Those who know me know that among other things I’m a bit of a science geek and an advocate for education. When I was much younger I took science far more seriously, but as I grew older and had more demands on my time that interest was pushed aside by other interests. More recently some unexpected changes in my life have brought me back to a renewed interest in science and space exploration. But, a lot has changed since the last time I sat in a chemistry or physics classroom, and I’ve also forgotten quite a bit since then.
Like many, I don’t have time to go back to college right now. Even trying to take a course online proved impractical. So I was curious when a friend mentioned something called Khan Academy. I was surprised at what I’ve found. If you’ve never heard of it I really suggest you take some time to look. The first thing you’ll discover is that its completely free, there’s no charge at all for it. So what exactly is Khan Academy. Its a collection of tutorial videos done in a format much like class room lessons. There are series of videos on a variety of subjects, such as math, chemistry, physics and other subjects. Now I’m not saying this is going to replace a formal classroom education, but if you’re looking for something to augment what you are learning in a classroom or you’re looking for a “refresher” on a subject, its a great resource. The site is clearly aimed at a younger audience, you can set up a profile and earn badges and things for viewing videos and completing tests and other activities; smart ideas for encouraging younger learners. But even for us… er… older… students, there’s still a lot to learn.
So far I’ve been watching the various Chemistry videos and plan to follow that with their Physics videos. I’ve found them to be clear, informative and easy to understand. Each video is about 10-15 min in length and focuses on teaching you something specific. There are also comments that may provide some additional information shared by other people. After being out of school for quite a long time, its been a convenient way to help catch back up.
So, if you’re looking to brush on on some math or science skills, or perhaps you’re having trouble in a class and need some additional “tutoring”, then I really suggest you take a look at Khan Academy.