Khan Academy for
Sunday evening saw the release of the Khan Academy app for the Ipad. As soon as I ran across the announcement that it had been released on the App Store, I immediately installed it because I knew a lot of students and teachers would be interested in it. I wonder if it is a coincidence that the app’s release came on the same evening that Khan Academy was featured in a story on 60 Minutes? Probably not.
As a teacher I find the whole idea of Khan Academy very exciting. There is no doubt that it is a great resource for students and teachers. It is also understandable to see how Khan Academy has really set a fire under the concept of the “flipped” classroom. As an English and Journalism teacher, I am bummed out that there really isn’t anything there for “my” subjects. Maybe that will change in the future–I sure hope so. But despite the lack of videos for English or Journalism classrooms, the app will surely be a major resource for many students and teachers when it comes to Math and Science–with some Social Studies thrown in there as well.
As for the app itself, the biggest benefit are that the videos are downloadable so students can save them on the IPad and watch them whenever–even if they aren’t connected to the internet. Another plus is that Khan Academy probably isn’t blocked at most schools like Youtube. I tried out a couple of videos after I installed it and it worked really well. The videos loaded pretty quick even over my not-so-great broadband card. I also liked having a transcript of the video’s contents on the screen which would scroll along as the video played. The controls are pretty easy to figure out and anyone who has played a video on the IPad shouldn’t have a problem figuring it out. Below is the screen as I was watching a video about SOPA/PIPA. Please excuse the quality but I can’t take screenshots on my IPad at the moment because when our school set them up over the summer the one for me was given a profile that locked out the screenshot function–and now no one can figure out how to get rid of the profile because it is encrypted. At this point it looks like I would have to do a full wipe of the IPad to get rid of the pesky profile.
So far the videos listed in the app’s main menu cover the following areas:
- Humanities & Other
- Test Prep
- Talks and Interviews
Under these main categories you can choose video which cover the following:
- Arithmetic and Pre-Algebra
- Differential Equations
- Linear Algebra
- Brain Teasers
- Vi Hart
- Organic Chemistry
- Healthcare and Medicine
- Cosmology and Astronomy
- Computer Science
- SAT Math
- California Standards Test
- Competition Math
- IIT JEE
- Singapore Math
- American Civics
- Art History
Under each of those there really are too many subcategories and videos to list here; but you get the idea.
One weird thing i noticed when looking through all the categories and subcategories is that when you get to the Art History section and begin looking through its various listed eras is that there aren’t any videos actually listed. I am not sure if this is a bug or something to come soon.
Overall I think this is going to be a great app for students and teachers which will only get stronger as they add to the number of available videos and functions for the app. If I was a Math or Science teacher I would probably add this to my list of favorite apps. If they do ever add some videos for English, Grammar, Literature, or Journalism, I may end up adding it then along with my list of apps I use in my classroom.
What are your impressions of Khan Academy? What do you think of the app? What are some subjects you wish they would add?
- Khan Academy releases iPad app, mobile education is upon us (venturebeat.com)
- A Student’s Perspective on Khan Academy (blendmylearning.com)
- The Future of Learning IS Khan Academy! (discoveryagent.wordpress.com)
- Viewpoint: Khan Academy criticism is off-target (mrpullen.wordpress.com)