With my [Spotlight] posts I am planning on highlighting new and important resources, groups, and individuals in the public and personal education fields.
I figured the best place to start would be the Khan Academy. The Khan Academy is at the center of push to revolution traditional K-12 education throughout the world.
What Is The Khan Academy?
The Khan Academy is a free online resource to help students and adults learn subjects at their own pace. The site has extensive lessons in math, from arithmetic to differential equations. In addition to these lessons they currently have and are adding more lessons in science, economics, computer science, humanities, and test prep.
The Khan Academy is particularly know for the engaging teaching style and low budget videos created by it's founder Salman Khan (Until recently Salman created all of the videos on the website). In addition to these video lessons the Academy has interactive problem sets that help the student practice their knowledge and identify areas where they need additional work.
The Khan Academy is a donor supported not-for-profit organization.
Why the Khan Academy is Important?
Thanks to popular support and large grants from Google and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation the Khan Academy has grown to become one of the most visited online learning sites. Lessons have been translated into over 25 different languages, thanks in large part to the Google grants. This translation effort makes the site an important educational resources around the world.
The Khan Academy is also a bit of figurehead in the media for the educational power of modern technology. Because of the this Salman Khan and his Academy are at the center of the debate about what the future of education should look like. For more on Khan's views on education try reading his book The One World Schoolhouse; I found the book very interesting and engaging. Or for the 20 minute version you could try watching his TED talk:
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I think that the Khan Academy is currently an excellent resource, particularly for math education. It is not a school replacement course, but it can add a lot to the education experience inside and outside of the class room.
In the future I believe the Khan Academy will continue to be at the leading edge of using technology to change education. It's excellent funding, high profile, and Salman Khan's vision will keep the Khan Academy at the center of this discussion on how technology should change the education system for years to come.
The site is continually improving and changing as it receives more and better feedback. I am very excited to see what the future Khan Academy will look like.