When I first heard of KhanAcademy (KA), it was a collection of Youtube videos. Each video was lucidly explaining simply fundamental topics in Maths, Science and even some in Finance. That was back in 2002 when Salman Khan (no, not the actor) was doing these videos in his free time and was giving them away for free. To see one man create such a rich set of learning media was inspiring.
The day KA received a 5 million USD funding, marked the critical change in the system. With the funding came a responsibility towards a greater good, a need for a vision that encompassed the funding and the need for a team who would embrace this vision and deliver this system.
And they haven’t disappointed. As I sit writing this post, I am also downloading the Python-based system of KA (which they have released as open-source). There are simple step by step instructions on their wiki to deploy the system as an offline server.
The KA CMS (pre-uploaded with the KA content) is given to the teachers and instructors of this world. For free! Not only that, but there is a dedicated team working with schools in the US to adapt these awesome set of exercises for their students.
Now, a celebrated speaker and a visionary in the field of education, Sal is often invited as a keynote speaker in different conferences, here’s on from the RSA conference (Courtesy: Rajat Swarup).
In the past, the US education system has received a lot of flak for not helping the students. So much so that there are more students who are losing faith in the system every year. When you lose faith in the system, thats the point when that system stops working.
KA, has restored faith of the American Youth in Education. The generation which was planning to drop-out of college (because thats what their heroes do) are now learning that the system is not flawed and that they can really learn something new when going to school. The lost generation has found its way.