I know there are millions of parents whose children can no longer rely on them to help with math, chemistry, physics or other complex subjects. When this happens, tutors are always an option, but that can be expensive.
So what’s an alternative? I’d suggest using the resource that Bill Gates and his children turn to: the Khan Academy.
Salman Khan, a former hedge fund manager and Harvard M.B.A., created the Khan Academy five years ago when he was tutoring his cousins long distance. Khan posted the tutorials on YouTube and they exploded in popularity.
Today people from more than 225 countries take advantage of the roughly 2,200 free tutorials that are parked on the nonprofit site. Most of the videos are no more than 10 minutes long and capture Khan writing on his digital sketchpad software.
More Popular Than MIT’s Lectures
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kahn’s videos are more popular than the free online lectures by professors at MIT. More than 12 million people have watched the Khan Academy’s videos in the past few months.
The Khan Academy’s library of videos covers the most basic subjects as well as highly complex one. For instance, a kindergartner can start with a 1 + 1 = 2 lesson. On the flip side, the site includes such college-level subjects as linear algebra and differential equations. The library also includes tutorials on such subjects as chemistry, economics, biology, physics, finance, astronomy, and even the French Revolution.
Khan’s simple tutorials attracted the attention of Bill Gates, who is now helping to support the Khan Academy, which aims to also make an impact in classrooms. Khan hopes to be a virtual stand-alone school where anyone in the world can learn anything.
I thought my own son might want to take advantage of the Khan Academy. Ben is a college freshman who is taking linear algebra, which is the course science and math majors must endure after they’ve completed two calculus classes. I sent my son the link to the Khan Academy’s nearly 150 linear algebra tutorials that includes such daunting topics as Singular Matrices and Rotation in R3 around the X-axis.
If you’re curious about the lessons you can find at the Khan Academy, you can browse its library. You can also learn more about the Khan Academy by watching this YouTube video that includes an endorsement by Bill Gates.