Ever since I’ve had dial up internet at home in 2002 it has changed so much and one of the areas that excites me the most is in the area of online education and learning. After discovering khan Academy I am now absolutely hooked. The videos are very easy to follow, there is so much material in areas that I am interested in and it is all absolutely free (kudos to Sal for starting it all and for the teams progress on the service). Since the time that I initially found KA things have improved greatly, I can see that the team has grown and whenever there are any new topics that tip my interest I go through the material.
One of the problems with online education is that it is *online* and sadly the people that can most benefit from this material are the same group of people that dont actually have sufficient access to the internet. I have some family members in indonesia that have this problem and this comes about because of the cost of wireless and the quality of service. This makes it very difficult to stream video directly from the internet so whenever I go back I try to download the videos that I know may help and put it on a cd for them so they can watch it offline.
I tried to do a project around solving this a few years ago using VSAT technologies but I just wasn’t able to get around the red tape and simply ran out of my personal resources that I had dedicated to complete the project. At completion I was only able to implement the project in one site. Things however are improving and the internet in many of the areas are getting better. Hopefully in the near future KA will make its way to the people that will benefit the most because I can personally see how much of a difference it will make once its accessible.
In Addition to KA new online education platforms such as coursera and an entrepreneurial studies course called venture-lab has also been developed. All courses are online, they are free and they are taught by some of the most experienced lecturers in their field. The courses are amazing and simply blows me away. It is probably why there are so many teens popping up in the media building companies, apps and online services so early on in their lives, all the information is there and they just need to utilise it.
Its a great sign of things to come. The new generation leveraging of what the previous generations have learnt at such a large scale in such a quick period of time just holds so much potential. It will lead to faster breakthroughs, better technology (and as long as we dont obliterate the planet and each other) a much more exciting future.
Below are some of the great educational services that I use online. Enjoy….