Thirty-three-year-old Salman Khan is not your average hedge fund analyst. In fact, he recently quit his job to devote himself to an unpaid job teaching math on the Internet. His site, The Khan Academy, has already received the 2009 Tech Award in Education and gets 40,000 video views a day. The lessons covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance and are all taught by Mr. Khan himself.
Khan explains that many American students have trouble with math, and studies show they lag behind their counterparts in Asia and Europe in both math and science. Shy students or students who simply lose focus for a few minutes may miss key concepts but with Khan Academy students can stop, rewind and review concepts endlessly without holding up other students.
Internet instruction, be it the Khan Academy or taped university lectures, could revolutionize education in remote areas of the world, where access to high-quality instruction is frequently unavailable. Only time will tell.
"I have gotten researchers telling me that you don't realize 10 minutes -- we have done studies -- is how long someone can have a high level of concentration. And anything beyond that, you kind of lose it." Salman Khan, Khan Academy
"You would be surprised how fast these kids learn and pick these things up. So, it isn't strange to them. They have heard of this. And they are excited to use it." Megha Jain, World Possible
1. What is a non-profit?
2. What kinds of things do you learn on the internet? How do you know if you can trust that information?
1. Why do you think the United States lags behind other countries in math and science? How can this change?
2. If you could open up a school on the internet, what would you teach?
3. Do you think the Khan Academy (or a company like it) could one day make schools obsolete? Why or why not?
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