Do you have a Google or Facebook account? Do you have access to the web? If so, you are fully equipped to take classes at the Khan Academy. Cost? Zero. That’s right. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
The Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization that offers free classes to anyone. Users over the age of 13 with a Google or Facebook account can log in and access the academy’s vast wealth of tools an information. Users have the ability to quickly track their progress and earn points and badges. Badges are Khan’s version of bragging rights, awarded as users learn different skills.
The Khan Academy is run, not by educators, but by a team of smart designers and engineers brandishing resumes that read like a Who’s Who’s list from Stanford and MIT. These guys know technology, engineering and finance.
The Khan Academy resources are pretty expansive as well. Students have access to an capacious video library that boasts over 2,600 videos in multiple languages that cover everything from K-12 math to physics. Videos are set up to entice even those with a short attention spans, averaging about ten minutes long each. The tools don’t just end with videos. Khan academy features adaptive practice and assessment exercise. Exercises break down the steps to each problem, provide hints, and offer a seemingly endless set of randomly generated potential questions.
Not just resigned to being a fancy quiz or tutorial site, Khan offers hard data on everything that users have been doing on the site. This hard data offers a bird’s eye view of exactly what goals the user has meet. There is even data on how to increase mastery and develop skills more effectively. This offers teachers a chance to review a class summary of data from a dashboard and explore each student’s progress and needs.
The Khan Academy has over 2.4 million visitors per month outside of the United States. The site has an international reach and has established partnerships with schools in countries like India and Ghana. If you are a science or math teacher, your students are missing out on some great tools.