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Coders Get Instant Gratification With Khan Academy Programming

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Salman Khan

Khan Academy founder Salman Khan

Credit: Joe Pugliese/Wired

The Khan Academy, which has provided free video lectures on subjects such as mathematics, biology, and history since 2006, recently launched a computer science section.

Instead of a video, each computer science lesson contains a pane on the left side for students to enter code and a pane on the right that displays the output. The first lesson involves writing code that will draw a face in the right hand pane. After learning to create graphics, students learn animation and eventually game development. The results of coding changes are immediately displayed in the right pane, offering instant feedback. The lessons also include tips for solving common beginner problems. The tutorials use Processing.js, which is based on the visual arts-centric programming language Processing, but can run inside a Web browser without the need for any plugins.

The nonprofit academy, which has received financial backing from the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, was founded by Salman Khan, who has a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

From Wired News
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