TECHNOLOGY & LIFE


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TECHNOLOGY & LIFE

Technology for good - Khan Academy

29th December 2015

As a proud sponsor of Khan Academy and a dreamer of a more fair society in which education is easily accessible and free for everyone, I thought I should use this blog post to market and spread the word about this project that touched my heart from the very first moment, Khan Academy.

When I started this blog I did it with the purpose of helping to spread those ideas that would provide our society with values and would help to create our world a better one. Khan Academy is one of those projects which I take as an example of how technology can contribute to a more fair society through free education, as a not‑for‑profit organisation, Khan Academy provides free of charge education for everyone.

His creator, Salman Khan who started tutoring his cousins remotely by uploading a couple of videos to youtube and has now more than 6000 videos and more than 10M unique users from all over the world, has completely changed the way millions of students learn nowadays. Contents vary from math to history, all of them very well structured and with a high quality of content.

We have been always complaining about overcrowded classes with more than 30 students in which lessons where imparted in a one fits all format despite of the fact that some of the students might have different backgrounds and different abilities, the animal school fable explains it in a very nice way.

Well, technology has helped to bridge that gap with sites like youtube and the video streaming technology and Khan Academy has made it easily accessible and free for everyone. It is now possible to have a teacher for yourself, pausing him, making him repeat the same concept once again till we get it, interrupting him without feeling guilty or being watched as if you were asking something simple.

The site also provides the teachers with tools to track students' progress in different areas, so teachers can actually see which students are great at a certain subject and which of them are struggling. This can help the teacher to identify the problems and needs of every student making it more visual and traceable.

Some schools have already started to use Khan Academy as part of their daily lessons, allowing the students to learn at home by watching the videos and using the lessons for exercises and problems solving. Some of these examples can be found here.

Even when Khan Academy is a great tool I think that the labour of the teacher, the guidance they provide, the motivation, the atmosphere they generate is still crucial to generate commitment and keep students motivated.

I would like to encourage you to either volunteer or donate to help to keep the project free and help it to grow. Many big technology organisations as Google and Oracle have already contributed, a little is always more than nothing :)

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