#Khan Academy: Comp-Sci Lessons

The concept and greatness of Khan Academy has been covered by R4T quite a few times, so explaining who they are and what they are would be.. redundant.

As we’ve already discussed before, Khan Academy (KHA) was the first organization in the world that created its own educational content for free, while influencing other institutes to follow suit. Their next milestone is something of great importance to all of us, a challenge that pretty much every single tween has had to face in their early years of academic conundrums. The ability to ‘narrow’ down our choices.

Many kids, while growing up, think of what they want to be. For example: to a child, the concept of a doctor is simply someone who looks after you and your health. Or my own personal example, I loved working with computers, and always thought I could just sit infront and work ‘on it’. Don’t think any kid carries the slightest idea of how many different ‘types’ of doctors actually exist. Most kids, if not all, get a hint of these specialized roles who are working at different levels of income and statuses combined. The same analogy can be applied to different types of industries: types of accountants, computer geeks, engineers, scientists, administrators, etc.

What people at KHA are doing: fundamentally tackling the issue of surprise. They chose Computer Science as the subject to tackle first.

“We wanted to create something that could get anyone with minimal knowledge of Computer Science really excited by the field–no matter what their age or situation,”

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Very noble goal in my opinion, but how does one achieve this difficult task and introduce to a broad level of audience?

Create an interactive but SIMPLE step-by-step video lesson, which you can pause, play, rewind, forward — on top of all this — EDIT (play around with), highlight, interact and get all hints/simple definitions by a few clicks, and showing the results of this activity in real time.

Learning is contextual and idiosyncratic; students better absorb new material if they can learn at their own pace and see the result of different options in realtime.

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The point of this approach is this:
Conventional education teaches us, 1+1 = 2. That may be right if we’re asking a question about a math principle, but what about a different scenario? REAL LIFE scenario. What if you were to solve something but had to prove the answer by using a non-traditional way to end up with the result of 2? $1.95 + .05 = 2.Yes you can say, algebra teaches us that, but I believe by that time the mind should be automatically ready – rather than SURPRISED with the concept of the damn ‘x’ variable.

We spend the entire day in schools, interacting with students who learn the same way we do, and with teachers who teach the same thing to everyone – and the system demands 1+1=2 theme. Whether the amount of satisfaction is great or not, the irony of it all is that we end up being different people doing the same things but differently. Why not teach students this important fact of life early on instead of finding out half way through education (post-high-school experience).

Learning acknowledges that real-life problems always have more than one path to a solution, that students learn best by doing, and that curiosity should drive exploration. This last point is perhaps the most important, since one of the primary barriers to boosting science-related college majors is a lack of interest.

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If KHA becomes a world-renowned university one day, i’ll make sure my children go through this process A.S.A.P. Imagine the amount of time and stress being saved here!!!!

Source: Engadget