Outreach Coordinator Peter Kuperman on the Khan Academy

By Peter Kuperman

The brainchild of educator Salman Khan, the Khan Academy offers more than 2,400 instruction videos online. The antithesis of scripted, monotone lectures, the presentations breathe life into math, physics, chemistry, and other subjects. Salman Khan recorded each video, determined to share his love of learning and bring intuitive concepts into the education process. Envisioning a world-class virtual school that is free to everyone, he hopes the Khan Academy will become self-sustaining within a few years.

Students who visit the Khan Academy website at http://www.khanacademy.org can access the video library, assessments, and practice exercises, customizing the learning process at their own pace. Each custom profile provides points and badges, enabling students to monitor their progress. Learners can also find help on the site when needed. Because teachers, coaches, and parents can see what the students accomplish in real-time, they are better equipped to provide targeted interventions.

The instructional videos on the Khan Academy website average approximately 10 minutes in length. Conversational in nature, even for math and science instruction, they make learning fun without sacrificing rigor. Salman Khan is fascinated by the world around him and ties concepts to the big picture. Unlike dry textbook material that is memorized and quickly forgotten, the information at the Khan Academy is relatable and memorable, and thus more easily retained. General topics include arithmetic, algebra, calculus, history, SAT preparation, and even cosmology and astrology. Individual topics, such as developmental math, may have hundreds of sub-topics.

A passionate teacher such as Salman Khan produces passionate students. In our 21st century cyber-driven, global economy, quality education is just a click away. Do you want to know how to use the quadratic formula? Would you like to raise money for a startup? Are you interested in the French Revolution? Find out about those subjects and thousands more at the Khan Academy.

Salman Khan Talk at TED 2011