How to learn (almost) anything with Khan Academy

Khan Academy Logo

If you are anything like me you wish your teachers had done a better job of teaching you when you were in school. Or maybe the truth is that they were doing their best and you were just too busy getting up to mischief to realise that they were teaching you really useful things. Either way, whether you were the teachers pet or spent most of your school days smoking behind the bike shed, chances are you need to brush up your skills. Time to check out Khan Academy.

Khan Academy Logo

What is Khan Academy? Let’s take it from Khan academy themselves:

“A personalized learning resource for all ages. Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.”

It’s all online, so you can learn from anywhere in the world whether in an office or in your pyjamas. The easy to follow format makes learning fast, intuitive and fun.They have effectively turned learning into a game and it is quite addictive. Ask me. I have recently passed the 1 000 000 mark on my energy points. You earn badges for achievements. You can choose your favourite avatar and they are upgradable. So as you earn more points you can choose to make you avatar even cooler.

Khan Academy Avatars

But perhaps the best thing about Khan Academy is that it can help you make improvements in your everyday life. You know all those things that you learned in school and then forgot? You may see them in a different light since you joined the rat race. Remember all the times you sat in school and thought “When will I ever use this?”. Well maybe since your real world experience you figured out all the places where you might use algebra or trigonometry.

The exercises will train and sharpen your brain so that your day to day tasks at work seem a little easier. In case I am still not making myself clear, perhaps this picture will further illustrate the matter.

I intend to see the maths program through to the end and then start on some programming.

So Where Do I Start?

I think it’s probably best to start from the beginning. The maths mission on Khan Academy begins with early maths (learning to count and recognize shapes) and goes on to arithmetic all the way through algebra to multivariable calculus (I have no idea what this is). I would suggest that starting at the very beginning, on the preschool type stuff might be the way to go. This way you will get a good foundation for the learning further down the line and get a feel for the format of the course. If you start at the easy stuff you will also get access to some easy points to get you started. Here are links to the early easy stuff to get you started.

Khan Academy Early Math Khan Academy Arithmetic

I have just completed these two programs and I can already feel the benefit of these easy courses in my everyday life. If you are still not sold, just try the early math and arithmetic programs and see if it gives you a different perspective on things. My bet is that after that you will probably continue your learning and move onto the higher grade stuff.


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