The Khan Academy

Humans are amazing learning machines.

I’ve probably written that phrase a few too many times, it’s getting a bit repetitive now…

…but it’s very true.

I have also talked and written a lot about how these days we can learn pretty much anything online and can do things we never could before due to our amazing ability to learn coupled with the availability of resources we have at our disposal if we only knew where to look.

We can learn pretty much anything online (for free) these days.

100 Amazing Websites

On that last point, I was planning to write today about all of the resources that are out there and through the power of the internet we actually have at our fingertips. I thought it would be very useful to give you a taste, or more a big sample set of the kind of thing I’m talking about – ‘Killer Websites: 100 Amazing Websites You Should Check Out Now’ or something along those lines.

The reason I’m not writing that post is that I want to stay specifically with learning rather than more generally with the availability of resources.

I also know that when we have such a big and useful list of resources, it can be overwhelming – impressive, yes, but overwhelming so we tend to park it (or bookmark it) and plan to come back to it later.

So rather than astound you with a big list of interesting stuff which you might flick through and perhaps randomly look at one or two, I thought it better, for now, to pick out one really useful site that I’d encourage you to have a look at, i.e. the Khan Academy as it is impressive, well organised and shows just how easy it is to get good quality, targeted learning on the web these days. The site even includes easily accessible short (5 question) quizzes per topic to analyse your ability and help you along by suggesting which courses are most suited to you.

YouTube

I’ve talked about it before but it would be remiss of me not to mention YouTube in the same breath. for a more general resource from which you can learn just about anything (which I also use very often), just fire up YouTube and search for whatever it is you want to learn (I recently searched ‘How to replace screen on ASUS X205T’ and guess what I did next…).

A Bit More on The Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a pretty amazing story. I remember seeing a few news clips about it and the founder’s intentions a number of years ago. Having just looked at it again today, it is now a big not-for-profit organisation with the goal to provide high quality free learning for people of all ages all around the world and the website is impressive, well organised, responsive and easy to use.

I hope that this project continues and not only succeeds in it’s own mission but continues to inspire other similar projects because it is my belief that via the power of crowdsourcing (which I’ve written lots about already), the internet, ever improving technology, our amazing capacity to learn and grow and our sense of community and ability to help one another, we are only just scratching the surface of what is actually possible. It is projects like the Khan Academy which show us the way.

Personally I am going to try and use this to refresh myself on some of the studies I did many years ago and keep up with the latest stuff my children are learning at school so that I can discuss their studies with them and help them if needed.

Final Thought & Challenge

We all have the ability to learn and grow.

If ever you wish to do something and find yourself saying you don’t know how, realise that this is only a temporary state because it’s always possible to learn. It is just a question of finding the resources you need.

So my challenge to you, dear reader, is this. Go over to the Khan Academy Website, pick a topic, anything that takes your fancy and teach yourself something new (I just taught myself how to simplify exponential expressions in about 5 minutes).

It won’t take you long at all and even if you do nothing else you have taught yourself something there and then that you never knew before and that is enough to show you what is possible. Feel free to share your experience or ask questions in the comments section below or drop me an email if you prefer.


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