Khaaaaaaaaaan!

Salman Khan that is. Creator of the Khan academy. Who did you think I was talking about?

I have asserted before that the best resources the internet has to offer are free. Wolfram alpha, podcasts, Wikipedia and the Khan academy are but a few examples. Hosted on youtube.com Salman has produced over 1,300 short (10-20 min) videos in 32 Categories. I stumbled across the site while researching haemoglobin (a component of red blood cells). Salman created a 14 min video explaining haemoglobin and it is just one of 58 biology oriented videos. Other topics include mathematics (from 2+2 to advanced calculus), physics, human anatomy & physiology, chemistry and economics just to name a few.

Salman has a Bachelor’s degree in Science and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering each from MIT. He also has an MBA from Harvard and scored a perfect on his high school mathematics SATs. In 2004 he began informally tutoring his niece through the web. His niece began to excel and he soon started tutoring his two nephews. After posting his videos online Salman was surprised to see his page views quickly grow. He produced more from 2005 until 2008 while working at an investment firm. The site grew so popular that he quit his job and has worked on the Khan academy full time since September, 2009. The site has been “cited” on CNN twice as talking heads used Khan’s simply drawn MS Paint videos to explain complex economic bailouts during the 2008/2009 credit crisis. CNN also produced a 3 minute interview documenting Salman and the Khan academy. 

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Salman uses a mouse/pen pad to “doodle” while he narrates. I find this method of open thought with small visual aids extremely useful when learning long in-depth topics. As I have mentioned, I understand not chemistry and biology. Friends have attempted to teach me and I have viewed many different online resources. Khan’s basic building block approach to teaching is very effective at conveying difficult topics such as these and might just break through this thick cranium.

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