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Khan Academy Delivers 100,000 Lectures Daily 213

Posted by kdawson
from the soup-to-nuts-to-linear-algebra dept.
eldavojohn writes "Working from the comfort of his home, Salman Khan has made available more than 1,500 mini-lectures to educate the world. Subjects range from math and physics to finance, biology, and current economics. Kahn Academy amounts to little more than a YouTube channel and one very devoted man. He is trying to provide education in the way he wished he had been taught. With more than 100,000 video views a day, the man is making a difference for many students. In his FAQ he explains how he knows he is being effective. What will probably ensure his popularity (and provide a legacy surpassing that of most highly paid educators) is that everything is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. He only needs his time, a $200 Camtasia Recorder, an $80 Wacom Bamboo Tablet, and a free copy of SmoothDraw3. While the lecturing may not be quite up to the Feynman level, it's a great augmenter for advanced learners, and a lifeline for those without much access to learning resources."
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Khan Academy Delivers 100,000 Lectures Daily

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  • by meekg (30651) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:28PM (#32713372) Homepage

    KAHHHHHHN !!!!!1!

  • by NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:29PM (#32713388)
    It was just personal curiosity since I had heard of it but boy, he was so straight forward about it I understood very quickly. The guy deserves his success.
  • by andy1307 (656570) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:30PM (#32713390)
    Kahn = Jewish

    Khan = Muslim

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by EvanED (569694)

      Khan = Muslim

      Or a genetically-engineered Indian [memory-alpha.org].

    • by JanneM (7445) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:48PM (#32713492) Homepage

      Kan = Japanese

      Can = beer coming right up

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dido (9125)

        The funny thing is 'kan' can mean in Japanese a can or tin as well, if it's written using the kanji U+7F36 [wiktionary.org]. Oddly enough it's not one of the many wasei-eigo [wikipedia.org] terms Japanese imported from English, as it's really one of the on-yomi (Chinese) readings of that kanji. The technical term for such a thing is a false cognate [wikipedia.org]. It's written '', just in case Slashdot ever stops being one of the last few sites to survive to the 21st century while remaining stubbornly ignorant of Unicode.

    • I, for one, I think that kadwson is doing a fine job with his spelling in these articles.

    • by shri (17709)
      Time for a movie quote... "My name is Khan and I'm not Jewish"
    • Re:Tip for kdawson (Score:4, Interesting)

      by value_added (719364) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:19AM (#32713648)

      Kahn = Jewish

      Khan = Muslim

      Last I checked, "Muslim" was recognised as neither an ethnicity, nor a nationality. But don't get that in the way of trying to make life simple for yourself or others.

      Salman Khan, IIRC, was born in New Awlins, and his parents are from some province in India. Someone else can add to that if they're so inclined.

      Either way, he's an amazing guy. The word would be a better place if there more "Muslims" like him around. ;-)

      • Re:Tip for kdawson (Score:4, Informative)

        by Third Position (1725934) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:56AM (#32713750)

        TFA says:

        Khan's mother is from Calcutta; his father was a pediatrician from Bangladesh. His parents divorced when he was 3, and his father died when he was only 13. By high school, he was growing up in a New Orleans suburb with a hardworking single mother and a fiercely protective elder sister.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xigxag (167441)

        In his FAQ, Khan says about his religion, "If you believe in trying to make the best of the finite number of years we have on this planet (while not making it any worse for anyone else), think that pride and self-righteousness are the cause of most conflict and negativity, and are humbled by the vastness and mystery of the Universe, then I'm the same religion as you."

        In other words, he's an atheist. ;)

        • Re:Tip for kdawson (Score:5, Insightful)

          by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Monday June 28, 2010 @07:02AM (#32715046)
          I think the point he was making is that any intellectual that has considered their place in life and moral philosophy are alike where it matters, regardless of religious creed or lack thereof.

          I'm a Baptist, and I share those beliefs. So do many atheists, Hindus, Muslims, and others.

          Religion just isn't important when forming a viewpoint about someone, and only causes problems if one falls into the "pride and self-righteousness" category.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by perryizgr8 (1370173)

            what he said ^^
            seriously people, most religious, god-believing individuals have these exact same notions and concepts like you atheists. please stop pretending to be enlightened elitist bastards.

