Khan Academy: Helping individuals learn at their own pace

Khan Academy is a non-profit organization with the mission of “providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.” How do they do this? By providing an extensive library of videos which teach lessons in a variety of topics that apply to mathematics and science. Sal Khan, the founder of Khan academy has three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard.

I must say, Sal Khan has the rare ability to teach challenging topics by breaking them down into manageable pieces and using extensive modeling. His videos are short and simple to understand. The videos include both visual and audio representations of the material to build conceptual understanding. All of the videos at Khan Academy are free and once you have a login you can even track your progress. If you are a coach, parent or teacher, you have a login and can obtain information on the progress of your student(s). This can help you make informed decisions about next steps for learning.

Many of the topics that are focused on are appropriate for high school or college students, but there are also videos devoted to lower-level math such as basic operations or percentages. These videos can be used in a variety of ways to support education:

  • Administrators can encourage teachers to use Khan Academy in the classroom as a means of incorporating differentiation.
  • Teachers can use Khan Academy to differentiate learning in the classroom.
  • Teachers can assign Khan Academy videos for homework to reinforce or preview what is being taught in school.
  • Families can use these videos to reinforce lessons for struggling learners or to increase the level of learning for students who are not being challenged.
  • Students can use Khan Academy as a study guide or as a way to get extra practice in a skill or concept.
The library has pretty much every topic you could possibly think of related to math, science and finance. They are expanding to Art History and have the over-arching goal of covering as many topics as possible! My hope is that they expand to include a wider range of lessons for younger students, and possibly even branch out to literacy. Here is a screen shot from the library archives…and believe it or not, this is only one topic (algebra)!

Screenshot of Khan Academy Library

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