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MIT, Khan Academy Partner on Instructional Videos

MIT and Khan Academy have partnering on an initiative called MIT+K12. As part of the collaboration, which began July 2011, videos produced by students of the Cambridge, MA-based university will be available through the academy's Web site.

MIT students will create 5- to 10-minute-long videos for grades K-12 teaching the basics of engineering and science. The students can select the subject or they can generate videos on topics requested by instructors, students, or others. The videos will then be posted on an MIT Web site and a designated YouTube channel. So far, MIT has completed two pilot rounds of video production.

Students have created approximately 75 videos so far, and half can currently be viewed on the MIT+K12 YouTube channel, covering topics such as:

  • The Earth's rotation;
  • Flying robots;
  • Basic chemistry;
  • Forces on an airplane;
  • Heat transfer;
  • Pixel engineering; and
  • How bread mold kills bacteria.

Some videos will also be made available at the nonprofit Khan Academy, which has a library of more than 3,000 educational videos, interactive challenges, and assessments, on subjects including K-12 math, biology, chemistry, physics, finance, and history.

MIT students who participate in the program can receive financial support, equipment, training, and editing services.

Ian Waitz, dean of the School of Engineering and the Jerome C. Hunsaker professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, created the program to encourage more students to go into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

“We wanted to help inspire young people to change the world through engineering and science, and realized that the 10,000 superstar students we have at MIT are uniquely positioned to do that,” Waitz said. “Our students have responded with all the energy and enthusiasm we knew they would. We worked with them to design the program, and the results are fantastic.”

In addition, the MIT+K12 program will connect K-12 students and teachers with the MIT students who created the videos.

“From the outset, MIT students wanted to know their videos would be useful to the students watching them,” Waitz says. “The only way to really figure this out is to put the groups in touch with each other.”

Khan Academy founder Salman Khan is a 1998 graduate of MIT.

For more information, visit k12videos.mit.edu To view the MIT+K12 video highlight reel, go to web.mit.edu.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.