Khan Academy Teaches Math and Science on YouTube

Salman Khan teaches math and science via YouTube video lessons.  It’s called Khan Academy.  He teaches a wide variety of subjects including algebra, calculus, biology, physics, chemistry and statistics.  He thinks everyone should be able to get an education for free and he does not think universities are doing it properly.  The education model needs to be rethought and rebuilt.  Many people think so and that’s why Kahn Academy has so many students and is attracting venture capital money.  He’s getting more viewers than most university web sites.  Here’s a PBS NewsHour piece about him:

Here’s a lesson on adding and subtracting fractions:

Videos From Haiti During and After Earthquake

This video shows shocking scenes of the carnage and death just after the earthquake in Haiti on Tuesday, January 12.  It is extremely graphic.  It shows dead and severely injured people.  This is terrible and tragic news from a desperately poor nation that has no medical infrastructure to deal with the injured.

YouTube‘s CitizenTube Channel is maintaining an updating playlist of videos taken on the ground in Haiti just after the earthquake and during rescue attempts.

You can donate to the Red Cross International Response Fund.  Also, giving blood is always one of the very best things you can do because it fills the blood banks and can be used almost anywhere.

You can also donate to Doctors Without Borders, which is putting medical personnel on the ground in Haiti to assist in saving lives.

One extra and disgusting note: on his Christian Broadcasting Network today, televangelist Pat Robertson told viewers:

And you know, Christy, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it, they were under the heel of the French, uh, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the devil, they said, we will serve you, if you get us free from the Prince, true story. And so the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’ And they kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free, and ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. . . the Island of Hispaniola is one island cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is, is, prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty, same Islands, uh, they need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic something good may come, but right now we’re helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.

I’m going to be very clear about something.  What this awful man is saying is truly disgusting and belongs back in the Middle Ages.  This is deeply primitive and racist thinking which is an embarrassment to our nation.  If you are watching this creep on television, please seriously reconsider what you are doing.

YouTube Launches Open-Source Application for Citizen Journalism

CitizenTubeYouTube has built an open-source application called YouTube Direct that allows news organizations to request and accept uploaded videos from citizen journalists anywhere in the world.  The idea is to give news organizations the ability to put out a call for videos on a specific news story and then review the direct uploads to select the ones they want to broadcast on their web sites or even over the air.  The video creators get to keep their videos on YouTube for access just like any other video on the site.  There’s more information available in their Citizen Tube information area.

The camera in the hands of the average citizen has proven to be an extraordinarily powerful tool for news-gathering over the past few years.  Instances of police abuse, natural disasters, and political turmoil have been captured by cell phone cameras all over the world.  This seems like a very smart move by YouTube that could have a profound effect on the news.  I can see this as a major benefit to smaller start-up news organizations that mostly rely on the web.

It remains to be seen, however, if YouTube makes this widely available to small sites and creative outlets, or if they stick to a larger scale more corporate membership.  That would be disappointing, but it would still broaden the availability of citizen journalism.