I do not exactly know when this happened, but Khan Academy, the famous crash course video site platform for numerous topics, did a restructuring of its website layout. No, the world did not end with it but I am not sure if it is entirely a good or a bad thing. It will fall into this vague, semi-good and semi-bad evaluation as far as I am concerned.
Their study “mission” and badge-based system kind of reminds me of Codecademy. But it’s more fast-paced than the code-intense UI of Codecademy. For fun, I tried Algebra I mission and it’s pretty decent if you need a refresher or to brush up on your skills:
Apart from that, they are now developing some soft learning tracks, something which did not exist before. (The last time I logged in here, this was a hodge podge of topics like a Youtube for study materials.)
I have really mixed emotions about the overhaul. It tried to be like the other learning websites in a way, so I feel a little bummed looking at it again for the first time. I am quite used to the layout of the other websites and Khan’s redesign kind of stripped its “anything goes for learning” vibe. It’s organized but for me, it kind of lost its uniqueness as a learning platform because it just conformed with the other websites like EDX or Coursera or Udacity or Canvas. Considering that Khan is probably one of the earlier pioneers for online learning, I was a little surprised that they gave in to peer pressure and identified similar features like those being espoused by their contemporaries.
I do wish this website all the best, though. Way back when MOOC was not a buzz word, they had been uploading numerous instructional videos. Before I made a life hack out of my learning targets through online resources, I actually relied on Khan academy to give me a crash course on things I want to know about but not completely specialize in. Khan was the go-to site of people who just want basic crash courses with no coursework requirements or needs to elevate one’s status with gamified badges. Now, I only have Youtube. But that’s enough, I guess. Youtube’s okay but it’s too broad. Khan was at least education-centric. I think Khan was a comfort zone. The way it was structured before was geared for enthusiasts. It’s just more packaged now, and I think their change marks an end of an era of loosely collating learning resources.
It appears that everyone is now specializing. While it’s impressive on paper, a more well-rounded convergence of industries is more intellectually interesting for me. I cannot seriously find myself being confined to specializing only in one thing. It’s difficult to keep or maintain at first but the rewards of being able to make uncanny and not-so-apparent connections between different subjects is enough drive to keep me on with whatever it is I am doing, learning-wise. It is not something I can recommend to people because it eats up more time than usual but if people have their idiosyncratic addictions that bleed their wallets dry, I have my learning plans. Learning new things is my heroine. Some people say it’s an insane way but I think that some good things are coming out of it, really good things. I am actually starting to reap the fruits of dipping my finger in every knowledge pie that I can get my hands on, and it’s surprisingly really good and exciting each time. I cannot really see myself doing otherwise, though my balance of time and energy can still use a lot of work. XD