Khan Academy Launches Free Online Classes in Computer Science

The Khan Academy recently announced that it will soon make free online courses in computer science available to students that would like to enhance their knowledge within this field. The classes will be made available in the form of instructional videos, and the dean of computer sciences within the academy, John Resig, recently Tweeted that, “this project is going to blow the doors off computer science education. I have a feeling that people are going to have A LOT of fun with it”.

“Pure Magic” At Khan Academy

According to the president and COO of the academy, Shantanu Sinha, the new curriculum for the classes is “pure magic”, and since noted JavaScript writer Resig has been working on the project for the past ten months, he might just be right. While the specifics have not yet been divulged, Resig did state in a blog that students should expect to be taught JavaScript as a first language. He notes that while the language itself might have many pitfalls, he believes its potential is derives from its “unbiquity, desirability in the larger workforce, lack of prior installation requirements, and ability to create something that’s easy to share with friends”. Students should not expect the entire course to focus on this specific language, however, since it will be so much more than that.

Bringing Computer Sciences To The People

Khan is not the only institution that has recently been attempting to educate people on programming and inspire a desire to learn; W3C and Google have been attempting this for a while now; while W3C has established schools which offer online training for programming in CSS, HTML and JacaScript, Google offers basic courses on Python and C++.

Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Pitch In

The Khan Academy might be non-profit, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t getting assistance from some of the biggest names in the world of computer technology. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has shown their support for the organization by donating to them, and Google is providing assistance through ads and financial donations. The foundation started as a set of videos recorded by Salman Khan, which were intended to assist young family members with their mathematics; now, there are more than 3,300 instruction videos focusing on a range of topics; from physics to biology. The aim of the videos is to make learning easier by breaking up information onto smaller, more manageable parts, and it seems to be doing the job that it was intended for.

The Khan Academy has grown from its humble beginnings, and can now boast around 370,000 subscribers on YouTube, with around 174 million views. Each of the videos are organized to aid students in learning the subjects at hand, whether they are focusing on calculus or trigonometry. The academy might have hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide, but it is not without its critics. To some, the academy is an innovative approach to learning, while to others, such as Robert Talbert, a professor at the Grand Valley State University, it is “not really adequate for learning those subjects on a level that really makes a difference in the world”. With these new developments, it remains to be seen whether he is correct.