School on TV

Educational television has been around for years. The United Kingdom’s Open University has broadcast full academic courses on television since 1971. In what is perhaps a natural extension of that learning-can-be-fun movement and the questionable belief that television can teach one’s children a great deal, one man is now attempting to create his own college-on YouTube. According to an article by Jeffrey Young in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

This upstart is Salman Khan, a 33-year-old who quit his job as a financial analyst to spend more time making homemade lecture videos in his home studio. His unusual teaching materials started as a way to tutor his faraway cousins, but his lectures have grown into an online phenomenon—and a kind of protest against what he sees as a flawed educational system.

Mr. Khan calls his collection of videos “Khan Academy,” and he lists himself as founder and faculty. That means he teaches every subject, and he has produced 1,400 lectures since he started in 2006. Now he records one to five lectures per day.

Khan aims to make his lectures short, simple, and make use of very little fancy technology. He’s not an expert—if he has to cover a new topic he simply learns about it on his own before he gives a lecture—and he sometimes makes mistakes. He’ll just correct himself in the next lecture. Here Khan explains heredity:

Khan says he makes about $2,000 a month from advertisements on his Web site. Check out his academy here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer