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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Teaching the Khan way by Margaret Wente

Photo: Margaret Wente
Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail writes, "The most influential teacher in North America today doesn’t have a teaching degree. He has never taught inside a classroom. But his ideas could begin to transform what happens in it."

Salman Khan talk at TED 2011 (from 

Salman Khan is a nerdy 34-year-old American with a genius for explaining things. A few years ago, he began explaining math to his 13-year-old cousin, Nadia. Because she lived on the other side of the country, he worked with her online. Soon he was tutoring other cousins and their friends. So he started to make a series of short instructional videos that explained the basic concepts. Then he put some of them on YouTube, and they took off. Bill Gates discovered them, and began to use them with his own kids. And so the Khan Academy was born.

In 2009, Mr. Khan – who has two degrees from MIT as well as a Harvard MBA – quit his hedge-fund job to pursue his dream for online education. To date, he has turned out 2,400 low-tech mini-lectures on everything from basic addition to vector calculus and organic chemistry. They’re straightforward and conversational, with a kitchen-table feel. Mr. Khan himself never appears – just his hand, scribbling numbers on an electronic whiteboard. He has a talent for breaking down complex material into simple steps, so a student can play and replay the video until she gets it. His YouTube videos – all free – are drawing two million viewers a month.

Related link
Yes, The Khan Academy IS the Future of Education (video) by Aaron Saenz

Source: The Globe and Mail and khanacademy's Channel (YouTube)