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Start your 13.8 billion-year journey with the Big History Project

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The Big History Project is now available on Khan Academy. Whether you’re a solo learner or a classroom teacher, get ready to take a self-paced journey through nearly 14 billion years of history in just 10 tutorials!

Big History asks the big questions about our universe, our planet, life and humanity. From the Big Bang to our still-expanding universe, this course, created and maintained by the Big History Project, will lead students on a journey of astounding connections and exciting discoveries. 

The lessons also draw upon the insights of history, chemistry, biology, anthropology, physics, and a variety of other disciplines. Teacher-created lessons include downloadable activities, engaging videos, animations, and articles that bring the voices of leading scholars from around the world to you…and bring history to life.

Today, there’s more information available to us on our phones than was available in all the great libraries of Alexandria, so how do we decide what claims we can trust? Big History guides learners through examining their intuition, looking at the authority, evidence, and logic of claims.

Big History also looks beyond the timeline of human history to explore the connections between distant events billions of years ago and our lives today.

From the massive expanse of the universe to the smallest of atoms, Big History guides you to think across temporal and physical scales.

Both in articles and at the end of each tutorial, students and teachers can access downloadable and printable classroom resources such as lesson transcripts, video transcripts, worksheets and answer keys. Quizzes and glossary challenges allow teachers to assess student comprehension.

Start your journey now!

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An online helping hand to get you from here to college

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As part of the White House Expanding College Access Initiative, we’ve created an in-depth college admissions resource for high school students and college counselors across the country.

Our college admissions content covers the high school journey, providing college guidance whether you’re a senior or a freshman. It takes a holistic approach: from overcoming cultural barriers to step-by-step walkthroughs for the Common App and FAFSA forms. The site includes sections on considering college as an option, understanding how your high school record counts towards college, navigating different college options, writing college applications, and applying for financial aid. We’ve designed this site for students who’d like to access the site on their own, but it can be equally integrated into counsellor-student guidance sessions.

This site is a collective effort from over nine months of research: it contains 100+ informational videos covering the college admissions process from start to finish, broken down into simple, understandable pieces. We’ve drawn on the expertise of admissions and financial aid officers from top public and private colleges, high school guidance counselors, and current college students from around the country.

We hope you find the college admissions resources useful as you embark on your college journey!

 

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Video tasks on the learning dashboard

Khan Academy is now introducing video tasks on the learning dashboard. Prior to this release, the mission dashboard consisted exclusively of practice and mastery tasks—problems to practice and interact with the skills. If a student didn’t know how to do a particular exercise, they would have to rely on the video in the specific skill or manually look up the video, and there was no way to know ahead of time which videos are particularly useful and which aren’t. With this in mind, we decided to research which videos on our site are most effective in helping people learn. We then wanted to explore how we could make sure students see these videos when trying to learn related skills.

Many of our exercises are tagged with “curated related videos”—videos that are hand-selected as related to the exercise. Using this as a starting point, we looked at all the videos that were already tagged as related to any exercise. For each of these videos, we compared the accuracy on its associated exercise both before watching the video and after watching it. From there, we selected the top fifty most effective videos, each improving the accuracy on its associated exercise by at least twenty percent, and are now highlighting them on the mission dashboard. When the system recommends an exercise with an associated video on the list of our top fifty related videos, it will automatically recommend the related video as well. Similarly, when an exercise with an associated video task is manually added to a student’s list of exercises as a personal task, the video task will also be added automatically.

A student might watch the video before attempting the exercise, which is why we place the video tasks immediately above its associated exercise. Alternatively, a student may want to attempt the exercise first, and if they struggle with the exercise then they can close it out temporarily and watch the video before trying again.

If a student doesn’t need to watch the video, the video task can disappear in three ways. If the student watches the video, the video task will never reappear for that student. The student can also remove the video task without watching it and it will never again be shown to them. Finally, if the student completes the associated exercise and renavigates to the mission dashboard (refreshing the page, e.g.), the video task will also go away. However, in this last scenario, if the exercise ever reappears on the mission dashboard of this student, the video task will also return.

We sincerely hope you find this update as exciting and useful as we do!

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What do Michael Jordan, Yoda, and a kid who just learned how to ride a bike have in common?

The research shows that when you realize that you can build up your abilities through effort you actually learn more.

So we wanted to share a few of our favorite videos that inspire this attitude and carry the message that we can all grow.

Here are our current top 3:

3. Michael Jordan

2. Yoda

1. Kid who just learned how to ride a bike

Know a cool video like these?  We’d love to see the videos that most inspire you so please share them with us here on our Facebook page .

Can’t wait to be inspired by what you share!

 

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Felicitations!

