Sal Khan has been getting quite a bit of attention lately. He’s been featured on Jon Udell’s blog, described by Bill Gates as his, “favorite teacher,” and awarded a $2 million grant by Google. He makes mathematics screencasts, thousands of them, inside a closet, in his house. His math videos have had over twenty-five million views and his YouTube channel has over seventy-five thousand subscribers. Let’s repeat that again – he’s one person teaching thousands of students math from a closet inside of his house using YouTube and screencasting software. That’s education, 21st century style, my friends.
Imagine the potential of our cognitive surplus. It’s not a pipe dream, it’s happening today. And Kahn isn’t alone. YouTube is rife with people teaching each other how to do things, whether it’s using software, changing the oil in their lawn mower, or the typical middle / high school curriculum fare. Where we learn and how we teach has been and continues to change rapidly. It’s up to us to recognize and grasp the tremendous opportunity that we have. Carpe diem. Seize the day, people of the world. Let’s make the educational opportunities of the 21st century extraordinary.
Check out the Khan Academy in action: