Top

The Khan Academy

Readers of my new book, 162 Keys to School Success know how impressed I am with the Khan Academy.  Students who are ill, or schools unable to offer Advanced Placement classes, or students who do not understand math or science lessons can access this free website.  For those of you who do not know about the Khan Academy http://www khanacademy.org,

Salman Khan is the only teacher and is by any measure the most popular educational site on the web with Khan’s playlist of over 1.800 tutorials (at last count) are now seen an average of 70,000 times a day — nearly double the student body at Harvard and Stanford combined. Since he began his tutorials in late 2006, Khan Academy has delivered 33,655,609 lessons worldwide. Most page views come from the U.S., followed by Canada, England, Australia, and India. In any given month, Khan says, he’s reached about 200,000 students.

Khan is a Harvard MBA and former hedge fund manager.  Khan has developed 10- to 15-minute Khan Academy tutorials. These online lessons on math, science, and a range of other subjects that have made him a web sensation

His low-tech, conversational tutorials — Khan’s face never appears, and viewers see only his unadorned step-by-step doodles and diagrams on an electronic blackboard — are more than merely another example of viral media distributed at negligible cost to the universe. Khan Academy holds the promise of a virtual school: an educational transformation that de-emphasizes classrooms, campus and administrative infrastructure, and even brand-name instructors.

What’s remarkable about Khan Academy is that it’s free and prizes brevity. In less than 15 minutes Khan gets to the essence of the topics he’s carved out. Students don’t learn calculus in one session — the subject is divided into 191 parts, which doesn’t include 32 more in pre calculus. He covers an astonishing number of subjects. There are the core subjects in math — arithmetic, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and statistics — and the de rigueur science offerings, like biology, chemistry, and physics. But Khan also gives lessons in Economics of a Cupcake Factory, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Alien Abduction Brain Teaser.

Share