I recently discovered Khan Academy on Ted.com (see previous post) and thought the concept was innovative and unique. Khan Academy is a non-profit organisation that was created by Salman Khan. The website contains a vast amount of learning resources with over 3,400 educational videos, interactive tasks and tests. The learning material ranges from basic maths to a high school mathematics level. There are even courses on science, history, politics and finance.
According to Forbes Magazine online (2012) “Over the past two years Khan Academy videos have been viewed more than 200 million times. The site is used by 6 million unique students each month, who have collectively solved more than 750 million problems (about 2 million a day), and the material, which is provided at no cost, is part of the curriculum in 20,000 classrooms around the world. Volunteers have translated Khan’s videos into 24 different languages, including Urdu, Swahili and Chinese”. This illustrates the extent of how teachers and students rely on digital media as a method of learning across the world. Additionally, it proves that the content is effective, as two million different problems being solved every single day by students and this demonstrates how highly used it is. One of the beneficial features is that the videos can be paused or replayed depending on the student’s learning abilities which mean that they have the power in controlling the pace at which they learn. They can re-watch videos if they are unsure about a specific point and can then go on to ask their teacher if they are still unsure.
The online structure benefits teachers as well as they can access all the information about their students’ progress and all the data can then be used to create charts on the website. This means that teachers can highlight the main areas of improvement and can then adapt their classes to focus on the weaker subjects. It can also identify what students are struggling on a one-to-one level and the teacher can then give them useful guidance and tutoring. Overall, the Khan Academy has been a success across the world and is not for classrooms but for outside of school work as well. It will also encourage the students to engage in the programme in a fun and interactive way and to not see the tasks as “boring homework”.