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Smarthistory joins Khan Academy

Big news today in the field of Open Educational Resources!

I’ve posted before about my admiration for smarthistory.org (and I do have a personal connection!). Today the news is out that they have joined forces with the Khan Academy. Two fantastic OERs are now working together, and the world of open learning, available to all, is wider than before. This means great things for smarthistory, great things for Khan Academy, and great things for learners everywhere.

Here’s the announcement direct from Smarthistory:

Dear Smarthistory Contributor/Supporter,

We have some terrific news! As you know, Smarthistory has been growing fast. Our content and usage numbers are way up (visits are now over 150,000 per month) and we have been working hard to make the site an indispensable resource for students and informal learners. At the same time, we have been actively looking for similar initiatives. For the past year, the one that we were most excited about was the Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org). So you can imagine our excitement when Sal Khan contacted us. To make a long story short, we’ve joined forces.

Rest assured, Sal and the rest of his amazing team are committed to the same principles as Smarthistory. Their content is entirely free, uses the same creative commons license that we do, and they accept no advertising. Like Smarthistory, Khan Academy is fully committed to open education, and they are also a not-for-profit. And Smarthistory isn’t going away, it will retain its own identity, but within the Khan Academy umbrella. As of today, Smarthistory.org simply redirects to Smarthistory.khanacademy.org (they have MUCH better servers!) (EDIT–Not anymore!)

If you’re not familiar with the Khan Academy, here’s some info from their site:

Khan Academy is a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.

All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.

And if you haven’t seen it, watch Sal’s TED Talk to get a better idea of their history and goals and how they’re using learning analytics to “flip” the classroom:

http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html

or read this recent article in the Economist: http://www.economist.com/node/21529062.

We look forward to continuing to work together to create open resources for art history education.

Best,
Beth & Steven

Khan Academy’s blog post about the news is here.


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