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The Best Education Opportunity in History!

Posted on 2011-02-17
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
This is not a question but something I saw me in an email.  I went to the site and it is very cool!  I knew bunches of people on EE would want to know about it and pass it on to others so I'm posting it.  (BTW, If someone knows of a better place to post something like this, please let me know.)


Imagine a website which:
 
        contains tens-of-thousands 12 minute (or less) videos which
                cover every topic
                        in every subject
                                from Kindergarten through high school,
                and every topic
                        in every subject
                                in every college or university undergraduate program,
                and every topic
                        in every subject
                                in every graduate school or program,
 
        taught by a brilliant
                highly-qualified
                        effective
                                creative
                                        and easy-going
                                                instructor,
 
        in every language spoken
                in every country or territory
                        anywhere in the world –
 
        and it is totally free (including no registration)!
 
Imagine anyone anywhere in the world being able to receive all the education they want on any topic from an excellent instructor – for free!  The only limitation is access to the Internet and their own motivation!
 
That is where Khan Academy is headed and the process is already well underway!  Check it out by going to www.KhanAcademy.org!  

Think of how many of the world’s woes (war, racism, poverty, crime, disease, bigotry, starvation, etc.) are related, at least in part, to having little or no education – or poor education.  How many of those issues could be gone (or significantly reduced) within a generation or two simply by increasing knowledge through better and more accessible education?!!
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Question by:Steve_Brady
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by:
dlmille earned 250 total points
ID: 34923606
Cool.

Try posting a an article or blog.

Dave
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Expert Comment

by:aburr
ID: 34923628
Here is a question and answer taken from the KahnAcademy
-
i dont understand why the man pulls the earth with an equal and opposite force to that exerted by the earth on him? isnt earth's gravity a lot more than the man's? so the force of the earth is larger than the man's??? help plz, i am confused

 (answer)
Earth's gravity is an acceleration, so earths acceleration is bigger than the man's. But F=ma so the man's small mass and earths big acceleration gives the same force as your small acceleration and the earths big mass.
----
The answer is completely misleading (read wrong for misleading)
point 1    earth's gravity is not an acceleration (with any normal definition of gravity)
point 2   the earth's acceleration is NOT bigger than the man's
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Expert Comment

by:phoffric
ID: 34923760
I hope you helped correct the misunderstandings.
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Author Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 34923766
>>The answer is completely misleading (read wrong for misleading)

LOL.  You are right.  However, it's not at all about the comments or Q&A's.  That's just people throwing out whatever.  It's like people making comments on a YouTube video.  

Did you watch any of the videos?  That's what it's all about.  I haven't spent a lot of time on there but I've watched some of them and they are great for buffing up on something you may have forgotten (or have never learned).  I had some professors whom I would have liked to pause or rewind and play again -- and also some I would have liked to eject!  LOL

I did notice several comments about how much it's helping people -- (e.g. 3rd graders whose parents can't help them with their homework or grad students falling over themselves saying thanks for stuff like, "You saved my bacon on my linear algebra exam.")

It's brand new but I think the concept is awesome!  Did you check out the counter in the upper left?  Over 1,000 videos watched in the time I've spent typing this response!

I know I sound like a commercial  LOL  -- and no, I don't have any connection with it.  I just think it's really cool!
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by:phoffric
ID: 34923768
After a quick review of level of topics, I prefer     http://www.academicearth.org/  as well as some other video sites with more advanced topics.
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by:Steve_Brady
ID: 34923779
>>Try posting a an article or blog.

Dave, are you referring to something on EE or elsewhere?
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by:phoffric
ID: 34923780
I watched a couple of videos. I did like the multi-colored fonts that were organized by concept. And for one of the subjects I am reviewing, there were so many topics that it may come in handy to be able to pick out a 10 minute video for review. Thanks.

But I do like the academic earth selections (I download them so using VLC, I can double-speed without the chipmunk speech effect when I am familiar with the material.)
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Author Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 34923806
Oh, BTW, did you notice who is bankrolling it?

Bill Gates & Warren Buffet (aka Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).  Go here.

...and no, I'm not connected to them either -- how I wish!  LOL
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Author Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 34923894
>>phoffric:After a quick review of level of topics, I prefer     http://www.academicearth.org/  as well as some other video sites with more advanced topics.

I agree.  I went through a Walter Lewin course a while back and I have watched quite a few Leonard Suuskind lectures and they're great.  However, I think Khan Academy (KA) is planning to continue to add more advanced material.  The email I received (initial post) says "every topic" will eventually be included.  That's a pretty tall order so we'll see but the thing that's got me so jazzed about it is not so much for me personally but for the huge cross section of the population who benefits.  Did you see the first video in Arithmetic?  It starts out with 1 + 1  = 2.  It doesn't get much more basic than that!

Something I read a couple days ago pointed out a few pluses like 10 minutes per video, no lecturer in the picture, easy-to-see board, consistent format, easy navigation to topics, etc.  Plus they apparently have a translation program going.  So all of that (along with their funding) I think bodes well for it reaching a big part of the population worldwide.
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by:phoffric
ID: 34924007
>> easy-to-see board, consistent format, easy navigation to topics, etc.
I mentioned that I liked the format and different coloring organization - very nice.
The Academic Earth MIT lectures are, as you know, directly available from MIT, where I was able to download course material and the videos. Also, in a course I'm reviewing now, the transcripts are verbatim available in plain text (even includes stuttering and ummm). So, when I take notes, I now am able to highlight and copy to my notepad. I'm thinking of moving onto Word, so that I can capture an entire chalkboard along with the written notes.

