Technology continues to become of more and more importance in the classroom. But is it being used properly and to the best of its’ ability? Many would argue the answer is no. And one man is on a mission to change that Salman Khan. Khan, along with his fellow brainiacs at the Khan Academy (and with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as Google), want to revolutionize the way technology is utilized, making the use of computers and videos to have a more positive and powerful impact. How?
Shantanu Sinha, the president of Khan Academy, stated in a piece for the Huffington Post that, “for the most part, we didn’t teach kids with the computer, we taught them how to use the computer. Most kids need no help and could probably teach their parents.” He added that, “in the end, computer labs were a side show, expensive investments largely squandered due to a lack of good content or purpose.”
The schools, they apparently have the computers. But the Khan Academy are on a quest to bring the content and “building the software and tools we think teachers and students really need.”
Last fall, the Khan Academy began their pilot program for math in a few 5th and 7th grade classes in Los Altos, California – a journey that has been captured by a documentary crew from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Their quest is to ensure that “students can truly work at their own pace on their own time.,” and that “students actually master concepts before they move on.” They also want to provide educators with “real-time data.” Their hope is that this will allow teacher to ” make much better use of classroom time, with more peer tutoring, project-based learning, and one-on-one coaching. Most importantly, we are making learning fun.”
Sounds pretty good to me. But your child needn’t be in the pilot program in Silicone Valley to experience the Khan Academy’s approach. They want to educate everyone, anyone, anywhere, and everywhere. Their website features over two-thousand videos as well as about a hundred “self-paced exercises” on topics such as “arithmetic to physics, finance, and history.”And all for free. You can check out the Khan Academy and maybe learn something yourself right here.
Check out this video about the Khan Academy here: