Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:00:00
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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”.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:14:58
Where do 200 of the world’s leading scientists work to advance our knowledge of anthropology, astrophysics, comparative genomics, computational sciences, evolutionary biology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, microbiology, ornithology, and paleontology? The American Museum of Natural History in New York is not only a museum filled with towering dinosaurs, meteorites you can touch, and delighted, curious children; it is also a leading research institution with 32 million specimens and artifacts and an incredibly active field program that sends researchers on more than one hundred expeditions every year.
The American Museum of Natural History is a first-rate educational institution that inspires learners of all ages and was the first Ph.D. degree-granting museum in the Western Hemisphere. Naturally, we are absolutely delighted to announce a new partnership between this venerable institution and Khan Academy today.
Where to begin? Maybe with an essay by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium on “The Pluto Controversy” or a video about dark energy? Or if dinosaurs captivate you, discover how scientists have linked them to modern birds or perhaps take a tour of the Museum’s “big bone room” with paleontology collection manager Carl Mehling.
Wherever your curiosity takes you, be sure to check back later this fall for even more great content from our newest partner, the American Museum of Natural History!
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:43:00
By: Salman Khan
My 5-year-old son has just started reading. Every night, we lie on his bed and he reads a short book to me. Inevitably, he’ll hit a word that he has trouble with: last night the word was “gratefully.” He eventually got it after a fairly painful minute. He then said, “Dad, aren’t you glad how I struggled with that word? I think I could feel my brain growing.” I smiled: my son was now verbalizing the tell-tale signs of a “growth mindset.” But this wasn’t by accident. Recently, I put into practice research I had been reading about for the past few years: I decided to praise my son not when he succeeded at things he was already good at, but when he persevered with things that he found difficult. I stressed to him that by struggling, your brain grows. Between the deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward learning could matter more than anything else we teach.
Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones.
What this means is that our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.
However, not everyone realizes this. Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has been studying people’s mindsets towards learning for decades. She has found that most people adhere to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth. Fixed mindsets mistakenly believe that people are either smart or not, that intelligence is fixed by genes. People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure. Dweck found that those with a fixed mindset tended to focus their effort on tasks where they had a high likelihood of success and avoided tasks where they may have had to struggle, which limited their learning. People with a growth mindset, however, embraced challenges, and understood that tenacity and effort could change their learning outcomes. As you can imagine, this correlated with the latter group more actively pushing themselves and growing intellectually.
The good news is that mindsets can be taught; they’re malleable. What’s really fascinating is that Dweck and others have developed techniques that they call “growth mindset interventions,” which have shown that even small changes in communication or seemingly innocuous comments can have fairly long-lasting implications for a person’s mindset. For instance, praising someone’s process (“I really like how you struggled with that problem”) versus praising an innate trait or talent (“You’re so clever!”) is one way to reinforce a growth mindset with someone. Process praise acknowledges the effort; talent praise reinforces the notion that one only succeeds (or doesn’t) based on a fixed trait. And we’ve seen this on Khan Academy as well: students are spending more time learning on Khan Academy after being exposed to messages that praise their tenacity and grit and that underscore that the brain is like a muscle.
The Internet is a dream for someone with a growth mindset. Between Khan Academy, MOOCs, and others, there is unprecedented access to endless content to help you grow your mind. However, society isn’t going to fully take advantage of this without growth mindsets being more prevalent. So what if we actively tried to change that? What if we began using whatever means are at our disposal to start performing growth mindset interventions on everyone we cared about? This is much bigger than Khan Academy or algebra – it applies to how you communicate with your children, how you manage your team at work, how you learn a new language or instrument. If society as a whole begins to embrace the struggle of learning, there is no end to what that could mean for global human potential.
And now here’s a surprise for you. By reading this article itself, you’ve just undergone the first half of a growth-mindset intervention. The research shows that just being exposed to the research itself (for example, knowing that the brain grows most by getting questions wrong, not right) can begin to change a person’s mindset. The second half of the intervention is for you to communicate the research with others. We’ve made a video (above) that celebrates the struggle of learning that will help you do this. After all, when my son, or for that matter, anyone else asks me about learning, I only want them to know one thing. As long as they embrace struggle and mistakes, they can learn anything.
– You can view the original op-ed in Huffington Post here.
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:22:58
Our mission at Khan Academy is to enable everyone, everywhere to achieve a world-class education, and the Internet has played a pivotal role in fulfilling that mission. Recognizing that the majority of the world still does not have access to the Internet, we told you back in December of 2012 about the KA Lite project, started by a former KA intern, aiming to make Khan Academy available to communities that don’t have the prerequisite Internet access.
At the time KA Lite was launched, 65% of the world did not have Internet access. In the intervening 18 months, Internet penetration has increased a mere few percent, while KA Lite usage around the world has blossomed, supported by the KA Lite team that banded together to form the non-profit organization Learning Equality. KA Lite has now been installed in over 120 countries, in contexts as varied as low-income schools in India, orphanages in Cameroon, prisons across the United States, and First Nations community centers in northern Canada. Learning Equality has just announced a map of the world showing where thousands of these KA Lite installations are located, including a number of featured deployments with stories and photos.
You can stay in the loop about Learning Equality’s work by following them on Facebook or Twitter, and subscribing to their newsletter. If you’d like to get involved in developing the open-source KA Lite project, or in helping with implementations, you can drop the Learning Equality team a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:24:00
Post by: Beth Harris and Steven Zucker,
KA Deans for Art and History
Walking through the British Museum is to walk through the history of the great civilizations of the world. The Rosetta Stone. Aztec mosaic masks. Buddhist manuscripts that had been hidden for years in a cave. Some of the most extraordinary historical objects in the world live there, and we’re so excited today to announce that we’ve partnered with the world’s oldest national public museum. Both institutions, Khan Academy and the British Museum, share a wish to provide access to the world’s treasures to everyone, wherever they live. It’s hard not to be awed by this venerable institution—the breadth of its collection (geographically and chronologically) is virtually unparalleled, and it’s not surprising that it is one of the most visited museums in the world.
Khan Academy has created tutorials selected from the museum’s more than 3 million objects that serve to educate people about the history and culture of the world’s great civilizations—objects from nearly every corner of the world. The British Museum’s collection includes objects from sacred caves, tombs, palaces, homes, and temples: both objects people used every day (pots, tools, jewellery, and coins), and objects they held sacred—and now you can learn their context and background—from wherever you are in the world.
On a personal level, we have a long history with the British Museum ourselves!
Steven first visited when he was 11 years old, and he remembers the ancient Egyptian mummies best, but he also remembers being amazed by how differently each culture portrayed what was important to them. Beth spent months on end in the circular, domed reading room of the British Library which was then in the center of the Museum, while writing her Masters thesis, taking her breaks in the galleries to get inspired. We’re so happy that many more people around the world can imagine themselves here, and perhaps one day visit themselves.