May 2012 News

posted Jun 20, 2012, 7:35 AM by Richard Bush

The Khan Academy

by L. Miller-Wietecha

The Khan Academy has won top educational awards, been profiled on national television and has become a key element in high school and college classes around the world. But the Academy’s creator, Salman Khan, is not resting on his laurels. Khan graduated from MIT in 1998 and has launched a new initiative called MIT+K12. As part of the collaboration, MIT students are being recruited to produce videos that will be available through the Khan academy's Web site (Khan Academy) and MIT’s designated YouTube channel.

The videos are 5- to 10 minutes long and focus on teaching the basics of engineering and science. The MIT students can select a subject they prefer or they can generate videos on topics requested by their MIT professors. Students have created approximately 75 videos so far, covering topics such as:

  • The Earth's rotation;
  • Flying robots;
  • Basic chemistry;
  • Forces on an airplane;
  • Heat transfer;
  • Pixel engineering; and
  • How bread mold kills bacteria.

Ian Waitz, dean of the School of Engineering and the Jerome C. Hunsaker professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, created the program to encourage more students to go into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The MIT students who participate in the program receive financial support, equipment, training, and editing services (Watch Dean Waitz’s kick off address --

This program is widely considered a win-win-win-win scenario:

  1. MIT promotes the study of engineering and science and extends its reach directly to K12 students and teachers around the country (huge marketing & recruiting tool and great PR);
  2. MIT faculty get to see their own students’ depth of skill as they make these videos (great example of Problem-Based Learning & Authentic Assessment);
  3. MIT students get compensated for their time and talent and learn valuable new skills (Great resume & budget builder for students), and finally,
  4. All of us benefit from these quality, open-source resources!

How might you do something similar to showcase your talent?


Social Media: Change with LinkedIn

by Marija Franetovic

I delivered a LinkedIn presentation to LTU Staff on May 17th, 2012 (attached). The presentation covered why one might want to use LinkedIn, what is unique about LinkedIn, and presented case scenarios within a university environment. Also, the development of social media strategy for a particular social media was discussed, and a number of best practices for profiles, groups and interaction through LinkedIn. Approximately two dozen people attended. Those who provided feedback said that they found the presentation informative and useful. Should your department have an interest in a customized workshop on LinkedIn or other social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), please feel free to contact me at , Tracy McGhee and Christian Forrest