Learning from Data

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The Khan Academy was started by Sal Khan when he got positive feedback on youtube for posting some math tutorials he was making for his cousins. He realized that other people were also watching his videos and benefitting from them, which led him to record thousands more (primarily in math) and organize the videos at khanacademy.org. It's run as a free, non-profit site for anyone to watch videos on. After getting donations from Bill Gates, the Khan Academy has expanded to much more topics and implemented use accounts to track data. 

The ties into this class primarily focus on the collection and translation of data by the website based on your activity on the site. If you interact with the site as a logged in user, it keeps track of which videos you've watched, what exercises you've attempted, how long you took to complete each exercise, a knowledge map of topics you've finished (and can start once others have been finished), and different forms of feedback charts for you to track your own progress. If the videos are being used in a physical classroom context with a teacher, the teacher can make an instructor account and track and monitor the progress of all of the students and draw conclusions and comparisons from the students interaction with the website. 

This has been the biggest game-changer in terms of web based learning in a classroom. Teachers can now watch the progress of their students attempting problems in class and only go intervene with the students who are showing difficulty. They have access to data such as how much time the student spent on each page of the problem, the hints the took, the wrong answers they inputted, etc. The teachers are "equipped with data" and can perform their jobs more efficiently.