You Don't Need College to Get a College Education

Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, explains that the aims of online education don't differ much from those of traditional learning.

Salman Khan: The key to learning online is actually the same key that has always been to learning is that you have to take ownership over it yourself. A lot of people have — there's this illusion that is created in our classical education system and even at university that someone is teaching it to you. Really they're creating a context in which you need to pull information and own it yourself. And that especially happens at the university level where if you're not pulling and if you're not owning it, you're not going to do so well. And when you think online, that becomes that much more important. Because you can create the best software and the best video, but unless you set your own goals and you apply some of the work from Carol Dweck at Stanford, your own growth mindset, unless you exhibit grit and perseverance where you keep trying until you get to something, then even the fanciest software is not going to be of a ton of value.

And so what we do as creators is we try to make that easier for the consumer of the content. So at Khan Academy we do a lot of trying to virtually coach someone to have the right mindset, to be perseverant with things. And one thing that we strongly believe is videos you can learn from, but even if you're just looking at a video or reading an article, try to do so actively. Don't just passively listen to it, pause it; try to solve it yourself. Once you figure out what the person making the video is about to do, pause it and see if you can do it yourself. Review it yourself. And ideally there would be exercises. And this is actually where most of Khan Academy's investment is, is unlimited exercises that give people feedback and unlimited practice to make sure that they really do understand the material and allows them to review it in a spaced repetitioned way so they can understand when do they apply with skills. So it really is the active listening active learning and the practicing and getting feedback and reviewing this. And then actually applying it in your everyday life through projects and whatever else.

 

Universities don't provide education. They provide contexts through which education can be attained. Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, argues that the key to online learning is to take ownership over your own education. By investing yourself in self-learning and creating your own learning context, you can easily replicate the sort of education available at a university.

A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

Credit: Benjavisa Ruangvaree / AdobeStock
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
Keep reading Show less

​'The time is now' for cryptocurrencies, PayPal CEO says

Is Bitcoin akin to 'digital gold'?

Technology & Innovation
  • In October, PayPal announced that it would begin allowing users to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies.
  • Other major fintech companies—Square, Fidelity, SoFi—have also recently begun investing heavily in cryptocurrencies.
  • While prices are volatile, many investors believe cryptocurrencies are a relatively safe bet because blockchain technology will prove itself over the long term.
Keep reading Show less

"Clean meat" approved for sale in Singapore

Singapore has approved the sale of a lab-grown meat product in an effort to secure its food supplies against disease and climate change.

Credit: Adobe Stock / Big Think
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Singapore has become the first country to approve the sale of a lab-grown meat product.
  • Eat Just, the company behind the product, will have a small-scale commercial launch of its chicken bites.
  • So-called "clean meats" may reduce our reliance on livestock farming, which kills billions of animals worldwide every year.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Scientists find the "magic number" that links forces of the universe

    Researchers dramatically improve the accuracy of a number that connects fundamental forces.

    Credit: Adobe Stock / Big Think
    Surprising Science
    • A team of physicists carried out experiments to determine the precise value of the fine-structure constant.
    • This pure number describes the strength of the electromagnetic forces between elementary particles.
    • The scientists improved the accuracy of this measurement by 2.5 times.
    Keep reading Show less

    Study suggests most "dark web" users are not engaging in illicit activities

    A new study finds that some people just want privacy.

    Photo by Soumil Kumar from Pexels
    Technology & Innovation
    • Despite its reputation as a tool for criminals, only a small percentage of Tor users were actually going to the dark web.
    • The rate was higher in free countries and lower in countries with censored internet access.
    • The findings are controversial, and may be limited by their methodology to be general assumptions.
    Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast