I just found out about the Khan Academy in the news earlier this week and I think it’s one of the most inspirational projects I’ve seen in a while.
Salman Khan is a former hedge fund manager who single handedly created a whole library of YouTube videos to explain all manner of mathematical and scientific topics to kids in a way that’s easy to understand. He started doing them as a way to tutor his nieces and nephews. Now
…his 800-plus videos are viewed about 35,000 times a day, forming a virtual classroom that dwarfs any brick and mortar school he might have imagined. By using the reach of the Internet, he’s helped bring education to the information-hungry around the world who can’t afford private tutors or Kaplan prep courses.
I watched a few of them and I’m totally hooked! When I was in school I always learned just enough math to do well on tests, but then I’d promptly forget what I learned after a test was over. I wished I had someone like Salman Khan as a teacher…someone who made math relevant and interesting beyond a test and who spoke in plain english instead of abstractions.
He’s also got a series on economics and the financial system that I totally plan on watching since I know so pathetically little about how it all works.