As the President of the Harlan Institute, I am always looking for ways to use the Internet to educate and teach students in new and innovative ways. Salmann Khan, who runs a one-man “academy” on YouTube has proved to be a virtuoso of online education.
Check out this article from the Chronicle of High Education.
The most popular educator on YouTube does not have a Ph.D. He has never taught at a college or university. And he delivers all of his lectures from a bedroom closet.
This upstart is Salman Khan, a 33-year-old who quit his job as a financial analyst to spend more time making homemade lecture videos in his home studio. His unusual teaching materials started as a way to tutor his faraway cousins, but his lectures have grown into an online phenomenon—and a kind of protest against what he sees as a flawed educational system.
“My single biggest goal is to try to deliver things the way I wish they were delivered to me,” he told me recently.
The resulting videos don’t look or feel like typical college lectures or any of the lecture videos that traditional colleges put on their Web sites or YouTube channels. For one thing, these lectures are short—about 10 minutes each. And they’re low-tech: Viewers see only the scrawls of equations or bad drawings that Mr. Khan writes on his digital sketchpad software as he narrates.
The lo-fi videos seem to work for students, many of whom have written glowing testimonials or even donated a few bucks via a PayPal link. The free videos have drawn hundreds of thousands of views, making them more popular than the lectures by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, famous for making course materials free, or any other traditional institution online, according to the leaders of YouTube’s education section.
Mr. Khan calls his collection of videos “Khan Academy,” and he lists himself as founder and faculty. That means he teaches every subject, and he has produced 1,400 lectures since he started in 2006. Now he records one to five lectures per day.
What an amazing story!