Salman Khan’s model for free online education hinges on the micro lecture—brief tutorials on nearly every subject under the sun—delivered through YouTube. Launched in 2006, the Khan Academy now has a library of 3000 videos. That’s not bad, especially for a site with the elevated goal of providing a “free world-class education for anyone anywhere.” With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the site’s content is accessible in 18 languages. But even with all of that effort, Khan doesn't achieve the global reach that it promises. The fact is that only 35 percent of the world’s population has access to the internet, which puts the idea of online learning behind a virtual firewall for many people.
Enter Khan Academy Lite, otherwise called KA Lite. This new service tries to work around that firewall. Software developer Jamie Alexandre and a team from UCSD developed an offline version of Khan’s learning model that can run on just about anything. Once you download the KA Lite software and install it on a Linux or Windows server, students can start watching Khan videos and exercises on computers/devices as tiny and cheap as the $35 Raspberry Pi. Actually, the whole server can be run on the Raspberry Pi!
Khan Academy Lite sits nicely alongside the free apps released for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch earlier this year. Be sure to check them out.
Find more K-12 Resources in our collection of 200 Free Kids Educational Resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites & More
Kate Rix writes about digital media and education. Read more of her work at katerixwriter.com and thenifty.blogspot.com.