Thoughts on the Khan Academy...

I started this assignment by looking at the Khan Academy website and watching the video about Saloman Khan and how he started his videos for family use and then eventually developed a public site. Two things struck me right away. First, I used my home laptop at the school and since I was logged into my Facebook account, the home page for the academy told me that three of my 'friends' were also 'friends' with them. That felt a little intrusive and odd that this site I had never heard of had figured out 'who I was' before I even set up an account. I also discovered pretty quickly that I couldn't watch any other videos without opening an account. While I appreciate that the site allows you to sign up for free and then you have full access to all of it, but I am very careful with how I give out my info and I felt a bit trapped at that point. I needed to watch a video or two for the discussion, but couldn't do so without giving my name, email address, and my birth date. I went ahead and did so, but I still feel a little uncomfortable with that.

The video that I started with – the interview with Salam Khan- was really interesting. I liked listening to his journey of the opportunity and the desire to help his nephews learn and how those few videos he put out that seemed to be so useful that he branched out and they eventually became the website that I just visited. I love the fact that it’s free- cost can be such an impediment for some groups of people. I know for me I am much more likely to take the time to check it out if I do not have to shell out money to do so. I next decided to try a few things that I knew to see what I thought about them. I have been teaching BLS for over a decade so I looked up CPR and they have a program for it. The program tries to teach body position and arm angles and hand placement and as soon as I figured out how the program worked I has able to successfully do it. I thought it was interesting but I wonder how much can be really learned when you are using one finger to do it. One of the things we do in class is the do the ‘maneuvers’ several times over a class to try and develop a body memory so that if you cannot mentally remember what to do, maybe your body will. I think this was a great introduction to the topic and gave you a few good ideas so I thought it was useful. I wonder if any users have felt compelled to take a real class from using the program on the site... I would love to know that answer.

I next went to a few medical videos and watch those. I worked for Mercy ambulance in a big city out west for a decade and I saw a few abdominal aortic aneurysms in people- some who survived and some who didn’t. So I did watch the video on the site about it here. I thought it was very accurate and pretty interesting. Covered all the facts I knew and two that I didn’t. I do recommend it for everyone to watch for informational purposes because many people have to have the AAA burst before they recognize they have it and makes it more challenging for medical staff to fix. The video didn’t cover all the ways to recognize them, but an aneurism is a hard thing to recognize because it depends on where they are in the body. But it covered quite a bit and all the testing that doctors do to diagnose it.

The next one I watched was on breathing and asthma that can be found here: It was just awesome and I am going to recommend it to the current teacher of the medical assistant program. I thought it was really helpful and reinforced what I knew and I gained some knowledge as well. I think I might be start using this site as a permanent feature of my education… even if they do track me and my friends ;)

What are your thoughts?

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