Khan Academy: You can Learn Anything

Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan to provide "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere". The organization produces micro lectures in the form of YouTube videos. In addition to micro lectures, the organization's website features practice exercises and tools for educators. All resources are available for free to anyone around the world.

The Khan Academy started with Khan remotely tutoring one of his cousins interactively using Yahoo Doodle images. Based on feedback from his cousin, additional cousins began to take advantage of the interactive, remote tutoring. In order to make better use of his and their time, Khan transitioned to making YouTube video tutorials. Drawings are now made with a Wacom tablet and the free natural drawing application SmoothDraw, and recorded with screen capture software from Camtasia Studio.

All videos (hosted via YouTube) are available through Khan Academy's own website, which also contains many other features such as progress tracking, practice exercises, and a variety of tools for teachers in public schools. Logging into the site can be done via a Google or a Facebook account for those who do not want to create a separate Khan Academy account. The material can also be accessed through Khan Academy's own mobile applications, which can be found free of charge in App Store and Windows Store.

The videos show step-by-step doodles and diagrams on an electronic blackboard. Not-for-profit groups have distributed offline versions of the videos to rural areas in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Khan Academy also provides a web-based exercise system that generates problems for students based on skill level and performance. Khan believes his academy presents an opportunity to overhaul the traditional classroom by using software to create tests, grade assignments, highlight the challenges of certain students, and encourage those doing well to help struggling classmates. The tutorials are touted as helpful because, among other factors, they can be paused by students, while a classroom lecture cannot be.

Keywords: Khan academy, world-class education, elt, web-based exercise, teaching English, elt websites, elt tools

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