Khan Academy Launches New Computer Science Lessons

The Khan Academy announced this week that it plans to turn its focus to Computer Science. The online education portal already dishes up easy to digest lessons in K-12 math, as well as teachings in biology, chemistry and physics. Now the six-year-old non-profit has announced plans to add lectures on computer science.

"We're releasing a completely new platform that targets people with no programming knowledge and gives them an engaging and fun environment to learn in," said Khan Academy's John Resig. "Over everything else we wanted to emphasize creativity and exploration and make it approachable for people of all ages, including young kids."

Resig said that children attending 'Discover Lab' sessions at Khan Academy responded well to the new lessons. The children were roughly middle school age and, after a number of learning activities, Resig said they had never seen students of that age progress so quickly through such challenging concepts. He added that they were were moving faster than most college age students taking a normal intro Computer Science course.

This is what the Khan Academy is about: Taking a new approach to teaching and endeavoring to educate people in a more engaging way that differs from the traditional classroom setting. Founder Salman Khan started tutoring his cousin remotely in late 2004 using Yahoo! Doodle. Other relatives soon expressed interest in receiving similar tutelage, so he changed his approach in an effort to save everyone time. He decided to make the videos and then post them to YouTube, where his whole family could watch. The videos attracted the attention of hundreds of thousands of people on YouTube. Khan eventually quit his job as a hedge fund analyst to work on them full time. 

The site is entirely funded by donations (the site has no advertising), with Google and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation among the major backers.

To get started on the Computer Science courses, head on over to

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Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • mcd023
    I love this! Making resources for programming available to kids. I didn't get into studying programming till after college, but my interest, I believe, influenced a 12 year old that I'm friends with to want to make games, so he learned java while I learned xaml/c# for wp7. And he's very good at it. This is great!
  • freggo
    As this an article or an ad ?

    Maybe we call it an adticle :-)
  • outlw6669
  • santfu
    freggoAs this an article or an ad ?Maybe we call it an adticle :-)I'm being drowned in hidden agenda.
    Khan academy is awesome, I went and bought a maths course after a while of using khan. It is a fantastic resource.

  • apone
    This is an interesting concept as I've taken my share of CS courses in high school and college. With CS, it's really hit or miss. Either you start learning programming at an early age by picking up your dad's C++ and DOS books and learning from scratch on your own or you're blindsided by CS's complexity upon taking your first required school CS course. Khan's business model presents an alternative and attractive way to encourage people to study such a highly advanced but also mundane discipline.
  • dalethepcman
    freggoAs this an article or an ad ?Maybe we call it an adticle :-)Wow trolling against a non profit that's only here to help make the world a better place and provide learning tools to children. Yeah, thats how much of an ass you are..

    Khan academy does wonderful things. I have personally setup computers in small villages in multiple continents to have access to this where they would otherwise have no knowledge or resources to learn science and math.

    This is one of the best things Google and Bill and Melinda have done for our world. I just wish it had more good press.

    Thanks Jane, your the best!
  • g-unit1111