Pushing Boundaries in Education: A Case Study of Khan Academy

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“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

— Albert Einstein

In 2003, former financial analyst Salman Khan began tutoring his cousin Nadine in Mathematics and other science subjects. Despite their differing geographical location, he had to rely on the power of the Internet to engage the young lady. He made use of Yahoo Doodle to teach the subjects she had difficulties in. This seemingly little idea is what grew to become Khan Academy.

Salman Khan
Salman Khan, Founder of Khan Academy

“How so?” you might ask. Relatives and friends got wind of the tutorial sessions and began to ask for Salman to tutor their children. Growing demands for his tutorials led him to start uploading tutorial videos on YouTube in order to save time and increase access. Training students in Mathematics and science-related subjects, the YouTube channel has had over 450 million views in the years following its opening.

Today, Khan Academy has grown into a global platform providing learning resources for learners provided by content experts and tools empowering teachers to deliver quality education to students. Today, the YouTube platform of Khan Academy has 5.46 million subscribers and over 1.7 billion views. In fact, some underserved regions of Africa and Asia use Khan Academy’s resources to deliver educational resources in schools.

The challenges that Khan Academy solves include;
  • Closing barriers between students and experts,
  • Accessibility of educational resources and materials,
  • The flexibility of studies—as learners can replay videos for as many times as they need to,
  • Affordability—as Khan Academy runs as a not-for-profit platform,
  • The language barrier has been partially overcome: video content is delivered mainly in English. Other languages used to deliver content are Spanish, French, Hindu, Arabic and so on, and
  • Promotion of personalized learning.

That is a whole lot of boundaries pushed by Khan Academy.

The Khan Academy website is used to complement the YouTube channel where the videos are mainly uploaded. On the website, learners can track their progress and take exercise or practice questions. Khan Academy is only one of the several online learning or EdTech platforms today that exists with useful resources tackling the boundaries mentioned above. Some other learning platforms include YouTube, Udemy, Coursera, Udacity, etc.

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Which platform do you engage with for your online learning? What challenges do you face with learning? Share in the comment box below.

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