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Khan Academy Scores $5 Million to Get Real Classrooms and More Teachers

The Future of Education

All eyes on Salman Khan. Image by jurvetson via Flickr

The beauty of Khan Academy is kids can watch classes anywhere, anytime and free. Now, Khan Academy is crawling out of the internet and into brick and mortars in addition to creating more content with the help of $5 Million infusion from O’Sullivan Foundation.

Until now, Khan has been able to operate a smooth operation cranking out videos watched by 3.5 million unique users. We call that a niche. Khan is diversifying and expanding his operation.

These are also the kinds of issues that trip up the current education model.

This will be a real test of Khan’s leadership and ability to manage a growing enterprise.

  1. Brick and mortar…but flipped
    Sal is going back to school. We think this is the most interesting use of the new cash. Kahn captured the imagination of the education world with online videos on algebra and the like. He’s changed perceptions about online education, and for his encore, Khan plans to turn classrooms upside down. In June, Khan will start with summer camp in Silicon Valley. He already has some pilot programs running.
  2. New Faculty
    Up until now, Professor Khan taught all the lessons. Note to inspiring faculty: The Academy is recruiting, more nutty less boring. They want teachers who can make interesting videos so kids can learn.

  3. Crowdsource content and curation

    In addition to new teachers, Khan Academy plans to open the floodgates for the crowd to contribute videos. This will require curation, and that’s another aspiration. We’re curious if the folks at Khan have seen startup Mentormob, or if they have different ideas about how to curate content.

We reported last week that Khan has grand visions about expanding beyond videos in an interview. The video is a good glimpse into what Sal plans to do with the cash. You’ll recall in September, Google handed $2 million to Khan Academy.

This is what Sal had to say about the new funding:

“The school of the future will not resemble the school of today,” said Salman Khan. “In the past, the assembly-line, lecture-homework-exam model existed because that’s what was possible in the no-tech and low-tech classrooms of their day.”

The Khan Academy model allows teachers to discover which students are struggling with which concepts, and allows students to repeat sections of videos or online tests until they master the material. One of the goals is to re-engage students, some with significant gaps in their knowledge, who have previously felt lost and disengaged.

“We can now build a new reality, using today’s technologies, where learning is custom-tailored and collaborative, bite-sized and iterative,” said Salman Khan. “When students learn at their own pace, and become more self-directed, they remain engaged. This helps teachers build strong foundations, so that even students that are labeled as ‘slow or remedial’ become advanced in a matter of months.”

via Khan Academy Receives $5 Million to Accelerate the Reinvention of Education – MarketWatch.



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