TED Talk - Salman Khan from the Khan Academy

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There are a lot of great videos on TED, but this has got to be one of the best among them.  For those of you who are familiar with Salman Khan, you might know what to expect.  For those who don't, it's definitely worth checking out.  The video is about re-inventing education, but beyond that I think it's a good example of how to re-invent just about anything involving people (everything).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTFEUsudhfs

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I saw that one awhile ago. I

I saw that one awhile ago. I really disagree with the direction he wants to take education. It seems really artificial if institutions implement leaderboards and achievement systems. Education should be something someone should want to do, not to gain recognition for.

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Joined: 01/06/2011
I think that's a different

I think that's a different TED talk you're thinking of - maybe the one shown in class. On that note, I happen to agree with you. I feel that focusing too much on extrinsic rewards, those given to us externally, isn't necessarily the best approach to foster a positive learning environment.
 
Salman Khan's talk focuses more on creating an environment where anyone can learn for the sake of learning and the resources are all available to them at their fingertips. I'd say that he embodies the opposite of that philosophy of rewards, leaderboards, etc. Instead, he wants to see kids progress more at their own rate with the belief that they genuinely want to learn. And judging from the success of the KhanAcademy (which is 100% free with all the videos available on Youtube) I'd say he's right.
 
Here's another TED talk that actually deals with the issue you brought up. It's on motivation, but it focuses a lot on extrinsic vs. intrinsic rewards. I think you'll probably agree a lot with what he says:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrkrvAUbU9Y

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Ah, weird! I distinctly

Ah, weird! I distinctly remember him saying something about implementing rewards and, possibly, a leaderboard for exercises on his website. Maybe it was in an interview or something, or maybe I've gone completely bonkers.
I definitely love his site and have used it many times in the past. He's a great guy.
Thanks for the link.
 
 

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Joined: 01/06/2011
 You're right, it's right at

 You're right, it's right at the end after he's finished his presentation and Bill Gates comes up on stage and asks him some questions. He makes a brief mention of leaderboards and badges.
 
It's difficult to say whether or not they're a good thing. I think, like he said, that even something so simple as a badge can help to direct and focus learning down a particular path. However, is that intense and linear focus a good thing? One of the reasons I linked that other TED talk, by Daniel Pink, was that he makes a really good point about extrinsic rewards. By their very nature, rewards that focus us give us a sort of tunnel vision. They help us to focus in on a clear goal and follow a clear set of expectations and guidelines to get there, but there's a downside. That increased focus tends to block creativity and out of the box thinking. Using Daniel Pink's words, sometimes "the solution is on the periphery, you want to be looking around."