In Brief

Leader in distance ed opens its curriculum to iPad users with individualized flair

The Khan Academy had its birth when founder Salman Khan agreed to tutor a family member on math via YouTube. When strangers began viewing the videos to the tune of thousands each month, he founded a not-for-profit based on leveraging new technology to bring education to anybody who wanted it. Eight years, a TED Talk and over 2 million monthly video views later, the Khan Academy is an educational force.

Although they’ve had an iPad app for some time, a new suite of upgrades to that app may revolutionize education yet again. In addition to allowing access to the thousands of videos that form the academy’s core curriculum, the app includes a set of exercises and guided order of video viewing to educate and assess individual students. If you want to learn about the causes of World War I, for example, the app leads you through the appropriate videos in the best order for you to understand them, and runs you through exercises to make sure you’ve got the key points. You can also ask it for an age or grade appropriate course on a general topic — math, life sciences or health for example — and it will choose the topic for you.

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