Khan Academy

by Danielle Green

I’m fascinated by developments in the edtech space in the modern world. Each startup has taken a unique approach to delivering educational content online, but Khan Academy is perhaps among the biggest and most popular. Khan Academy is a nonprofit whose mission is “to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. However, the approach that it takes is a bit different from other platforms in that it’s more thorough and comprehensive. Khan Academy offers more depth and breadth of content across subjects and disciplines, so it’s a bit more well-rounded and developed than its peers. You can take classes from geometry and calculus to AP Art History and Macroeconomics, and even free MCAT and SAT prep. Khan Academy is also different in that it’s more like a comprehensive school curriculum than a simple masterclass that’s more broad in scope. By offering its content online, Khan Academy reaches a greater percentage of the global student population. Its body of work can be consumed virtually and remotely, and it was designed and optimized to be consumed by such means. With the global outbreak of coronavirus, the body of content offered by Khan Academy is more relevant than ever, and they’ve even begun to offer daily learning schedules for students ages 2-18 given they have such a depth and breadth of content in their repository. 

I think Khan Academy reflects the key design principle of psychopleasure as they convey information with grace and ease. The platform removes the cognitive/brain cycles involved in processing information, especially because each individual lesson is divided into digestible chunks per concept. Most videos are 10-15 minutes in length, so it’s not difficult to pay attention to and absorb one lesson in its entirety. This is reflective of Fogg’s ability metric that encourages and empowers students to succeed. Lastly, each instructor is generally a scholarly authority, which gives legitimacy and credulity to the platform.

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