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Monday, February 14, 2011

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

I’m just going to come out and say it: the Khan Academy is the best thing that has happened to education since Socrates. The brainchild of Salman Khan, the Khan Academy became famous by teaching simple math lessons for free through over 2000 YouTube videos.

Photo: Singularity Hub
Now, after millions in donations and an expansion of the company, the academy is so much more.
The website for the Khan Academy already had exercises you could use to test your understanding of the videos you just watched, but in the past few weeks the website has exploded with wonderful new features.

Sal Khan does a very thorough job of explaining the ways in which the Khan Academy website takes its 2000 videos and expands them into a complete set of lessons, test exercises, and evaluations. If I could just highlight a few moments, however, I would point to the incredibly detailed blow by blow analysis that KA keeps of a student’s progress. Teachers can see the results of each and every problem the student attempted (6:20). Everything these guys are doing is amazing:

Khan Academy Exercise Software

The impact that the Khan Academy could have on the classroom is enormous. As Sal discusses in the video (8:10) they are already performing trials to see how teachers can use the KA platform to improve the way they track and help their students. With the Khan Academy, teachers would “intervene only when a student is stuck.” In other words, the KA is supplementing the education paradigm in such a way that teachers are only needed as corrective influences. They’ll be tutors more than lecturers.

You can tell from all this expansion that the Khan Academy is making good use of the $2 million that Google donated to the site, and the untold contributions from the Gates Foundation. Their lead designer, Jason Rosoff, is doing great work with the interface and the presentation of the analytics. Ditto for developer Ben Kamens. Judging from comments made by Khan, Rosoff, and Kamens, the Academy is only going to get bigger, better, and more refined from here on out. 
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Related link
Is the Khan Academy The Future of Education? (video)  

Source: Singularity Hub