Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Khan Academy

Today at senior assembly students were assailed with a vast array of information.  Ms Schaumann (me) talking about Careers and also about the Epic Databases.  Mr Muir talking about financial assistance for struggling families, Mr Ross speaking about sport and Mr Turner who demonstrated some of the videos available on The Khan Academy.

The Khan Academy is going to be the focus of this post!  Salman Khan is an American of Indian extraction, who began to record videos a few years ago as a way to help his cousins who had immigrated to America, the idea was to find visual ways of explaining problems to students whose grasp of the English language was not yet fluent.  He focussed particularly on maths problems. He uploaded the videos to YouTube and this has now grown to such an extent that students all over the world use these videos which are on a multitude of subjects from mathematics to history, to revise and to learn complex ideas. 

There are now more than 2,200 videos available via the Khan Academy!  If you would like to read more about Salman Khan you could check out this newspaper article on him,

Here is the story of how he got started (It is a TED talk so it goes for 20 minutes)  it is very funny and he is a very cool guy.  Enjoy the video below if you want the short version (only about 2 minutes!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Terry Pratchett in Conversation at the Sydney Opera House

Terry Pratchett is one of our very popular authors here at King's, he is currently touring and speaking at conferences and events. His wonderfully clever and quirky novels which mostly take place on Discworld have entertained generations of students and indeed their parents for many years. He is one of the most prolific authors around and his wild imaginings have kept on entertaining his followers for many years. Despite having Alzheimer’s Disease he continues writing and publishing regularly and is involved in various projects to help improve our world. He is in general an admirable person and his books are treasured all over the world.

If you haven't entered Discworld then you are missing a real treat. If you have entered Discworld you may be interested in watching his speech at the Sydney Opera House recently, you will hear an excerpt from his latest book - which isn't out yet, and you will hear him speaking about his life, his illness and his wonderful books. In the interview below he is speaking to Garth Nix, the Australian author who is also extremely popular here at King's.

Warning, the talk goes for rather long time, and you should check with the broadband bill payer at your house to see if they are happy for you to spend nearly an hour watching the video!  But I know that it will be hard for Discworld addicts to resist and it comes heartily recommended.


Terry Pratchett in Conversation - Play - Sydney Opera House Media Portal

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