The KHAN ACADEMY and the College Classroom

Find out how the Khan Academy can help you teach and help your students learn.

Videos Inside and Outside the Classroom

Almost exactly one year ago I wrote an article entitled YouTube and the College Instructor – Engaging Your Students with YouTube Videos. In it, I encouraged instructors to use videos in their classrooms. Then a few months later, I wrote an article entitled The College Instructor’s Guide to YouTube. In this article, I mentioned other sources of videos and suggested that instructors assign videos as homework.

In these earlier articles, I did not suggest that online videos could replace in-class lectures. But at that time I was not aware of the Khan Academy.

The Khan Academy

It began when Salman (Sal) Khan created a few tutorials to help his cousin learn math. Interest from others encouraged him to publish a series of YouTube video tutorials. In 2009, Sal quit his job as an analyst at a hedge fund and started the not-for-profit Khan Academy. With well more than 2,000 educational videos, the Kahn Academy is fast on its way to revolutionizing the way we teach.

In a 20-minute overview video, Salman Khan referred to feedback he received from teachers who would write, “’We’ve used your videos to flip the classroom. You’re giving the lecture!” He continued with the words of a typical instructor, “What I do is assign the lecture for homework, and what used to be homework I now have students doing in the classroom.”

Today, an ever increasing number of teachers and students are using Khan Academy video tutorials. You math teachers should be really excited. There are hundreds of these self-paced lectures available to your students at home. The topics range from basic arithmetic through calculus and differential equations. Each subject is covered with a playlist of videos. There are, by my count, more than 250 videos on algebra alone. You say you’re teaching statistics? Fine, because there are videos on probability and statistics too. Also linear algebra, in case you were wondering.

However, the Kahn Academy is not just for learning mathematics. There are science videos covering astronomy, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. There are even videos on finance and history.

In the following 20-minute video, Sal Khan talks about the Khan Academy. I guarantee, you will be impressed! However, if you just want the basics, scroll down to the next video entitled Overview of the Khan Academy Library.



Enroll in the Kahn Academy

I strongly encourage you to check out the Khan Academy.

© 2010 Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.

March 19, 2011


About Dr. Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.

My name is Paul Hummel, and I often introduce myself to others as a recovering engineer. If you are familiar with the Dilbert cartoons, let me simply say that I lived all of that. I started my college saga at Illinois Institute of Technology. Eventually, I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. I worked for many years in industry, and during this time I did some college adjunct teaching. During my career I held several managerial positions in industry, the last as Director of Technology of a division of a Fortune 500 corporation. Then, in 1996, with minimal planning or forethought, I found myself working as a manufacturing consultant on behalf of Elgin Community College (ECC). My career in higher education began to take shape. I fell in love with ECC and with the mission of community colleges in general. I worked fulltime and occasionally taught college courses for my institution and two other colleges. After a couple years I set a goal to move over to the “credit side of the college” and eventually become a college administrator. In 2006, having earned my doctorate in education, I achieved that goal. I was hired by Waubonsee Community College as Dean for Technology, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. I have had the great fortune of working at two excellent colleges. The insights I want to share are drawn from the various college positions I have held. At ECC, in addition to my consulting role, I coordinated non-credit professional development training programs for three years and spent four years advising students in the TRiO Student Support Services program. That position helped me understand college education from the perspective of today’s college students. After seven years at Waubonsee, I retired April 30, 2013. I now devote my knowledge and skills to upgrading and expanding the websites I created beginning with Adjunct Assistance. I have three other websites: College Teaching Tips, Keys for College Success and Lighthouse for Learning. A lot of work lies ahead for me in terms of upgrading and expanding each of these websites, but I could not be more excited about fulfilling the vision I have for helping college instructors and their students succeed.

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