Khan Academy

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The Khan Academy is an online education company that prides itself in supplementing conventional academic knowledge with online video modules. The academy's primary vehicle for delivering educational content is YouTube. For its secondary vehicle, the academy utilizes its website, KhanAcademy.org, where practice tests, scoring, and other support training materials are readily available.

Early Days

The Web-based school was founded by Salman Khan in 2006 in an effort to make elementary and high school education accessible even to the poorest of the poor in remote villages around the world. The fact that the school is a non-profit attracts a lot of donors the likes of Google and The Bill Gates Foundation. Quite unlike other Internet-based training portals, The Khan Academy doesn't aim to impress with superfluous special effects and high fallutin' flips and tumbles of graphic objects that often characterize YouTube videos. On the contrary, the academy's approach to dishing out educational content has been criticized by some educators as simplistic enough to be boring. To illustrate, the standard academy presentation is rendered through an automated writer over a customary blackboard. The idea is to mimic the classroom situation as much as possible in order to give students who can't afford to go to school the feel of a real class situation.

Technique

From the chalk and blackboard approach, video viewers listen to the voice of a teacher explaining concepts from the simple to the complex. Compared to Sesame Street, The Salman Academy handle is less animated but never lacking in substance. The school doesn't attempt to replace actual schooling but the sad reality is, for many children around the world such as Africa, Asia, and South America, the academy is as good as it gets. Especially in the case of war-torn countries like Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon, global companies with the money to spare are funneling their financial endowments to the Salman Khan invention in order to make a difference in the world. Academy donors also provide funding to translate the Web-based school's videos into as many languages as possible in order to reach a greater number of people.

Minimalism

The company is based in Mountain View, California and being Internet-based, the academy's reach is being magnified daily by the contributions of donors and volunteers in different parts of the globe. On its own, the school only has a little over a hundred employees. And yet despite its lean-and-mean workforce, the academy that Khan built remains a powerful force in remote as well as rural education.

For the Record

To-date, the reach of the Khan ingenuity is unparalleled by other similar educational formats on the Web. The organization is likewise deepening its well-entrenched position among donors by partnering with key institutions to expand the unconventional school's trajectory. SAT and Pixar are the most recent partners to join the fray. With Facebook involved in a fervent mission to democratize Internet access, the potential of The Khan Academy in spreading the gospel of education exponentially is eagerly anticipated.