Khan Academy Review – Who is it for? What can you learn? Is it worth it?
Humans crave new knowledge, want education, want to learn new skills. You may think that everyone has access to education these days due to the internet and its vast online learning opportunities. Still far from it, though we are getting closer.
Whether it is in North or South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, or the Middle East there are still too many people left without essential and ongoing education.
Khan Academy aims to help reduce such educational access problems by providing free and virtual education in a classroom-like setting. What is the quality like? In this article, I share my Khan Academy review and discuss all the features you might be looking for.
Khan Academy Review 2021 – Overview
Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization founded by Salman Khan in 2008. This academy has been designed to help educate and improve the intellectual capacity of college and high-school students and adults from all over the world.
It happens mainly through watching short videos and later on, through doing exercises to test a student’s learnings. Here are the main topics you can study at Khan Academy.
- Arts & Humanities
- Reading & Language Arts
- Life skills
Furthermore, users have three options to access Khan Academy and benefit from its features and content.
- Learners – Select what grade or university level you are in and choose courses that you want to study.
- Teachers – Choose what courses you are planning to teach to your students and also track their progress.
- Parents – Enrol your child and also track his or her development.
Being popular around the world, there are Khan Academy courses available probably for all educational levels – from basic curriculum to tertiary education, including graduate studies, test preparations, and life skills. At its core, Khan Academy, however, targets young adults and high school students.
Over 46 languages and close to 20,000 translations are also available for people who prefer using other languages with the help of international partnerships and volunteers.
However, due to limited access to the internet, not everyone is privileged to get access to Khan Academy easily. Therefore, other non-profit groups have distributed offline versions of the lessons to underserved areas in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
It also worth noting that Khan Academy has showcased the three races – white, fair, and black and I think this is the part that says, “Whatever your race is, it will not hinder you from getting quality education.”
Learners/month: 20+ million | Registered: 110+ million
Language: English, Spanish, and 46 others
Apps: iOS, Android
Khan Academy Review Rating: ★★★★★ | 4.6
Khan Academy Review – Content
Many commercial online learning platforms usually put their content behind a paywall and offer access to it through premium subscription plans. Other ones such as edX or Coursera offer most of it for free but charge for certification. Khan Academy is free for everyone. How can it help you? And, is it worth it?
According to the 2018 ConStat U.S. Online Education Customer Survey, 85% of first and second-year college students who have used Khan Academy say it has helped them prepare for college. From the users’ review experiences, I barely see negative comments about its content because most users are indeed satisfied.
Who is behind that content?
Some are teachers and some are not. You might be asking, “Why does Khan Academy has content specialists that are not teachers?” Teachers are not the only ones who can teach; there are also experts in their fields that can share knowledge didactically and systematically. They are biologists, physicists, writers, historians, among others. If you like watching Youtube videos and you might have encountered a few of them already.
Overall, the Khan Academy teaching is detailed and the classroom looks like a real one using an electronic blackboard. Most people still find this approach encouraging as they are used to it from an in-person school environment.
The platform’s content is also comprehensive for math and science (most of Kahan Academy’s contents are focused on these two disciplines). Still, I would like to point out that history courses, for example, are not as in-depth as they could or should be.
History lessons would benefit from exploring historical events, empires, eras, or causal coherencies in great detail, but instead, Khan Academy rather offers a little bit of everything. Also, I’d like to see more and diversified classes for trending topics such as technical-vocational courses to cater to those interested.
Khan Academy Review – Learning Experiences
Aside from catering great content with interesting features, it is difficult to measure the understanding of a learner if he/she is not actually used to learning skills online.
Some users may get bored while watching the videos because there is no teacher-and-student interaction, and the importance of giving feedback is disregarded. Various Khan Academy review comments mention that when taking a quiz, once you fail at one question, you have to restart it again. That can be discouraging to complete tasks and exercises.
Simultaneously, it offers a benefit as the website acknowledges and recognizes mistakes and will push you, ok force you, harder to get the right answer. The idea is probably to have students comprehend the knowledge and its context much deeper.
Despite these shortcomings, most users seem to be happy with how Khan Academy works. Students find supplied learning materials very helpful, especially those who need to prepare for an SAT test. According to Khan Academy and College Board, there was an improvement in their scores upon using their Official SAT Practice.
Alternatives – If you are interested in suitable Khan Academy alternatives, we’d like to mention edX (review) or Coursera (review) as the closest platforms available. They do offer free education bur offer premium certification as well. Additionally, Skillshare (review), CreativeLive, Udcaity (review), Udemy (review) or LinkedIn Learning (review) are premium providers offering subscription-based plans.
Khan Academy Review – Layout and Usage
Humans are visual beings, and websites should address this need with a good user interface and provide a good user experience. Let’s look at the Khan Academy website and then at their mobile app.
Khan Academy Website
Depending on what type of audience you are, there will be three options to explore the website – learner, parent, or teacher. Learners can sign-up free to get personalized help in achieving their educational goals. As a parent, you can help your child further advance what they learn in school and accompany their education with research, tips, and advice.
