TED Conversations


This conversation is closed.

What would be the best way to make Khan Academy go International?

Khan Academy is great for English speaking kids, but what about the other 5-6 billions? How to translate these videos with biggest bang for our buck? Each method has pros and cons.

Subtitles only:
+ fast & easy, consistent across many translators, many videos at once
- focus split between text and method, conflict between written and spoken

Voice-over only:
+ no conflict between languages, no split in focus
- Khan's writing in English, 1 tutor is slow - many break consistency

Voice-over + subtitles for writing
+ no conflict between languages, no split in focus, writing translated also
- speed of translation vs consistency of tutors

Remake in new language
+ all the benefits of Khan's original in the native language
- everything from scratch, slow and difficult, speed vs consistency (again)

Opinions, suggestions, corrections...?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 10 2011: Or maybe we could reframe the question like this: how can we find ways to inspire people to take on what Salman Khan has done in the English language, and do similar video courses for their mother tongue? Or to put it in another way, how can we opensource the Khan Academy, not just the content, but also the methodology, the tools and the platform?
    • thumb
      Mar 10 2011: Hey Tony, yes, this is what Khan Academy can reach us in a more profound way, not confined by the scope of itself. And I can vision the learning mechanism be a great motivator at least to individual students in China, if not the whole system at the moment.

      As for the Khan Academy mandarin translation, do you have any interest in give it a try? If so you'd make a very good team leader. Or you know anyone who'd be capable of this role? I feel very passionate to contribute to the project. Hope to hear from you soon.
    • Mar 11 2011: I dont think we will need a lot of convincing, I'm already inspired and I guess a lot of people are too!

      I'm just trying to figure out where / who / how can I help basically!
    • thumb
      Mar 15 2011: There are similar video lectures in Serbia. They are recent and for now they are only concentrated on explaining math problems and questions that kids need to know in order to pass the final exam in elementary schools. It's done by one teacher, and he is posting it on Youtube. He explains problems step by step.
      The response has been huge - kids say they learn things easier, they understand it better, parents are happy.. Some of the kids even say they would like other subjects explained in this way.
      The teacher said he wanted to bring math to where the kids are, and that is internet, youtube.

      I believe opensource would be better than just translating, because same things are taught differently in different languages and cultures and school systems. And I'm sure there are other inspired people, like everyone here or like that teacher in Serbia, who would be willing to do it. I'm inspired to look for other people and inspire them to get involved.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.