Spawning a New Generation in Education
Dec 9th, 2012
New learning concepts are finding their way into the classroom as teachers, administrators and learning professionals are trying to find ways to reach each student at their level and at the pace with which they learn best. There’s been a shift toward tools and information which can be consumed by the student at any time throughout their day whether they’re on the bus, at lunch, or winding down for the evening at home. In essence, education is no longer confined to the traditional school day.
providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere.
-Khan Academy Mission Statement
Flipped Learning and Khan Academy are at the forefront of this non-traditional learning environment and are transforming the learning process in and out of the classroom. For Khan Academy learners, it’s not just the typical student (K-12) that is being impacted, adults (such as myself) are going back and re-learning core concepts or subjects of personal interest. For me, it’s a great way to revisit and firm up my knowledge-base and explore new topics of interest that I might not have (sadly) paid attention to when I was in school. Now, I have Khan.
Khan Academy founder, Sal Khan, created his first video after tutoring his young cousin Nadia over the internet. When friends and relatives began asking for similar help he had to find a better way to deliver lessons. In November 2006, Khan created a YouTube account and began developing videos which soared in popularity by appreciative students. These videos attracted on average more than 20,000 hits each. In 2009 Khan quit his hedge fund job to focus on Khan Academy full-time.
Today, Khan Academy has delivered more than 215,709,749 lessons on topics ranging from mathematics and science to art history and economics. The project is funded by donations with significant backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Google. Khan’s mission of “providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere” is resonating with state educators as well. Several state K-12 educational institutions are either piloting programs or are in talks to do so. Bravo!
Recently, Khan Academy launched a native iOS app (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) which gives students access to over 3500 videos for on-the-go learning. On the iPad app there are more robust features available such as downloading the videos for offline viewing, subtitles, even track progress and catalog achievements according to The Next Web (TNW).
If you haven’t already, check out the Khan Academy and see for yourself. I’d love to know what you think about the lessons you’ve taken and your experiences with these non-traditional learning mechanisms as well. I’ve included a sample video from Khan Academy to give you an idea of the pace and simplicity. I look forward to hearing your feedback so please comment!