Khan Academy Image – https://www.khanacademy.org/

Introducing the Khan Academy application, it is an application in its description reads that it allows you to learn almost anything free. This application is likely spawned from the website www.khanacademy.org which has sort of a re-occurring theme paraphrased as one being able to learn anything, anytime, free and forever (Khan Academy, 2018). Khan Academy’s application is spurred by their website www.khanacademy.org, it is basically a mobile variation of the website which was first developed in 2005 by their now CEO, Salman Khan. He goes by the name Sal, he originally developed Khan Academy to help his cousin and eventually other people’s cousins (Khan Academy, 2018).

So, how does it work, to learn using this application is as simple as a search to get started. You find the subject-matter you’d like to learn, select it and begin the lessons and learning activities. Courses or lessons are published on both the website and the application, the Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Khan Academy, 2018). The content for courses includes a vast content and subject areas. Content in forms of screenshots, & video and subject area sections such as Math, Science & Engineering, Computing, Arts & Humanities, Economics & Finance, Test Prep, and a section for College, careers & more (Khan Academy, 2018). As for tools used for development, they include a modest list of resources used which are Camtasia Recorder/Studio, ScreenVideoRecorder, SmoothDraw 3, Microsoft Paint, and the Wacom Bamboo Tablet (Marquis Ph.D., 2012). What’s remarkable is that many of the tools used around the original content created on Khan Academy have grown from being relatively cheap or free to moderately or expensively priced. This speaks volumes about the growth of not just Khan Academy but, also the use and relevance of online learning from its origin to today much have changed over the years.

Khan Academy follows excellent design principles in my opinion since before taking any of my coursework in instructional design, I used it review my knowledge base in geometry, I found it to be intuitively designed with an ease of use to be envied by leaders in online learning. It does not have any obvious limitations as far as what a global society has deemed as relevant content. Critics might try to point to lack of courses or content in subject areas unavailable on the site, but to me, it’s sort of the beauty of their vision. It is seemingly boundless, as long they continue to expound on the idea of free education, for everyone, forever (Khan Academy, 2018). As a non-governmental organization, Khan Academy is not bound by Section 508 Accessibility Standards, in areas of alternative text, structural elements, HTML5 & ARIA, and contrast errors there is certainly some room for growth. I utilize the WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) tool to evaluate the site’s accessibility. As for other Universal Design for Learning (UDL) features, where I could not accurately confirm or deny. No that’s the website, the application in those areas does significantly better, much of UDL features are mitigated by the mobile design of the application and there are certainly universal design principles followed in the lessons I have sampled.

Khan Academy’s application can be used to learn subject-matter in areas such as Math, Science & Engineering, Computing, Arts & Humanities, Economics & Finance, Test Prep, and a section for College, careers & more (Khan Academy, 2018). For now, this is the case, but I get a sense that there is more on the horizon. It embodies adaptive learning technology as a principal learning gap identifier (Khan Academy, 2018). With partnerships with the likes of NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT it has no issues to any potential rivals in the mLearning community (Khan Academy, 2018).

I’ve provided you with a little background about this application and the site it’s originated from. We provided a description of the application, a review of its design, and thoughts about its educational value. I hope you have enjoyed my BLOG, until next time. Good Bye!

References

Khan Academy. (2018). Free Online Courses, Lessons, & Practice. Retrieved from Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/

Marquis Ph.D., J. (2012). BLOG: De-Mystifying Khan Academy: Screen Capture for Educators. Retrieved from OnlineUniversities.com: https://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2012/04/de-mystifying-khan-academy-screen-capture-for-educators/