        • Re:Tip for kdawson (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jawnn (445279) on Monday June 28, 2010 @08:45AM (#32715790)

          In other words, he's an atheist. ;)

          I don't see where he stated anything of the sort. Quite the contrary, I see the thoughtful musings of an agnostic in his statements. It may also be that he is a most devout Pastafarian, but recognizes that an inflexible adherence to any dogma, including the one that insists that there is no deity, is quite literally a fool's errand.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          In other words, he's an atheist. ;)

          Or Bhuddist of Hindu. I'm not sure of the Hindu religion, but Bhuddists worship life, and that statement would fit their philosophy completely.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Afell001 (961697)
          Atheist - a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

          Agnostic - a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

          Pride - a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, condu
          • Khan is likely to be ignoring the inherent conflicts in his religion with the many other religions (which the collective members various religions do when they lack the power to eradicate other religions) or he may be a deist who believes god exists and sort of rolls his own religion based on a foundation of some other religion (perhaps islam) where he picks the parts he likes and ignores the parts he doesn't like. By the adherents of the religion, he's a heretic and viewed as going to hell (or not going t

      • by andy1307 (656570)
        You don't think it's important for kdawson to at least get his name right?
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by asliarun (636603)

        On a slightly different note, I find it a little sad that slashdot contributors are able to correctly spell Nordic/Germanic names with umlauts and complex non-English vowels (immediate example: Piratbyrån), but screw up the spelling of a name as simple as Khan.

        To be fair, we all (at least us geeks) tend to pay special attention to spelling when we see a non-English symbol in a name. Nonetheless, please do ask yourself if you are unconsciously trying to be Euro-centric. It helps to become more aware of

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          On a slightly different note, I find it a little sad that slashdot contributors are able to correctly spell Nordic/Germanic names with umlauts and complex non-English vowels (immediate example: Piratbyrån), but screw up the spelling of a name as simple as Khan

          We don't spell words like Piratbyrån, we copy and paste them. But we don't do that with a simple, short name, because anyone can get Kahn right. Er Kon. Er...

          • by asliarun (636603)

            Fair enough. I mentioned this in my previous post as well. It goes the other way around too, I've seen too many Asians unable to properly pronounce a common American name. I meant my earlier comment to be constructive - wasn't implying anything.

            Just that Khan is probably as easy to spell as John. You hardly ever see anyone misspelling it Jhon (which is actually how it is pronounced!).

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Maxo-Texas (864189)

          I find it amusing that they can spell such names but have loost the ability to spell loose.

      • Kahn = Jewish

        Khan = Muslim

        Last I checked, "Muslim" was recognised as neither an ethnicity, nor a nationality. But don't get that in the way of trying to make life simple for yourself or others.

        Salman Khan, IIRC, was born in New Awlins, and his parents are from some province in India. Someone else can add to that if they're so inclined.

        Either way, he's an amazing guy. The word would be a better place if there more "Muslims" like him around. ;-)

        His mother is from the Indian state of West Bengal, his father is from Bangladesh, which is a country [wikipedia.org]

      • by bytesex (112972)

        What are recognized ethnicities, and who recognizes them ?

      • by mrops (927562)

        Actually Salman Khan is as typical a muslim name from the Indian sub-continent as it gets.

        Not saying what this particular individual practices/believes. I would love to see more Muslim doing the kind of work he is, once in a while rest of us Muslims don't have to bury our head in the sand when a news story hits the media about some insane F&$*$ blowing himself up.

    • So, are you saying Genghis Khan was a Muslim?
      • by bsDaemon (87307)

        No, but his descendants that conquered Persia then were instrumental in spreading the religion, especially into India and further east into Asia.

    • Kahn = Jewish

      Khan = Muslim

      Caan = Rollerball / Dragons' Den.

  • 'Feynman' level? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:31PM (#32713398)

    When people stumble out of his lectures looking like they've been hit by a bus, then he'll have reached the 'Feynman' level. Right now IMHO he's already doing a better job of addressing normal students.

  • by KarmaOverDogma (681451) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:35PM (#32713420) Homepage Journal

    I think this is a very interesting way of bringing and old, maybe ancient, method of teaching back to the fore again.

    If I recall correctly, Socrates taught by answering questions and encouraging new ones, not just spouting knowledge according to a set curricula, like we do today.

    If used well, this strikes me as having a real impact for learning, and teaching, in a more natural way. I for one would love to see more of this kind of thing going on and being acknowledged as a legitimate and effective way to teach and learn.

    I wish him and the viewers all the best.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dialecticus (1433989)

      If I recall correctly, Socrates taught by answering questions and encouraging new ones, ...

      By modern standards he would most likely have been labeled a troll. After all, aren't trolls using a form of Socratic irony to spur debate?

      • If I recall correctly, Socrates taught by answering questions and encouraging new ones, ...

        By modern standards he would most likely have been labeled a troll. After all, aren't trolls using a form of Socratic irony to spur debate?

        They modded him troll at the time too. Unfortunately at the time the penalty was death...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by wmitty (160207)

      If I recall correctly, Socrates taught by answering questions and encouraging new ones, not just spouting knowledge according to a set curricula, like we do today.

      Socrates was unusual then and now in that he tought by asking questions encourage his students to think for themselves and discover answers on their own.

      While what Khan is doing is great and praisworthy, it is not the Socratic method.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Actually, we are not sure how much Socrates used what we know as the "Socratic Method" since most of our examples are from the writings of Plato (where he uses Socrates as a character in dialogues designed to present a point that Plato wanted to make). Socrates left no writings and for the most part all we know about him is what was said about him in the writings of his students works on philosophy.
    • Socrates wasn't teaching engineers or doctors, etc.

      Would you be happy with a doctor working on you, that never asked about spleens 'cus they are boring... when operating on your spleen.

      When you complete a course, you are supose to have some minimum level of "competence" in the subject. Not just know more than before.
    • When I read stories like this though, I'm forced to ask the question: Why lectures?

      For me, studying from hypertext is infinitely more effective. I can pause whenever I like, check additional sources, cross-reference, backtrack, etc.

      Personally, I think the hypertext is the greatest educational medium ever created. Universities clearly prefer lectures for a variety of (I would say) self-interested reasons. But unless you simply learn 'better' from spoken dialogue -- which is fine -- I think lectures are a v

      • Re: Lectures + Web (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TaoPhoenix (980487)

        It's a question in educational design.

        Lectures are just "Auditory Articles". The start of any educational module is a "TFA". Let's just presume the minimum = 1 sentence. If it's really hard (like an equation) the instructor should stop and either explain, or "wait for next week after it gels". (In really scary cases it "never gels" and then you just say "I'm not good at that". In "rolling thunder" topics like History, no one sentence is earth shattering, but reading something like Thorstein Veblen in the

    • by dargaud (518470)

      If I recall correctly, Socrates taught by answering questions and encouraging new ones, not just spouting knowledge according to a set curricula, like we do today.

      Yes, but that worked on a one to one basis. If you apply that to a roomfull of students you'll facepalm yourself with the stupidity of most questions and just waste your time.

    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      Socrates didn't have standardized tests or "no child left behind," and he produced Aristotle. We have had to poach talent since the end of the cold war, and in fact, we probably only one that because we swiped all the smart Nazis before the Russians could get them. I mean, look at Khan himself. Here's the child of a single-parent immigrant who has multiple BS degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics from MIT, then masters in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and a Ha

      • by bsDaemon (87307)

        wait... Plato taught Aristotle, not Socrates... see, my mind is leaking out my ear. At least I remembered.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:36PM (#32713424)

    Original article: 70k views per day
    Original Slashdot submission: 70k views per day
    Front page post after editing: Over 100k views per day

    Stay classy, kdawson.

    • He's hoping /. readers will click the link. He's sadly mistaken.
  • I wish... (Score:5, Informative)

    by spiffydudex (1458363) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:39PM (#32713440)

    I had knowledge of this site sooner. My Linear Algebra professor was horrible at giving lectures.(I wasn't the only one who thought so) After reviewing some of the linear material, Khans videos are helpful even after several weeks of summer. In fact the videos on the Gram-Schmidt helped explain what I completely missed the first time.

    I congratulate you Khan for your hard work to help educate the people of the world. I know it will serve me well in the upcoming year.

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:43PM (#32713466)

    Does he tech Klingon?

  • by MasterOfUniverse (812371) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:45PM (#32713478)
    not kahn.
  • by KPexEA (1030982) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:49PM (#32713500)
  • by VoxMagis (1036530) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @11:59PM (#32713540)

    Would have been nice if they had spelled the name right. My GOD, KDawson didn't even have to do anything like actually verify or read the site to review, he could have just looked at the two links in the damn summary.