Some of the academic earth videos do move in and out of the board to see a walking talking human being; but then I can't see the darn board! If more topics are included, this will be a major plus for me.

It really sounds like a great project.
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Expert Comment

by:dhsindy
ID: 34930335
Sounds like your question comes pretty close to violating - Terms of Use 4.E.viii.

Link at the bottom of the page.
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Author Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 34930589
dhsindy:
Sounds like your question comes pretty close to violating - Terms of Use 4.E.viii.


Yikes!  I would never want to do that!  

Thanks for pointing out the (Terms of Use) link -- and the chapter & verse.  I am impressed by your knowledge of the Terms.  I went there (with some trepidation I might add) and found the following:

viii.Soliciting individuals to join other services comparable to or competitive with EXPERTS EXCHANGE.

Hmm.  Are you sure that is the correct chapter & verse?  If so, then I am truly bewildered by your comment and must (respectfully) ask you you to elaborate.  

I am already curiously awaiting your response!  :)
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Assisted Solution

by:phoffric
phoffric earned 250 total points
ID: 34931107
I just made an EE post giving 6 videos from the Khan Academy site. I thought the purpose of the author letting us know about the Khan Academy was so that the experts could start answering the math/science/computer questions with these nice references.

I'll let you know the feedback. Maybe the author will tell his daughter to start using the Khan site and stop asking him for help.

Observe that experts quite frequently refer to other forums which are free and competing with EE. For example, take a look at this article introduction. There are four references of which two easily lead to the following free competing forums:
     http://www.cplusplus.com/forum/
     http://cboard.cprogramming.com/ and related to this is live talk with an expert
     http://www.cprogramming.com/expert.html (OK, this is not free; but it still competes with EE)

Furthermore, the programming zones are constantly providing references to other free programming forums which are competing with EE.
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Expert Comment

by:phoffric
ID: 34931125
>> I went through a Walter Lewin course
Well two good things about this course that are better than the Khan physics course:
1. Live demonstrations
2. Transcripts provided

Relatively speaking, the video keeps the focus on the blackboard, and Lewin does use colors to help organize the drawings. Also, when he makes mistakes, you get to see the mistake followed by a video patch with Lewin apologizing and presenting the correction.

But better than Lewin, in some cases, are some videos which have animations which better depict what is going on at the structural level (e.g., I've seen gyroscope video tutorials which show how the twists result in non-intuitive behavior).

So, Khan Academy may not be the "best", but together with others, forms part of the best collection of videos.
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Expert Comment

by:GwynforWeb
ID: 34931218
The fact that this question lasted more than 10 secs before being deleted amazes me. Mods gone to sleep or something?
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Expert Comment

by:phoffric
ID: 34931227
I see a "Request Attention (pending)" notice in the OP; so maybe the mods are giving us enough time to bookmark the website before deleting the question (or moving it to another zone).
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Author Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 34931538
>>GwynforWeb:
The fact that this question lasted more than 10 secs before being deleted amazes me.


How so?  Is there something wrong with posting a heads up about a great site that would benefit people who know about it?
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Author Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 34935042
I'm sorry this has caused such a stir -- actually, I was hoping it would cause a stir but not this negative type of stir.  To reiterate my role:

>>Unless there is some hint that...
...Steve_Brady is somehow connected...
I am not connected in any way nor do I know anyone who is.  It is a site that simply came to my attention per the explanation in my first post.

...or has a financial interest in its success...
Not only do I have no financial interest in Khan Academy but no one does.  On the contrary, the site relies totally on donations.  Here is a statement from KhanAcademy.org's home page:

"Khan Academy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere."

...[it is] an attempt to entice people to forsake EE for a competitor...
Not in any way.  The sites have very little overlap and very different formats.  Besides why would someone ever want to forsake the great (and quick) answers or the tremdous people at EE?

In summary, I just thought it was (is) an awesome website which people would want to know about and have the opportunity to pass on to others!

BTW, if anyone does have something negative, you might want to think twice before posting it because we would not want it getting back to them and run the risk of incurring the "Wrath of Khan!"  :)

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Expert Comment

by:dhsindy
ID: 34976161
Seems providing answers to questions is what they both do.  I don't think it matters rather they are for profit or non-profit.  I just don't think Experts-Exchange would like KhanAcademy promoted on their website.

Personally, I don't have a stake in it one way or another.  I was just trying to give you a heads-up before you got in trouble.  Since the question is still here I am assuming it pasted muster.
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Expert Comment

by:phoffric
ID: 34976184
Well one moderator gave his opinion. But maybe we need NetMinder to come in and let us know.

Are you also of the position that we should not mention sites like http://www.codeguru.com/ , http://cboard.cprogramming.com/ , http://www.cplusplus.com/forum/ , and other similar sites when providing code?
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Author Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 35111735
>>"...it's actually rather an inspirational story about one guy trying to make the world a little better place."

Amen.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Steve_Brady
ID: 35420816
Thanks!
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