Non-profit educational organization Khan Academy has brought all of its content to the iPad in a new update.
In 2008, the organization started to offer learning tools, videos, and exercises to anyone who wanted them, for free. While Khan Academy has had an iOS app since 2012, it hasn’t offered the full experience found on its website. All of its videos were available, but the thousands of training exercises the non-profit features on its website were not.
However, this update changes that. All of the about 150,000 learning exercises, content that product director Matt Wahl said was “where the majority of people spend their time on Khan Academy today.”
Rather than simply porting all the exercises to the app, Khan Academy took the time to add some iPad-specific features to make the experience fit the platform better. When looking at a demo for some geometry questions, Wahl showed how you could touch and manipulate geometric figures to help answer the questions.
Another math-specific feature coming to the iPad app is the “friendly guide.” The guide analyzes the questions you answer correctly and incorrectly as well as how long it takes you to answer and then suggests other exercises that’ll help you in areas you’re not as strong in, and all your progress now gets synced back and forth between the iPad and the desktop, as long as you log in with a Khan Academy account.
Handwriting recognition, another iPad-specific feature, is also new and built-in throughout the app (which means it’s as good a time as any to pick up a good stylus if you haven’t already). The
scratchpad” features can be used throughout for note taking, but you can also use it to “show your work” when working on things like math problems — and the handwriting recognition means that once you arrive at the correct answer, the app automatically recognizes it.
“We tried using keyboard input at first. It was functional, but it didn’t really connect you with the content as much as we could using handwriting.”
The iPad app was built with speed in mind, according to Khan Academy; it’s supposedly the fastest way to get access to the site’s resources.
“Speed was a big focus of this release for us — to get to content currently sometimes takes up to seven taps to get to what you’re looking for. Now, we’ve managed to put all content two taps away.”
For the time being, these features are iPad-exclusive — since the iPhone or Windows 8.1 isn’t getting these updates, and there isn’t an official Khan Academy Android app yet. The iPad is by far the largest platform outside of traditional computers, as Wahl noted, making it a natural target for this update. However, the company is interested in continuing to make the full Khan Academy catalog available on other platforms, according to Wahl, including Android later on. For now, users can download the updated app now from the App Store.
Source: The Verge