We’re about 20 years into the age of the Internet, and I feel like it’s just getting warmed up. The Internet and modern computing have changed so many things, but the potential still seems limitless. Any area related to sharing of information is undergoing massive change, and education is certainly about sharing information.
I’ve been intrigued by Khan Academy ever since I first heard about it. Sal Khan’s “here, let me walk you through that” videos made for a solid base upon which Khan Academy has grown and tried new ideas. The site offers a bunch of tools for flipping the classroom so that Internet-based learning doesn’t need to be limited to humans interacting with computers alone. They use machine learning techniques to figure out which problems you should be presented with next. They offer SAT prep. They have run experiments like LearnStorm in conjunction with traditional school systems.
And, they do it all for free. KA is a non-profit and their “mission is to provide a free, world?class education for anyone, anywhere.” Their code is open source and they’ve been one of the biggest contributors to React. Education can make a huge difference in people’s lives and this is an organization that is constantly working on ways to make that difference for as many people as they can.
Bill Gates called it the “future of education” at the end of Sal’s TED talk. And even Mr. Money Mustache says that “Sal Khan is pretty much The Man when it comes to great do-it-yourself education.”, though I daresay the Bill Gates endorsement likely carries a bit more weight.
We’ve already entered a period of unprecedented educational choice and opportunity, and by joining Khan Academy I’ll have a chance to do my bit to help children and adults who want to learn.
I’ve enjoyed my conversations with the KA people I’ve met so far, and I’m looking forward to getting started! What will I be doing at KA? I’m joining the tech staff and I’m looking forward to seeing how I can best help out once I’m there. I’m back to blogging at Blue Sky On Mars (more on that in another post), so expect to read more about my experiences at KA in this space.