13-17yrs, 18 & over, 8-12yrs

Khan Academy: A free educational website for students


What is a good website to learn? The first name that usually comes up is Khan Academy, a program started by Sal Khan, who comes from humble beginnings of teaching his cousins through the internet. As his popularity rose, Khan started to create videos and posting them on YouTube, eventually quitting his job. Over the year, his videos gained 1.3 billion years over the years, allowing him to create a non-profit organization with all of his lessons on one website.

Now that we know the humble origins of these tutorials, let’s see if it is worth it to use for education.

The Website:

In bold: You can learn anything. Looks like it as scrolling through the whole website, tutorials of math, science, arts, humanities, economics, and even test prep for the SAT and MCAT. And those broad topics cover many topics such as Physics, Chemistry, Algebra, World History, and many others. These kind of websites make us think about whether if we need to go to school at all.

((Food For Thought: With education being outsourced to the internet in programs such as Khan Academy and Duolingo, are we facing a revolution? We could be facing a revolution either more free education to developing countries and those access to schools. Or we could be facing a revolution of more people not completing courses.))

The Videos:

These videos start out black but later are etched with colorful marks of pen explaining the exponential functions or the Great War. Although they are in full detail, they feel a bit slow in speed, which could be great for learners who pick information up slowly, but lacking to those who prefer to learn fast.

“Although they are in full detail, they feel a bit slow in speed”

If you need to study for a test, the videos are mediocre as sometimes if you want to review the whole unit, it takes time through all of the videos. On the other hand, if you need to review a concept that may be you don’t understand, Khan Academy is extremely great. For example, if I have a test on the Krebs Cycle, going over the video on the topic is tremendously helpful. If you want to learn something new such as chemistry or computer programming, Khan Academy is a thumbs up as the slow speed help people understand new topics easily.

Improvements:

Although a great collection of lessons, some flaws of the organization exist. I feel that their math, science, and history programs are well covered, but English is still lacking quite a bit. At the moment, they only have grammar, and I feel that may not be enough. To fix the problem, I feel they should collaborate with other programs such as Crash Course or Duolingo to cover more topics. Some of the topics they should add are literary and passage analysis and world languages.

Overall, Khan Academy is one of the more notable education program out there right now with in depth videos on many topics. Most of all, access for all the videos is free, allowing more distribution to those who may not have schools near them. But this doesn’t mean that it is perfect; it has a couple flaws, but that doesn’t hinder people from learning things they want to learn.