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Re: TED vs. Tax-Funded U.

Lew, you are so right. Another low-tech resource I learned about recently is Khan Academy–a free series of hundreds of short, digestible YouTube videos that explain various aspects of math, from basic algebra to calculus, and other topics. Homeschooled students or non-schooled government school inmates can pick the video of interest and re-watch it until they get it. They are all produced by Salman Khan, an MIT engineer and Harvard MBA, who in 2004 “began tutoring his cousin in mathematics using Yahoo!‘s Doodle notepad. When other relatives and friends sought his tutorage, he decided it would be more practical to distribute the tutorials on YouTube. Their popularity there and the testimonials of appreciative students prompted Khan to quit his job in finance in 2009 and focus on the Academy full-time. As of December 2009, Khan’s YouTube-hosted tutorials receive a total of more than 35,000 views per day.

Things like this–and the rise of iTunes U and Mises Academy–are so exciting. (See Doug French, “The Intellectual Revolution Is in Process,” Jeff Tucker, “A Theory of Open” and “Up with iTunes U,” and Gary North, “A Free Week-Long Economics Seminar.”)

Update: A friend remarked on my description of Khan Academy’s use of YouTube as “low-tech”–it is funny that this amazing technology is now seen as mundane! But what I meant was the Khan Academy videos are no-frills, simple, produced by one guy on his computer, using a simple whiteboard app, and saved in short videos.

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9:34 am on September 21, 2010