Ever since the entrepreneur Salman Khan burst forth in 2011 with his
education revolution—a massive video library and proposal that the classroom be “flipped”—there has been no end to the euphoric roar from reporters. They delight in the idea that students could watch instructional videos at home, then come to school to solve problems, work in groups, and engage in discussion. That’s the flip, right there: the instruction takes place at home; the problem-solving, in school. Khan argues, and his fans believe, that such a reversal would “humanize the classroom.” But something about this humanization doesn’t sit well in the belly. Is it really so wonderful to make problem-solving a social activity, or to remove lectures from the classroom? Is the video as flexible a tool as Khan suggests?