What started as a simple way to teach a cousin algebra resulted in a viral source of information. The Khan Academy was founded in 2004 and since then it has evolved in a thorough collection of short and concise online video tutorials that cover a wide range of topics. Now, the Khan Academy is preparing an iPad app that marks the first steps toward a new education model.
It’s a very common issue among legislators and social groups. The education reform raises abrupt debates and several proposals have been regarded with so much scrutiny they were soon buried. However, what Khan Academy and the iPad app can bring to children is a perfect lesson of keeping education current to today’s knowledge demands, technology and teaching techniques.
On Sunday, the Khan Academy released its app for the iPad, under the motto: “Watch. Practice. Learn almost anything for free”. Even if your children aren’t exactly fans of homework, the app is thrilling enough to use to make them forget about Angry Birds for a while.
As the app’s specifications read, it will make the whole video library available from your desktop’s tablet and it will only take 2 megabytes of your precious storage space. The good part is that unlike most of the applications in App Store, the videos you will choose to watch are free.
For Apple, Khan Academy’s app is a hint that the education industry is only a few steps further from the moment textbooks will be replaced by tablets. And Apple has a plan to make its iPads the first in line to make the replacement. Plus, since many argue that the multitude of print format textbooks, supplements and a lot of other books and information sources are extremely expensive, a change to a one time purchase of an iPad and ebooks might just solve the problem.
The idea is already adopted by schools across the nation. They call it pilot programs, but with all its benefits, the idea will surely become common in a few years. Roslyn High School in Long Island is just one of the schools that are already testing the program. Each iPad costs the school $750 and students are suppose to use them as replacements for textbooks, communication vehicles between students and teachers, platforms for papers and homework and so on.