The success story of the largest virtual school in the world, run by a single Individual – Khan Academy

Entrepreneurship at IIT Delhi

Education has gone “hi-tech” in the recent past. We have all heard of Coursera, eDX, MIT OCW and Udacity; probably used them too on numerous occasions.

 For Salman Khan – a visionary and pioneer in the field of e-education and the founder of the very famous Khan Academy, it all began as a hobby. In 2004, “Sal”, as he fondly called, helped his 12-year cousin Nadia pass a Math Test. In the process he used Yahoo’s Doodle Notepad. In 2006, this MIT and Harvard Business School graduate started uploading his math tutorials on Youtube.

 

For the uninformed, Khan Academy is a non profit educational website created by Salman Khan in 2006. The stated mission is to provide ‘a free world class education for anyone anywhere’.

By 2009, his You Tube Videos were widely followed; he had a lucrative job as a hedge fund analyst. Discovering his true calling as…

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U2 and Augmented Spam

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Many recently discovered a near UN-delete-able version of U2’s latest album, to have been downloaded on to their mobile devices; Yahoo story here. The issues of the unwanted spam in the “purchased” section of nearly a billion iTunes users globally, is a rather frightening question of the future of spam & advertising. Now, if you are familiar with the Zeitgeist Movement, then you may already understand how most advertising for profit agencies would be obsolete in a future based on a Natural Law Resource Based Economic model. Thanks to modern inventions like the #hashtag & search engines, which already allow for compilations of data to be sorted in the twinkling of an eye & about nearly any subject one could hope to understand, maybe it’s about time we consider the relevance, of advertising all together? While the gaining of profit is still in the plans for U2 & it’s albums distributors, this marketing ploy seems to have backfired in winning the hearts and minds of the ever growing & rightfully louder group of people who believe in something as simple, as asking consent. However U2 & iTunes obviously must seem to think it’s easier to ask for forgiveness, then permission, ….. oh, that’s right, you gave them permission when you signed their agreement to download & access their service. With a click or lack there of, permissions were given some time ago, but that, is in the small print somewhere around the middle or bottom of you likely unread licensing agreement.

Now, not to hop on the slippery slope of fallacy, but let us project the ramifications of this into our near future, say a future where the Zeitgeist Movements ideals are not lived up too? While in my old age, it will be nice to have an app that can control the tiny(cell sized) robots that can dig out the McPlaque built up from the 20th century from ones arteries & augmented reality projections of art displayed into my brains sight centers as one actually looks at a empty space on a living room wall; one must also see, all around it, tiny spam-vertizments in it’s boarder. You can just turn them off, for a fee, but if not, the otherwise free services of our digital future may have some undesirable images pumped into our minds, with out our permission. Now that may be no different then today. One can hardly leave one’s home without seeing a sign or billboard some advertiser has paid for on the side of the roads we travel down. However, when augmented reality has the power to fill up every last area of “free space” in our view with an ad about the latest shoe, show, or service; we may wish we had read the licensing agreements better, after ever hearing about Blippar or Pepsi merging with Apple & U2 to force a concert into our minds eye view, while we’re trying to attend our grandchild’s recital. But don’t, worry you’ll be able to fade the shows opaqueness into the background, so it’ll only be the ghostly image & reduced sound pumped into your head, of a 90+ year old Bono screeching out his show over top of little Johnny’s play. This is the future of advertising & spam, if we do not address these concerns at the earliest stages of their technological implementation.

Personally, I’d rather go a different route, maybe instead we stop this vain-glorious desire of stardom, fame & fortune? Use our technologies to save a piece of graffiti or mural & then swipe it to the viewer, & let another artist wander by & use the canvas for something else unique. When done, all the masterpieces could then be rotated through, showing off how various people used the space. We could let technology raise our conscience to greater levels of creativity, like using augmented reality technology for jokes like imprinting “Bruce Wayne is Batman” shining on to a cloud, maybe a heart on the moon during a proposal, or we could see spam there, like the Nike Swoosh?

