Sometime last month, Shankar posted a tweet about the Khan Academy. Have you ever heard of it? I followed the link and learned about Salman Khan, a man who gave up a successful career in Silicon Valley to teach people using Youtube videos. He’s posted over 1200 videos covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance.
Why does Khan do it? He’s not in it for the money. According to a recent interview, Khan said You know, I think I’ve always enjoyed teaching.
I believe him. His videos are not the dry lectures you’d expect from a geek. His enthusiasm shines through in the 10 to 20 minute videos. Here’s a video overview of the academy:
When talking about his teaching style, he says:
I teach the way that I wish I was taught. The lectures are coming from me, an actual human being who is fascinated by the world around him. The concepts are conveyed as they are understood by me, not as they are written in a textbook developed by an educational bureaucracy. Viewers know that it is the labor of love of one somewhat quirky and determined man who has a passion for learning and teaching. I don’t think any corporate or governmental effort–regardless of how much money is thrown at the problem–can reproduce this.
Students all over the world are viewing Khan’s videos and are finding that they are learning previously difficult subjects much more easily now.
To find out more, visit the Khan Academy website.