Khan Academy does Computer Science
Posted Friday, July 1st, 2011

The Khan Academy is starting to publish a series of short instructional videos on computer science topics. The Introduction to Programming and Computer Science category currently has just 18 videos and these are all on basic programming topics in Python.

Salman Khan's popular Khan Academy site has more than 2100 short videos covering "everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history." The Academy is a not-for-profit organization that describes itself this way.

"The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. All of the site's resources are available to anyone. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge."

Most of these videos are done by Salman Khan himself and CS in one of the topics he knows the most about, having BS and MS degrees from MIT in computer science (as well as Mathematics and EE). An example of one of the new CS videos is this six-minute one on writing a factorial function using recursion.

These videos won't replace traditional ways of learning computer science, but they can be helpful. I hope to incorporate some of them in the undergraduate courses I teach.


Posted in: Computer ScienceNewsUndergraduate