The Future of Education Blazes A Path Through Harlem: Khan Academy

The future of education is changing dramatically. Nowhere is this more evident than in Harlem. The changes are happening on a number of fronts. Harlem’s high-performing charter schools are just the tip of the iceberg. But the true game changer is the technology-enabled delivery of free high-quality education to anyone, anywhere, anytime via any internet connected device. A great example of this is the Khan Academy.

What Is Khan Academy?

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit with one goal: “changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere”. Anyone can sign up. For free. Via the internet. Students can browse, explore and engage the extensive video library, interactive challenges, and assessments from any device 24/7/365.

The library of videos covers K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and the humanities with playlists on finance and history. Each video is a digestible chunk, approximately 10 minutes long, and especially purposed for viewing on the computer. Each video includes a time stamped transcript allowing students to read what is being said and click on a sentence to jump to that point in the video. The Khan Academy awards badges for effort and performance.

Who Is Using It In Harlem?

The middle school math curriculum at the Harlem Academy leverages the Kahn Academy to individualize instruction and maximize time with teachers. Students are able to learn and/or practice the basics anywhere. But when done in a classroom setting, this gives the teachers more time to observe each student’s work in real time, monitor when a student gets stuck and respond with a rapid, effective and personalized intervention.

Perhaps the best testimonial are the words of a middle school student: “I think it’s a really great way to learn.” “You don’t feel like you are just trying to pass a class; instead you’re doing something fun.”

What’s Does A Video “Look” Like?

Below are three sample videos. This is but a taste of a larger catalogue that simply must be browsed to be fully appreciated. I encourage everyone to browse the catalogue and try a few minutes of the first item that gets your attention. I promise you – it will be the best 10-15 minutes of your day.

The History of Haiti Part 1

The Heart

The Beauty of Algebra

Please let us know what vidoes you, your family and your friends find useful, so we can help spread the word across the village of Harlem and across the world.