If you have school aged children, you should already know about Khan Academy. If you don’t, now is the time to learn. Millions of students around the world are benefiting from the free service, let’s take a deeper look.
In this video (below), Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, talks about how he began, and the impact he is having on millions of students around the world. Essentially, he provides free, yes, free, ok, one more time, free online tutoring videos and free online tutoring software in a myriad of topics including math, science, history, even computer programming.
The model has grown beyond just tutorial video clips. Now there are areas of the website where teachers, coaches, even parents, have access to real-time feedback on the students progress. Sal discusses the power of focused attention, interactive exercises, and makes a call for teachers, parents, volunteers, even you to consider flipping the traditional classroom script:
- by encouraging students to watch video lectures at home, rather than TV or video games. In fact, the tutorials are quick youtube videos, you know, for today’s short attention span. Win.
- and then let’s give kids “homework” to do in the classroom with the teacher available watch the progress and specifically help kids with exact questions, and with exact areas that need improvement.
The model is innovative in process – and that is exactly what our academic system needs.
You are familiar with Wikipedia, yes? You know the tree-like structure behind Wikipedia, where you can reach any page, and within that page click on links which help explain words and topics talked about on the page you are on – essentially giving you the back story of the page you are on.
Ok, so, imagine an academic system that not only has that “back story” taken care of, but one that teaches each level – from the very start – and challenges the student with specific questions until they fully understand the topic, while also providing the coach, teacher or parent with detailed, real-time analytical data on the learning process, one that does not end when the student passes from one grade to the next, analytical data that follows the student for years and years.
Sounds futuristic? It’s here, today, now.
Watch the video, then head over to Khan Academy, get your kids an account, in fact, get yourself an account. I have one, and, yes, I started from the very beginning.