For many, YouTube is a great place to watch videos of cats and people doing stupid, but funny things.
But for local educators and students, the power of the Internet as a vital teaching tool was brought home during a recent visit to Phillips Academy by Sal Khan, creator of an online library of math and science lessons that started on the popular video-sharing site, but has now become a global phenomenon in its own right.
Since putting a couple of how-to videos on YouTube for a cousin struggling with math in Louisiana, Khan has created thousands of educational lessons, mostly in math and science, which have been viewed by 85 million users. To date, more than 1 billion problems created by Khan and his growing team in Mountain View, Calif., have been answered by students all over the world.
And he’s just getting started.
Khan, creator of Khan Academy, spent May 9 at Phillips, lecturing to students and meeting with faculty and staff from the academy as well as Andover and Lawrence high schools as part of a speaking and book tour. But he was also there for perhaps a more important reason: He needs more content for khanacademy.org.
“I’m hoping we can work together,” Khan said during an interview earlier this month with the Townsman. “I’m hoping to enlist more and more people from Phillips and around Andover.”
This summer, a half-dozen teachers from Phillips will be heading out to the headquarters of Khan Academy, where they will help a team of 35 people, mostly software developers and engineers, generate more online lessons for a growing army of users from nearly every corner of the planet.
“We are excited about the teachers coming out,” Khan said. “Broadly, they will be curating and creating content, helping us write exercises, and articles on our site.”