“I started making the videos so they could pause it and watch a lot of the stuff at their own pace and their own time,” he says in a video interview posted on the website. “It's been a very organic process.”
The website and app are extensive and have enough information to help students, coaches, parents and teachers use the videos and the exercises in classrooms, for extra coaching or simply to learn something new.
Khan also has become a leader in discussions about the online classroom movement. He started out funding it with his savings, but since then, he has received donations from corporations, individuals and organizations like The Gates Foundation and others. He won Google's “Project 10 to the 100,” featuring ideas to change the world, which came with $2 million in additional funding.
Last year, The Wall Street Journal featured a column by Khan called “Turning the Classroom Upside Down.”
“Why not have lectures at home and ‘homework' at school — and let students learn at their own pace?” reads the introduction.
“To us, the conclusion is obvious: Students simply do better when schools show respect for their natural curiosity and intelligence and give them a chance to achieve an intuitive understanding of fundamental concepts,” Khan wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “It turns out that, in order to juggle knives, it helps if you've first learned to juggle oranges with ease.”
As of March, the site had 6.2 million unique visitors and the videos have been watched more than 135 million times.
My son said he plans to use the website and app from now on when he needs help to understand his math lesson or when he needs a different explanation to reinforce the one his teacher gave. As all of my children continue to advance beyond the math I remember, I'm sure they will find it helpful, too.
Khan Academy would have made this first year of math in middle school much easier.
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