Thursday, March 17, 2011
Khan Academy: A glimpse at the future of education
A TED video posted this month caught my eye. The speaker was Salman Khan and the title was "Let's Use Video To Reinvent Education". Intriguing.
Salman Khan, while working as a hedge fund analyst, hit it big after he posted a few simple math tutorials on YouTube for his cousins. His tutorials went viral. Very intriguing.
He now has personally created and posted over 2,000 tutorials in the areas of math, science, and economics for K-12 graders. This is now known as the Khan Academy. It is a not-for-profit organization "with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere". It has tremendous backing by Bill Gates and a $2 million dollar grant from Google.
This has flipped many classrooms around where they are now assigned videos to watch at home and then come to school to collaborate on homework. The videos are now accompanied with competency tests and merit badges for each successfully completed test. This allows for each student to customize his/her own pace of learning and for teachers to follow their progress. Instead of expecting students to pass a minimum overall standard, the Khan Academy approach "expects mastery". It's ok to fail and experiment around, as long as you eventually get it.
An inspiring glimpse at the future of education.