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Khan Academy Labs: Exploratory Exercises

Fri, 30 Mar 2012 13:18:00

From instructor Brit Cruise:

One of the most exciting aspects of joining the Khan Academy team was the potential to explore new ways of integrating video and software. As a new faculty member, I hope to deliver mini-courses as journeys. These journeys expose a user to a chain of concepts, ultimately leading to a field of study they will be encouraged to explore!

Instead of having the user answer questions after each video, I realized it would be beneficial to have them visually explore key concepts in real-time through exploratory exercises (Brett Victor does this brilliantly). I see this as a vital analysis phase in the experience; the salient aspects are a powerful learning mechanism.

Perhaps it’s because I grew up playing Will Wright’s video games that I was never a fan of right or wrong answers. Instead, the rewards are a result of your own discoveries:

With the help of David Sissitka (one of the many awesome volunteers who kick in @ Khan Academy), I was able to deliver some initial demos within 3 days of conceiving the idea:

Do you think you can mimic a coin flip?

Do you think you can mimic a coin flip?

and:

Have you ever seen your frequency fingerprint in real-time?

Check out these first two (of many) explorations that are intended to supplement the journey into cryptography series. This is just the first step in what I hope will be a long and exciting experiment in education:

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