Khan Academy: A Powerful Learning Tool
A few months ago, I was searching the Web for a tutorial on basic statistics and stumbled upon Khan Academy, a non-profit group founded by Sal Khan to provide “a free world class education for anyone anywhere.” I started digging around the website and found myself browsing through a library of over 2,600 educational videos and 200 practice exercises ranging from K-12 math to biology and physics to history and test prep. Assessment exercises are adaptive so users can practice at their own pace and all of the problems can be broken down into single steps.
The website is available to anyone—students, teachers, principals, parents—absolutely free. Users create their own profile so that Khan Academy can record what they have been learning and whether or not they are achieving their goals. Points and badges keep students motivated and engaged in their own progress.
The Gates Foundation has helped to support Khan Academy since 2010. Bill Gates, in a video clip posted to thegatesnotes.com, identifies Khan as a “pioneer” in the movement to use technology to provide learning tools that so many people can access. Indeed, his tutorials are viewed almost 100,000 times each day.
In the last month, however, Khan Academy has received extensive mainstream media press. On March 9, Khan delivered a TED (Technology, Education, Design) talk, and a couple of days later the 60 Minutes news show featured a segment on Khan Academy. Since then, Khan has appeared in articles on Edweek, Yahoo, The Huffington Post, and more.
Check out a few of the hundreds of developmental math videos and let us know what you think!