considered as a main thesis, the author  provides the background information about his project, paying attention to the details that prompted him to think about the development of his idea. They are presented as the advantages of his method. Gradually he moves up to the main body of his speech. The public’s attention is reinforced with the help of jokes (06:21; 06:50).

The transition to the main body of the speech is made gradually with the help of appropriate wording (07:40-07:46). Here the author moves to the explanation of the main points of his presentation. One of the main points is that his method differs from what was happening in the classrooms till that time (08:24-09:00), and after stating that, he supports his idea by stressing the difference of his method from the existent one (09:28). Salman visualizes his examples with the help of the videos, used to illustrate his ideas for the audience.  The speaker has constructed a clear organizational pattern. The speech is well-structured and the transitions from one idea to another are logical and consecutive. The main points unfold gradually throughout the speech.

Gradually the speaker moves towards the statement of the main point of his speech (10:35 – 10:42) – transition to the new ways of teaching with the help of his method.  He makes a logical transition to the main idea of the whole project - to reform the educational system of the American schools.  The idea is clearly stated and supported again with the help of visual aids that illustrate everything the speaker is talking about.  Everything is clearly formulated and well-grounded. The speaker receives the feedback from the audience – applause (12:25), which means that his ideas has been followed and approved, and the message has been delivered to the audience.  Gradually, with the help of the video support, the speaker logically unfolds other ideas concerning the topic (14:40) humanization and globalization of the educational system with the help of technology.  The ideas are supported with valid arguments and a video example of how it works in real life.

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The speaker did not use any clear signal that the speech was ending. He just logically drove at the main point of his presentation. The main idea the whole project (16:15) reinforces the main statements and ideas presented during the speech. The audience receives the speech favorably, applauding in standing position.  At the end, the speaker answers the questions concerning the details of the project, namely, the team working on it, the details of the work.

Throughout the speech, Salman Khan maintained eye contact with the audience.  Except the video aids, his speech was supported with the proper gestures, which made the audience interested in the problem.  The speech was live, natural, directed towards the audience. The speaker did not use any prompts (cards or text), which means he spoke directly from his mind, which makes his speech trustworthy. The speaker’s tone, pace and intonation were clear and calm.  He used an appropriate language, combining the elements of the official and non-official styles. All the ideas were stated clearly and supported by visual demonstration. Usage of the visual aids was very effective and successful and had a proper effect on the audience. All the ideas were exemplified with the real-life situations.  The idea has been fully disclosed, nothing was left obscure. 

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The general effect of the speech is positive. The main idea Salman was talking about was the humanization of the educational process and creation of one global classroom.  The idea is very interesting and I approve it, because the presented system takes into account mental possibilities of every student. The idea of humanization is based on the direct interaction between teachers and students and peer-assistance in problem solving. I think that would be very helpful in real life. I also think that his idea of the shift of homework into the classroom and lectures for the individual learning at home would be liked by many pupils. It will help to cover all the necessary information individually, in one’s own pace, and then share problem-solving experience in classroom, which, to my mind, will be more effective.  I liked the example he made about his cousins.  The speech was interesting and not monotonous. The way he presented his ideas was very fascinating and I liked this speech.

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