Sal Khan: Khan Academy

If you are not yet familiar with Khan Academy's wonderful free apps and online resources, you should be! Sal Khan's simple delivery of complex concepts is brilliant! His portal for conveying understanding of in-depth studies of  math and science is through YouTube video clips. They can be viewed on your own time and at your own pace. For a great introduction, watch this video. He explains how it all got started.

Sal was a senior analyst at a hedge fund in 2004 when he began posting math tutorials for his cousins via YouTube. One thing led to the another and  here we are with a paradigm shift in learning in the 21st century. Material is being provided to students in a whole new format. Sal Khan likes to think of it as, "a world-class education for free, to anyone, anywhere." He has a suite of free apps listed in the iTunes store and more iTunes U. The apps range from pre-algebra to physics 5, to SAT prep and he recently added a financial/economic element.

My first experience with Khan Academy came after finding his free app, Chemistry 1 and watching Introduction to the Atom, which is the first chapter in that app. For the first time I understood the atom "construct" and learned some of its origins along the way.  Greek philosophers described this mental abstraction as uncuttable or indivisible. Khan, in his smooth delivery, explained and illustrated this concept. He articulated and drew how the correct depiction of an atom should be visualized, and he succeeded in a smashing way!

I was so excited about the find, I immediately (on a Saturday, mind you) texted my colleague and encouraged her to check out this app. The following week I showed her the app on my iPad and she was impressed. We both wanted to share this teaching tool with the class. But how? Our school doesn't have iPads!  But, we do have SmartBoards and document readers and that is how we were able to share this segment with our students. By simply placing the iPad under the document reader, we were able to share Sal Khan's video with the class. For many of our students it was the first time any of this “matter stuff” made sense to them. You can also easily access all of his content directly from your computer. I didn't learn about that until I started doing some research.

Khan Academy consists of a self-paced educational video repository on the Internet (over 30 million lessons delivered to-date).  All 2000+ video tutorials, covering everything from basic addition to advanced calculus, physics, chemistry and biology, have been made by Sal, which are viewed nearly 100,000 times around the world each day.

A carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script -- give students video lectures to watch at home, and do "homework" in the classroom with the teacher available to help.

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  1. […] wants to give teachers the opportunity to create what Sal Khan has been doing for years (read our review of Khan Academy). Developers, Wade Roberts and Chris Streeter, knew when designing this app, that […]