Clad in pajamas, Salman Khan has changed the world of education with a laptop and a cheap microphone. He created a series of videos on a simple YouTube channel that evolved into thousands of captivating lessons on a dynamic website. Khan has established Khan Academy: an organization that has evolved into the future of schooling.
Rarely reaching more than 15 minutes, the videos on Khan Academy provide exceptional, simple lessons on a wide range of topics. Never actually seeing Khan himself, the viewer hears his voice while watching his explanations drawn on an online whiteboard with a stylus. With their intuitive design and accessible components, Khan’s videos and website are fantastic tools for students and teachers alike.
The lessons on Khan Academy are extremely versatile. Lessons range from addition to macroeconomics to the French Revolution, making it a phenomenal tool targeted for a wide range of age groups. As long as you can use a computer, you can learn something from Khan Academy. Videos, practice problems, and reward badges create an engaging learning environment for scholars of all ages.
For struggling students, Khan Academy can provide a supplement to the information taught in class. After a confusing chemistry class, students can watch a review video on Oxidation to increase their understanding and confidence in the material. They can either watch his videos on his YouTube channel or on his website, either with an account or without one. With the ability to track your progress and complete practice problems, Khan Academy account holders have a unique and individualized education experience. For iPhone users, Khan Academy has an app on the App Store. These videos can be taken virtually anywhere, increasing educational potential not only for students, but also for teachers.
One innovative use by a teacher comes from San Diego, where Kami Thordarson has “flipped” her classroom. Lessons (Khan Academy videos) are watched at home and practice problems (homework) are done in class. When students are doing problems they require the most assistance and teachers are able to spend class periods helping them.
Additionally, Khan Academy provides the teachers with a dashboard that shows them when a student is struggling. With this method, students get specific help and are receiving lessons tailored to their respective strengths and weaknesses.
Khan Academy is changing our educational proficiency one person at a time. Salman Khan has created a unique organization that strives to elevate human intelligence. We are becoming a world of information and Khan Academy does an amazing job making sense of it. With more and more access to online knowledge, the world can become more informed as we take on contemporary problems. The information we learn now decides the future: Khan Academy will change the future.
“How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education.” Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 15 July 2011. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.
“Khan Academy.” Khan Academy. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.