Have you ever considered how a simple, free technology such as YouTube videos could drastically improve a global problem such as education?
Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, is something of an expert on the topic. In this video, he talks about the future of higher education in the U.S. and how to increase access to and quality of education. The remarks were made to education influencers from around the world, including university heads, state governors and other policy makers, at the Future of State Universities conference last week.
For ages, home-schoolers and kids in rural areas have been using videos to learn; however, educational YouTube videos are now also being used in traditional classrooms to “supercharge” the educational experience.
Khan, founder of the somewhat loftily named Khan Academy, has pioneered the concept of free, on-demand video instruction for K-12 education, especially in tougher subjects such as science in math. In 2006, Khan was working in the world of hedge funds. To help his young cousins who were struggling with science and math concepts in grade school, he started tutoring them remotely via a series of YouTube videos.
At this conference, he talked about how his YouTube channel has introduced a new model for education at all levels.
With 30 kids to a classroom, opportunities for feedback and interaction are scarce; Khan says this kind of environment is a dehumanizing experience. In that kind of situation, technology can, ironically enough, bring more interaction and individual instruction back into the mix.
Next, Khan would love to see this general line of thinking (simple tech solving tough problems) applied to topics such as healthcare or democracy. Read his thoughts on that subject in our recent exclusive interview with him.
Other speakers at the conference included Jeb Bush, Tony Blair, Arne Duncan and Clay Christensen.