Today we’re happy to announce that Khan Academy is live en Français. You can access our content all in French whether you’re from Paris or Port-au-Prince.  Just visit fr.khanacademy.org to start learning in French.

We thought it would be fun to show you some of the team of dedicated translators who helped make this possible. Merci to one and all and thanks for your hard work and enthusiasm in making this happen!

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Mathieu Bardeau

After a Master’s degree in management at Edhec Business School, I put into practice what I had been taught, and joined the media industry. Working with the Khan Academy is great because it combines my skills in addition, subtraction, and even multiplication, with my passion for telling stories.

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Thomas Blasselle

I am a math addict! I taught math after college, and eventually became a school book editor specializing in various sciences subjects. Khan Academy’s math look more like what I believe maths should be: a living matter made of reflection and research.

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Pierre Bondareff

I am a physics and chemistry teacher and recently also got my PhD in physics. When I heard about Khan Academy, I was immediately very enthusiastic to participate in this modern adventure. I like teaching to others and Khan Academy allows me to do it in a very direct way. Wherever you are, with a well-working education system or not, an internet connection will be enough to connect yourself on the website and to learn at your pace.

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Bastien Bruneau

I specialized in renewable energy at Ecole Polytechnique, where I am still working for my PhD on plasmas and photovoltaic research. I strongly believe that the Khan Academy brings something new and innovative to the way knowledge is passed on.

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Romain Cariou

I am at the beginning of the end of my thesis on material science and photovoltaic cells, at the Ecole Polytechnique. When I was a student, YouTube was more full of videos of cats and babies, rather than Newton’s Laws, Matrix or Stereochemistry. The democratic way of sharing knowledge with Khan Academy’s approach of is a great initiative; all you need is internet and a little curiosity to benefit from it.

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Eloa Chosson

I’ve always been captivated by mathematics. After I graduated from the Toulouse School of Economics, I went to Australia and ended up training horses on remote stations where most children are taught by their parents through a homeschooling system. I thus got a grasp of the importance of distance education and this is why I decided to get involved in the Khan Academy project. I now enjoy translating Sal’s videos because of his innovative approach and his way of making maths concepts easy to understand and remember.

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Isabelle Dautriche

I am a PhD student at Ecole Normale Supérieure, working on language acquisition (how do infants acquire their native language?) Making some videos for Khan Academy is a great combination with my PhD because when my research gets stuck, I can do a 10min video which will be useful for kids, teenagers and adults. Perhaps this is actually the most useful job that I’ll ever have!

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Yassine El Ouarzazi

I grew up in Casablanca, Morocco, and moved to France when I was 17 to go to engineering school.  I have a passion for science and education, and I immediately fell in love with Khan Academy after watching Salman Khan’s TED talk. I hope this project will help my two kids and millions of other ones in my continent of origin, Africa, to have access to “a free world-class education for anyone anywhere”.

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Ramïn Farhangi

After getting an Engineering degree from Cornell University and Ecole Centrale Paris, I now live my passion as a Math/Physics teacher in Madrid. I joined the Khan Academy team in France because it’s fun to make videos, it improves my teaching skills, and because I help providing the world (and notably developing countries) with high quality lessons.Working for Khan Academy has indeed given my life more meaning!

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Lydie Morel

I graduated from a PhD of Neuroscience and spent four years in Boston where I learned English and discovered Salman Khan and his work with the Khan Academy. When I got the lucky opportunity to join the Bibliothèque sans Frontières’ team of translators, I grabbed it! As a kid, I used to play with math exercises in my free time: I always tried to help my schoolmates see the elegant, logic and fun aspects of mathematics. 

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Muy-Cheng Peich

I am currently almost at the end of a PhD in social cognition which focuses on social interaction deficits in neurodegenerative diseases. I have always loved helping others understand things that fascinated me or things that I had found challenging to learn. I strongly believe in the use of technologies to reduce social inequality in education- that’s one the reasons why I joined BSF as the head of the education department.

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Sophie Pelloux

After a PhD in biology, I finally became a general practitioner. I have always been interested in education, in medicine and beyond, and I strongly believe that each student should learn at his/her own pace. I discovered Khan Academy several years ago, while I was trying to help my cousins understand math. One of their issues at that time was that the content was available in English but not in French… I am glad to see that the mathematical part is now ready to run in French, and to have the opportunity to translate the health content videos!

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Nicolas Roux

I am currently involved in a PhD where I study water resource in arctic areas, where permafrost (frozen ground) makes access difficult. Teaching is for me as important as research, so I naturally saw in Khan Academy a unique opportunity to reach a larger audience than the one classic teaching could ever possibly allow me to reach.

Also a special thanks to the translation team at Bibliothèques Sans Frontière!

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