The problems with basic education, both in the US and other countries, are complex, but one website may have the ability to improve education on a global scale. The Khan Academy, whose mission is to “provide a free world-class education to anyone, anywhere,” currently has 2,200 video tutorials on subjects ranging from math to science to history. Not only could the free educational videos help individual students learn better, but the concept could also reform schools by redefining the teacher’s role and laying the foundations for a global classroom.
Since the site was launched in 2006, the videos have been viewed millions of times. The videos have received positive reviews from viewers due to their clear, conversation-style approach and simple drawings, which are made in SmoothDraw. But, as founder Salman Khan explained at a TED conference earlier this month, he thinks the Khan Academy could do a lot more. Khan wants to increase the academy’s video library to tens of thousands of video tutorials – each about 10 minutes long – that students would watch in the evening as “homework.” Then the next day in class, the students would work on homework-like assignments, where they could ask the teacher questions and work with their peers. In essence, by “flipping the classroom,” students could watch a video lecture as many times as they like, at their own pace, and then have time in class to ask specific questions.