    Still, I had heard inklings of something like this somewhere before, but never hunted it down. Thanks for providing it. As someone that came to a mind-boggling late interest in actually learning any real math, I may have found a place to spend some serious time.

    Thanks so much to Mr. Khan - a noble and important effort to drag those of us in dark ignorance into some level of glimmer.

  • by lennier (44736) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:01AM (#32713550) Homepage

    From Youtube's heart I vlog at thee.

  • Instructional Design (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:04AM (#32713562) Homepage

    In addition to the things listed above, he obviously has a pretty good grasp of instructional design principles.

    I watched a couple videos, and has either studied it or learned from trial and error somewhere along the line.

    Let us not forget this important glue that holds together solid instruction of any kind.

    • by RichMan (8097) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:38AM (#32713706)

      > and has either studied it or learned from trial and error somewhere along the line.

      It is explained in the FAQ which is linked from the slashdot summary that he uses the youtube time profile of the videos to refine the process.

      Also doing an Masters in EE/CS will usually get you a fair amount of time in front of a class doing the problem solving sessions if not actually lecturing for the undergrads. That is a lot of practical trial and error in the teaching process.

  • It's kinda sad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maestro4k (707634) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:49AM (#32713742) Journal

    That the first thing I thought when I read he licenses it all under Creative Commons was "Bet ASCAP would be pissed about that".

    But this is a wonderful thing he's doing, kudos to him and I wish him luck. Will have to check out some of his lectures sometime.

    • by CoolGopher (142933) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:12AM (#32713792)

      That the first thing I thought when I read he licenses it all under Creative Commons was "Bet ASCAP would be pissed about that".

      Am I the only who reads that acronym as Ass-Cap?

      • Actually, I usually insert an R into that. I'll leave it to you to figure out where.
        • by eihab (823648)

          Actually, I usually insert an R into that. I'll leave it to you to figure out where.

          What is ASCAPR? [bash.org] :P

          On a serious note, Khan Academy is wonderful. I only wish the content could be organized in a prerequisite manner across different topics (e.g. basic algebra before calculus, etc.). I guess I'll check the issue tracker, and maybe even send a patch or two :)

      • You're not. What with ASSCRAP and SCROTUS I sometimes wonder if I should be reading /. at work...

  • PoV of Maths Faculty (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kipling (24579) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:43AM (#32714122) Homepage

    I work at a University, teaching Maths across many levels.

    Khan's screencasts are nice - patient demos of how to do standard calculations. They are fairly traditional in some ways - 21st century chalk+talk.

    They are mostly useful for the "what to do" as even these contain enough of the "why" to put it in context.

    They complement what we do in formal classes, so we are happy to informally refer students on to them.

  • Thank you! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Some1too (1242900) on Monday June 28, 2010 @05:33AM (#32714740)
    I can't say that enough! As an older person who was returning to university your mathematics and physics exercises and videos were a life saver! I truly appreciate all the hard work and effort you've put into your educational materials (website, videos, lessons etc). They helped me immensely and I don't doubt for a second they will continue to do so when I finally begin my full time studies in September. It's people such as yourself that really help make a positive difference in our world. You're inspirational, thank you and keep up the excellent work. One last time: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Some1too.
  • by asadsalm (647013) on Monday June 28, 2010 @06:19AM (#32714892)
    From the site:

    ==============

    How can I/you help?

    The biggest thing is getting the word out. The students who use the site seem to really get excited by how quickly and deeply they can learn from it. Right now (5/2010), there are about 200,000 students using the site per month; no reason why it shouldn't be 20 million!

    If you like to code or work on user interface design, you might be able to help on the Khan Academy applications which we are doing as an open source project [google.com]
  • Teaching in the future, will be more tailored to the individual, learning what he needs to forgetting about what he does not....
    What I also see happening in the near future with this sort of teaching is that you will end up with many people overlapping knowledge..and collaborating more, if I know about general physics but buddy beside me knows more, for my present day problem I will consult with him, and he will have his use, where as the rest will be what I learned from this style course, unless I want to

  • Theres a competition to see who can review the most new books on Amazon. If you crunch the numbers they would have had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for the retail cost of these books plus every hour of the year reading the books and typing the reviews.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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