Khan Academy is an nonprofit educational organization that aims to take education to every corner of the globe. From its webpage you can access more than 6,000 videos with lessons in several dozen different subjects. Although originally the videos and Khan Academy itself was only in English, a large part of the content is now available in more than 20 different languages. What’s more, all the lessons and the content is completely free.
The essential objective of Khan Academy is to take basic education to primary and secondary school students that normally wouldn’t have access to it. Nevertheless, over time its courses offerings have expanded, and as of October 2014, you can do courses from its webpage on everything from basic geometry to macroeconomy, from programming to advanced anatomy.
In Khan Academy the courses and classes follow a very simple tree structure. The main subjects are divided into seven branches, among them, for instance, math. Inside the math section you’ll find different topics like linear algebra, and each of these is further broken down into several courses (in this case, one of them is ‘Vectors and Spaces’). And finally, within each course you’ll find a certain number of videos—usually between five and thirty—where a professor (often Salman Khan) explains the lesson in the most straightforward way possible.
Almost all the videos available on Khan Academy are narrated in English, but have subtitles in several languages. In any case, if you have problems with Shakespeare’s native tongue, in your account settings you can choose your preferred language. Also, on the page for each video you can see not just the clip itself but also all the questions and comments from other users with their corresponding answers. These questions and answers are usually quite useful for clearing up more opaque concepts from the videos. In addition, as is logical, any user can leave a question or respond to a comment from another user.
The registration process on Khan Academy is very simple (you can do it automatically via Google+ or Facebook) and, once done, you can set up a profile page like the one above. On your profile you can view all the stats about topics and videos you’ve completed, as well as the medals and energy points you have. These medals and points are a series of rewards you get as you complete lessons, and help give you an incentive to progress and be more diligent. For example, for each video you view all the way to the end you’ll get 850 energy points, and when you get to 100,000 you can unlock a new background for your profile. They’re small rewards, but they do make learning a bit more fun.
In the long run, the aim of Khan Academy is none other than to make education more accessible and fun for the whole world. While trigonometry or linear algebra might not be especially engaging for most people, Khan Academy also has entire courses devoted to subjects as fascinating as black holes and stars, the history of the First World War, or even the British Museum. With Khan Academy, learning something new every day is not just within reach for anyone with Internet access, but also easy and fun.
Link: Khan Academy