The choice, I leave to you?

The best way to predict your future is to create it’ – attributed to many.

Zeitgeist MOOC

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Help Wanted: will train; sincere desire to change the world required!

As many of our readers should know by now, I have been taking a few Massive Open Online Courses(MOOC) this year.

8 of them I have graduated from & 4 of those were with distinction. I even failed a class. Not that I’m proud of it, but I mention it to note how difficult these, college level, courses can be.

The point is, they are such a fun, learning challenge, I had to make one myself. Emerging Trends & Technologies in the Virtual K-12 Classroom by Melissa Joell Loble, M.A., MBA has been such an inspiring class & professor, that we here over in Zeitgeist’s Philadelphia chapter have begun the creation of what will also be a fun & challenging MOOC.

Come take a look at it’s early stages & offer our intelligent designers some early feedback.  Join us for an amazing new way to learn & grow, with the Zeitgeist Movement. Currently we have already issued 3 lessons(weeks) worth of course work, including; basics on getting connected with the movement, Communications, & Economics. We will also add on more as we progress & create, while we grow & learn together.

Please, click here https://zeitgeistphiladelphia.coursesites.com/ & sign up for free!

Philadelphia’s Poverty : Pitfalls and Possibilities since #Occupy

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As many of you know by now, that I challenged myself to be a better advocate & coordinator for the Philly TZM chapter. Part of that has been taking a Wesleyan University massive open online course(MOOC) on Coursera called How to Change the World by Michael S. Roth. The final choice i made for the assignment is as follows:  #4. Describe the persistence of poverty in your neighborhood or region. What is the most important thing you can do to alleviate the suffering caused by poverty? Find at least one other person with whom you can take an action that makes a positive difference. Describe what you’ve done and why it matters.

This blog post is meant to both, re-present that report, as well as act as my final extra credit assignment for that class, as well as being an look at some of the challenges & recent positive advancements which have been made in Philly, since #Occupy.

I am 40 years old & have lived in Philadelphia, most of my life until moving out to the suburbs of Philly, 5 years ago. While at #OccupyPhilly in 2011 I noticed a large banner posted in front of City Hall saying there are 4000 homeless people in Philadelphia. Indeed if that was true it would be pertaining towards similar numbers suggested in relationship too what ProjectHOME mentions  “Scope of Homelessness in Philadelphia

However, those numbers may represent some over lap considering the other statistics later mentioned from the same source; such as the 650 people estimated to be on the streets at any one time.

In a report on youth homelessness, it showed a doubling of incidents from 2009-2011. Mostly from being kicked out, abandoned, or running away. This same report included, another sad statistic about how as many as 8% of Philadelphia’s high school students had experienced homelessness.

The biggest issue to contend with, is getting people the help they need. This is a challenge because many are eligible for help, & do not receive it, because they are unaware they can receive it. “Julie Zaebst, interim director of the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, seized on the plan’s message that too many Philadelphians fail to take advantage of benefits that could help them.

Under-enrollment in programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, “is a huge problem for our city,” Zaebst said.”

However there have been great strides in this area. 6 BenePhilly Centers have been constructed recently to help engage the public who needs help the most & cut down on the complicate process of receiving federal benefits. This is very exciting news for those in poverty when coupled other with recent events which have also seen large endowments recently, such as John Middleton and his wife Leigh, making a $30 million donation to Project HOME.

” “The best philanthropy is clearheaded and hard-nosed,” Mr. Middleton, 59, said in an interview. “This is about results, not about good intentions.”

Mr. Middleton said that Project HOME, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has already shown results by helping some 8,500 people get off the streets in a city that has the highest poverty rate, 26 percent, among the 10 largest cities in the country.  “

I have been doing general advocacy for the Zeitgeist Movement Philadelphia Chapter since 2008 & recently stepped up as the Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Region. One of the many fallacies used to attack The Zeitgeist Movement(TZM) in general, is tu-quoque, suggesting “we don’t do anything for those in poverty today.” So I reached out to the other State Coordinators & suggested that when we do come across those in need, we use what resources we can to help, by helping direct those people to an appropriate agency.

