The Khan Academy: An Online Learning Success Story

The Khan Academy: An Online Learning Success Story

The Khan Academy is one of the most famous institutions of online learning in the world. It’s a case study in successful Internet teaching, and it provides a glimpse into the future of education. In fact, the day may soon come when the majority of the world’s classrooms are using this school’s materials.

The Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that provides free video lectures, in every subject, for every grade from kindergarten to grade twelve. This institution also supplies interactive activities to help students practice new skills, and interactive quizzes to allow teachers to assess their classes’ progress. The academy keeps track of what each individual user has accomplished – all data remains private, however – and awards points and badges when activities are completed, so that at any time students can evaluate their own achievements and get to work on areas that need strengthening. There are well over 3,000 videos in the Khan Academy library, and that number keeps growing all the time.

The Khan Academy debuted in September 2006. It was founded by New Orleans native and MIT and Harvard Business School graduate Salman Khan. The academy started small, with just a few YouTube tutorials which Khan posted to help family members. But these videos became viral hits – so much so that in 2009 Khan became convinced he should quit his hedge fund job to pursue online education as a full-time career.

Today, the Khan Academy’s videos have been viewed, collectively, over 100 million times. The institution is kept in business through private donations, including major funding from Google and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, both of which consider education reform a top priority. The Khan Academy holds special promise for students in poverty-stricken regions of the world, where building and maintaining high-quality schools can be next to impossible.

Khan’s videos can be especially helpful to students who learn at a slower pace. Those students may pause, rewind and replay portions of videos whenever a lesson is not quite clear the first time, and they can redo activities multiple times until they get them right. At the same time, students who tend to learn at an accelerated pace will also benefit from this kind of instruction, as they can work their way through more advanced lessons than their classmates. As a result, they’re much less likely to get bored and lose interest in school.

Online learning market place

Apr 27, 2012