Teachers, on the other hand, can find relevant content they can use in their school environments, track students’ progress and manage exercises and tasks. Khan Academy wants to empower teachers, help students build a solid understanding of the world, and help 617 million students who missed basic education – for free.
many classes range from basic to tertiary education, including graduate studies, test preparations, and life skills. One thing I noticed is that there is some confusion about how certain lessons are arranged. This especially applies to College Chemistry because Stoichiometry was discussed first before the Periodic Table, yet supposedly, Periodic Table should come first, for example.
Meanwhile, I was impressed by the technicalities and educational designs here. These are simple and straightforward. As a user, I really appreciate how Khan Academy organizes the different grades and university levels, and subjects because it will be easy for the users to choose. Furthermore, the colors are not too loud, no lags and crashes, and the user interface is basic, though that is certainly a preference.
Khan Academy Review – Mobile App
Students can download the Khan Academy app for free. As mentioned, Khan Academy relies on donations to run its platform, so don’t be surprised to see a banner once you open the app and get asked to make a small donation. You don’t have to, of course. Khan Academy remains free to use even if you decide not to donate.
It works in a way that households with higher incomes may support the platform this way to help students from all over the world to get access to education for free. It also helps Khan Academy better respond to the pandemic and increase sign-up rates and platform usage.
You can create your account within the app. However, you can still use Khan Academy without creating an account at all and select courses. You just won’t be able to save all of your data. There is another app for kids named Khan Academy Kids, aimed at children between 2-7 years.
Overall, both the website and the app offer the same features and content.
Khan Academy – Other Features
After enrolling in a vocab class, I was directed to the dashboard. I quickly noticed that I already have 52 energy points since I have been using Khan Academy for roughly a year. However, I have zero badges, and I am unaware of what those are for.
I figured out, they are challenges that you need to surpass to get these success-based badges. This is a great and animating feature as it creates encouragement for interactivity, which will boost the learning experience.
Those elements are not limited to learners’ alone, there are also accessible features for teachers and parents in order to track the learner’s progress and learning journey.
All those features are certainly nice, but it would also be beneficial to get a certificate once you have completed a class. This especially applies to the Life Skills department or at least some type of reward if you are consistently gaining better scores.
Khan Academy – Funding
As mentioned several times, learning at Khan Academy is free, and it has been created to make education accessible for anyone. However, where does the money come from? In fact, Khan Academy does not even display ads. Funding is an essential process for a business to prosper. How come that Khan Academy has come this far as a non-profit organization in a promising and competitive industry?
The answer is through donations. Way back in 2010, Google, the most trusted search engine, donated $2 million to improve Khan Academy’s content and be available in different languages. Not just Google but also philanthropic companies since then have funded and continuously are funding Khan Academy.
However, donating is not the only option for this platform to grow and continue to offer its service. People can also help through volunteering, for example, by translating content into other languages to increase the reach of free education.
Khan Academy Review – Pros and Cons
Wrapping up our Khan Academy review, the pros and cons are:
Khan Academy Review – Pros
- 100% free.
- Easy to use.
- Learning is encouraging as students need to earn points.
- A wide array of subjects is available.
- Provides math problems for a variety of grade levels.
- Students can learn at their own pace.
- Accessible anytime and anywhere.
- Content can be translated into various other languages.
- Earned trusted studies regarding its quality.
- Recommended by top universities like Harvard University.
Khan Academy Review – Cons
- Stagnant to one style of teaching.
- Less interactive than other platforms.
- Doesn’t have in-depth classes.
- The collaborative aspect of education is disregarded.
- No issuance of certificates.
- There is no real content for adult learners.
While there are downsides and much could be improved, positive features still dominate. Just think of the potential here: providing free and good online education to millions of people and often to those without access to regular or structured state-based education.
As the audiences continue to grow, Khan Academy would benefit from adding content that actually goes beyond the subjects being taught in school. Content that prepares people for adult life or one that helps students create and grow their own (online) business.
Khan Academy Review 2021 – Summary, Verdict
eLearning is in high demand, and providers such as Khan Academy can be a welcomed substitute or extension to an ordinary school learning experience. Khan Academy offers interesting features and high-quality classes aligned with your grade or to prepare for university. And, it will surely hasten your drive to learn.
Plus, it’s free and accessible to all nations. Is it worth it? My personal experience will serve as a testament to its effectiveness. The execution of lessons through short video clips, including its accuracy and direct-to-the-point teaching type, made it easier for me to grasp everything quickly.
This could also be a go-to-platform when you have to recall the past lessons in preparation for college entrance exams. Truly, Khan Academy is a great partner in studying and a one-stop-review platform. On the other hand, if you are an adult learner or professional in need to advance your job skills, you won’t find the right content.
What is your experience? Please share our Khan Academy Review to help spread the word and make free education become more accessible.
Resource: What is MOOC – Wikipedia