May 26, 2011

Educating The World

Salman (Sal) Khan is amazing!

He quit a job as a hedge fund analyst to start a free and now highly popular educational website Khan Academy.

Khan is the founder and sole faculty of the academy, and has posted over 2,100 educational videos on topics ranging from:
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • History
  • Statistics
  • And more
Khan goal is to "educate the world" providing the tools so that everyone can learn at their own pace, and where teachers are facilitators.

Khan explains the concepts of the various subjects slowly and clearly and uses an electronic blackboard to demonstrate examples and problems.

The Khan Academy also provides exercises, test prep (like for the SAT, GMAT, etc.) and a dashboard for tracking student progress.

As of today--26 May 2011--Khan has served up over 56 Million lessons!

According to BusinessWeek (May 23-29, 2011) Khan's work was recognized in 2010 by donations that included $1.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, $2 million from Google, as well as others.

Of course, there are other free learning sites out there, but to me Khan Academy seems unique in its breadth and depth of core academic learning--plus they are all taught by Khan!

Khan Academy is becoming the "free virtual school" for the world, and his students seem to love it.

While Khan is doing a super-human job, one suggestion that I have is to consider adding social collaboration tools (chat, blogs, groups, and so on) to the site to enable students to discuss about the material and ask questions and even post their own insights that others can benefit from.

Also, opening some element of this up to crowd-sourcing (like Wikipedia) may help this to grow even bigger and faster.

At some point, even a King Khan needs some help to educate the masses.


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