Ed-Tech Policy

Video-Lesson Project Flourishes

By Anthony Rebora — October 12, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Can a free online library of video lessons revolutionize classroom instruction?

That’s the claim being made for the Khan Academy, a much-heralded new education nonprofit. Started as a simple inter-family tutoring operation, the service now includes nearly 2,300 short video lessons (most in math and science) that have been viewed some 45 million times and translated into more than 10 languages. Along the way, it has picked up funding from both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Google. (Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit corporation that publishes the Teacher PD Sourcebook, is also a recipient of Gates Foundation funding.)

In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, Salman Khan, the company’s Harvard- and MIT-trained founder, argued that the strength of the platform is that it lets educators “change the basic rhythm of their classroom.” As opposed to giving one-size-fits-all lectures, the former hedge fund manager explained, teachers can have their students view the lessons on their own, at their own pace, and then use class time to work with them on areas where they need help.

“It is often said that technology makes modern life less personal,” Khan wrote, “but in this case, it has allowed teachers to take a big step toward humanizing their instruction.”

Others have gone further, arguing that the Khan Academy model has the potential to transform the way school systems select and deliver curricula. More than one business journalist has characterized it as the potential “Napster” of the education industry, referring to the revolutionary digital music-sharing software.

In addition to the video lessons, the Khan Academy now provides software that includes related exercises and assessments, as well as a “dashboard” that lets teachers monitor students’ progress.

The company has launched a number of formal partnerships with school districts to test the programs use in classrooms, including one in the Los Altos, Calif., district. A blog written by educators and students involved in that project is available here.

A version of this article appeared in the October 13, 2011 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy From Our Research Center Schools Are Taking Too Long to Craft AI Policy. Why That's a Problem
Nearly 8 of every 10 educators say their districts don’t have clear AI policies, according to an EdWeek Research Center survey.
8 min read
A person sits at a computer and tries to figure out a cloud of AI Policy Confusion
Kathleen Fu for Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy The 'Homework Gap' Is About to Get Worse. What Should Schools Do?
The looming expiration of a federal program has districts worried that many students will not have adequate home internet access.
4 min read
A young boy does homework with a tablet at the kitchen table.
Ilona Titova/iStock
Ed-Tech Policy These State Lawmakers Want All School Districts to Craft AI Policies. Will Others Follow?
The vast majority of districts in the country have not released AI guidance, even though educators say they need it.
2 min read
Woman using a computer chatting with an intelligent artificial intelligence.
iStock/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy National Ed-Tech Plan Outlines How Schools Can Tackle 3 Big Digital Inequities
There's great potential for districts to use technology to meet all students' individual learning needs, federal plan suggests.
3 min read
High angle shot of a man assisting his students at computers
iStock/Getty