Khan Academy Turns YouTube into Virtual Learning Tool


Sal Khan was a hedge fund manager tutoring his cousins through distance learning. He started making them instructional videos to reinforce their learning when he couldn’t be there in person and after a few lessons, his cousins told him that they liked him better on video. After absorbing the shocking statement, he realized it was a back-handed compliment. 

Through the use of video, his cousins could repeat what they didn’t understand without suffering embarrassment, while still having the benefit of their uncle’s warm, approachable demeanor. He started making them videos for a myriad of subjects and envisioned an entire public academy of free lessons delivered via YouTube.

That dream is now a reality in the form of the Khan Academy, which boasts 2,100 instructional videos on a range of topics, as well as ongoing assessments and test preparation courses. There’s no sign-up and no login requirements — users simply go to the Web site and start learning ( http://www.khanacademy.org ). 

Children with autism naturally gravitate towards computers and online learning where the social and sensory issues of a classroom are eliminated. As a result, the Khan Academy is a great resource for parents of these children to be aware of. Although much of the information is advanced, basic arithmetic is offered and affords a perfect way to augment math learning for young children with autism. Older children with autism can find many topics to reinforce classwork, or explore their special interests. 

As a mother of a high school freshman with autism, I have been forced to home schooling because his high school placement failed, so I am thrilled to discover the Khan Academy. The timing of the discovery couldn’t be more fortuitous as I was worried about the expenses associated with gathering all of the appropriate curriculum for him.

The Khan Academy even attracted the attention of Bill Gates, who sees it as the wave of the future for education. His foundation is supporting Sal Khan in his quest and is actively seeking ways of bringing his model of learning directly into the classroom.



5 Responses to Khan Academy Turns YouTube into Virtual Learning Tool

  1. Jen says:

    What a wonderful resource! Thanks for posting this…my daughter has already watched a video and to my surprise, it was able to keep her attention!

  2. Hi Susan,

    Another brilliant post! Thank you.

    I came across the Khan Academy a year or so ago. I wish it had been around when my son was at school – it is a valuable resource for all parents- but particularly for parents on the spectrum. Thank you for posting, I am going to forward this link onto my blog today, its once again full of valuable information. this is such a valuable site.

    Sally

  3. Susan says:

    Thank you for your comments. I truly appreciate them.

    Susan Moffitt

  4. WONDERDUL, INNOVATIVE, WISE, PROGRESSIVE, THOUGHTFUL, NEW MILLENNIUM! Khan Academy is just what our 5 year old son needs. Video modeling, hi-tech learning tools,computer user-friendly, self-regulating: is how he learns more thorough, visual/auditory, interactive. ‘Enjoying The Hi-5′s of AUtism-A Family Experience’ will share KHAN Academy on our YouTube channel and other EnjoyHi5Autism social networking sites. Thanks!

  5. Susan says:

    You’re welcome. I’m so happy to tell other people about it. My son, no science fan, watched the chemistry videos today and got really excited. He said he was expecting it to be dry, but that Sal was so charmingly unpolished, and warm, and funny that he liked it.

    I noticed my son would rewind until he understood something, whereas normally he’d get frustrated and upset.

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