Khan Academy happily goes to jail

Posted on October 12, 2013  /  0 Comments

Monthly 5.4 million online users hit Khan Academy and tens of thousands of schools use this educational video platform. But we live in a world where an estimated 65% of population lacks access to Internet. Even in the United States, not all schools have required bandwidth. It prompted Jamie Alexandre, a former intern at Khan Academy, to build a platform called KA Lite to run Khan Academy offline. Unsurprisingly it became a huge success since launching in last December. By far KA Lite has been installed in 1,000 locations across 80 countries.

In America, like any other country, the inmates are offline too. But Khan wanted to give them access to his globally acclaimed treasure-trove of video-based educational system. Internet for prisoners is, however, not in the priority of Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC). Khan put them in touch with KA Lite to help approximately 1,000 inmates’ offline education. Julie Oye-Johnson, director of the education program at the IDOC, is now highly excited:

“This has been quite an exciting program that we’ve been involved in,” she says. “The offenders are actively using KA Lite–they love it. They’re using the rewards system, they like tracking their own progress, they enjoy using the coaching program to see where they are and what areas they want to focus on. It’s something new, it’s interesting, it’s out of the book.” While the Albertson’s grant is specifically to study the impact of math exercises, the students have access to all the Khan Academy videos on economics, finance, science, and the humanities, as well, instantly expanding the range of instructional topics offered within prison schools.

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