This “Do you need help?” page will remain on our cities evolving website.  Jamison Small is another State Coordinator, from Arizona, who has also said they would be happy to “team up” & help provide knowledge of these resources, when applicable.

Project X and the Short Green Line to Abaline

In the Social Psychology MOOC i’m taking, we’re taught about how on a hot

summer day, after playing dominoes, Dad strikes up a conversation

about the family getting in the car for a drive to the locally famous

diner 50 miles away in Abaline. The daughter, not really wanting to go, but being kind

to her father, passes the buck to her husband & he in turn throws the

responsibility of choice at his mother in law. Who then defers to her

husbands original idea. Even though Dad was just trying to have a

chat, while not really wanting to go anywhere. But because each of

them THINKS the others all want to go, even though they don’t, they

ALL still pile up into the car, with no air conditioning, & drive 50 miles

to the diner in Abaline!

The question is, why are we on the road to Abaline if no one actually

wants to go?

Later the son get’s a job reviewing losses at a company. He sits with

the president, & hears about how Project X is a failure, but because

the VP & the R&D Manager say it should continue, & he as president

wants to support his team; the Money Pit of Project X, continues. So

the guy goes to the VP & hears “…between you & me, Project X is a

failure, but the president is in my office being supportive & we don’t

want to let him down…..” so Project X continues. Going to the R&D

Manager, the guy hears “Project X is not going to happen, but the

President & the VP want what they want & I don’t want to get fired…..”

…so Project X continues.

Is the issue of Climate Change & Business-As-Usual, not unlike the

Trip to Abaline? Is delaying the change to a sustainable world for more

Business-As-Usual profits, the Project X of our species?  Why can’t we

end it?  i’ve been feeling the struggle for the last few days. However,

feeling messed up, in a messed up place during a messed up time,

doesn’t mean that one is, messed up. Our societies are at war, we’re

slaves to money & we’re smart enough to see through the bull$#!t!  “It is

no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

If your “pain inside” is anything like “the splinter in your mind”

mentioned in the Matrix, then we share that pain. We see how the

world can be so much better, yet we(humanity) waste our potential as

a species on death & trinkets. Don’t we want better for our children?

Our pain is caused by this injustice, poverty, & strife over scarcity, in a

world we know should be able to create abundance. Tesla drove

himself mad over this & he died alone, because it’s not enough to just

know better & do better for ourselves. We want to share that with the

world. Help them see what we see.

Sometimes it helps to know that you’re not alone in the experience you

are having. Bill Hicks once said that all the mass medias are telling us

to believe these lies. It makes us feel crazy inside when our voice of

reason is quelled. That’s why he likes alternative media, it shows honest

emotion. You’ll never get honest emotion form the the MainStream

News  So when others echo the MSN, it’s the Solomon Asch Paradigm

at work, line A is clearly the right answer, even if the rest of the room

says it’s C. When there is even just 1 other person, in the room,

agreeing with the truth, normative conformity drops, significantly. This

is also the Moscovici study in action, how the minority, when

consistent, can effect the majority. Looks Blue to me? Wait…. i

thought y’all said it was Green?

“Holy Cognitive Dissonance Batman, what are we goona do?”

Don’t worry Robin, we’ll get through to them, eventually!”

Well, Serge Moscovici was a psychologist that showed how a consistent

minority influences the response of a majority, breaking the Asch

Conformity paradigm. Learning this in my Social Psych MOOC, came

at an important time for me. i was feeling not like myself, wondering if i

was going the right direction. Is what i’m doing worth all this effort?

i know what it’s like to doubt, in the face of such resistance too.

But this Moscovici study showed me that this quote, is true: ” Never

doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change

the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. “

spreading the word is the revolution