OnQ Blog

The World’s Most Watched Teacher?

Mar 23, 2012

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Two teachers are using the Internet to transform the way we learn. One of them, Sal Kahn -- described in a recent 60 Minutes profile as a “hedge-fund analyst turned Internet teacher” -- offers free math, science, and history tutorials online from a tiny office in Silicon Valley. The idea sounds simple. But, as reported by interviewer Sanjay Gupta, Kahn is “probably the most watched teacher in the world.

Consider the math. Khan's online tutorials now attract more than four million viewers a month, CNET reports. He's also received more than $15 million in funding from Google and the Gates Foundation to keep the project going

His goal is to free up teachers to mentor students, while leaving the lecturing to others. That’s also the concept behind a new YouTube channel for high schoolers sponsored by the Ted organizationEducators are invited to submit their best lesson (ten minutes or less), and if chosen, TED will ship out a "portable recording booth" and assign a team of animators to bring it to life.

Will more learning be moving online in the future?  The Encyclopaedia Britannica is one company moving towards a digital existence. Acknowledging “the realities of the digital age,” the venerable firm said this month that it will “stop the presses” after 244 years, says The New York Times.

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