What is your opinion on Khan Academy

The Khan Academy

The story sounds like a typical American internet success story. Salman Khan remotely tutors his cousin in mathematics, first in the conventional way over the phone, then via video clip - so successfully that he got the idea of ​​making his short lessons accessible to the general public on YouTube. The word of the free tutoring lessons on the Internet gets around, the number of clicks is growing, and Khan is gaining a growing crowd of enthusiasts.

Then Bill Gates noticed the initiative. Microsoft donated a decent start-up funding, and Khan made a radical change from the very bad (hedge fund analyst) to the very good (teacher of mankind). His one-man initiative grows into a real company with 46 employees (including Toby, Director of Wellness), and khanacademy.org is the world's most widely used free learning site with two million users. Enthusiastic emails from all over the world confirm that Khan has stumbled into an extremely painful gap with his offer.

Inspired by this success, he thinks ahead. Here is the chance to radically turn school lessons upside down. Why do you still have to feed whole classes the same material at the same time? And thus inevitably over- or under-demand larger parts of the class, since the learning speeds differ widely? Everyone gets the content from the Internet at the time that best suits their previous knowledge, personal preferences and learning pace.

Khan supplies exercises on the "lecture material", automatically generated by the computer program; this actually works to a certain extent in math. With a sufficient number of correctly solved exercises in one go you receive a certificate of success - and the class work is gone, along with the deadline pressure and the urge to "learn bulimia" (force large amounts of material into the head and immediately forget it after the exam). A grade no longer decides on the transfer and certainly not on further life; if the child does not understand the material straight away, it will take a little longer.

While he's at it, Khan is also tearing down the remaining cornerstones of the classic school system. Why a class association? Everyone learns at their own pace, and it doesn't hurt if, in the end, students of very different ages find themselves on the same subject matter. Why summer vacation? Let the children, like adults, go on vacation when it suits them - and their parents - best.

Then you could do away with the school building and relocate all learning to your own youth room with internet connection? Khan doesn't suggest that - he probably realizes that most people don't have that much self-discipline. Ideally, the school is still a real building, but it no longer consists of classrooms, but of niches in which you can pursue your learning interests alone or with several people. Teachers are always available if there are any questions, and as in the classical school, the advanced learners will give the slower a hand in a friendly manner.