May 18, 2010

The Kahn Academy

I may be the last person on the planet to discover this, but even so, it’s worth showcasing. The Khan Academy is a website created by Sal Kahn who began it by wanting to tutor his nieces. (Reminds me of Darren K and Ellie.) What started out as a simple way to help them understand difficult math and science concepts is now a storehouse of over 1,000 videos. Listen as Sal explains why he did it and the power of this new form of learning. It’s well worth the 20 minutes.

I’m not convinced the idea of short tutorials works in all disciplines but certainly it does for Math and Science. As much as this body of work is impressive for the content, I’m more impressed by the passion and joy Sal gains from helping others learn. In addition the form factor here is worth exploring.  If you skipped the video go back and watch it and perhaps you can answer the following:

What are the implications here? Could a student learn Algebra with this without attending a high school class? What does it make us rethink when it comes to school and learning?