Thursday, May 24, 2012

Khan Academy’s Badges

Khan Academy just released a badge API for Facebook, allowing users to push their badges to a Facebook display on their timeline. You can also share by email and Tweet. Khan still doesn’t interface with the Mozilla Open Backpack, but, hopefully, it will soon. 

Since I joined Khan, six months ago, it has undergone a few major and minor revisions in its badge earning system. The practice constellation or “knowledge map” has changed icons a few times, and I am no longer sure which mods I’ve completed. 

Instead of the “streak bar” they have moved to leaves and problem cards. 

No matter how the system looks or works, I’m still addicted to earning badges, even if they are for simple things like exponents (all of the practice badges are for math problems/skills). I have earned the Picking Up Steam badge 36 times. I’d like to someday earn a Sun badge, or even a mysterious Black Hole badge. These are very challenging, which is something that speaks to the difficulty of earning some of the badges at Khan. 

I like the patient way the videos explain topics such as Chromosomes, Chromatids, Chromatin, etc. (coming in at just over 18 minutes) and the helpful question and answer sections at the bottom, which sometimes lead to videos like Ape Clarification- that they have no tails. I usually stick to the biology videos and have earned a few such badges, but wish for little quizzes at the end of each video to test if my knowledge is badge worthy. 

I don’t know if I will push my badges to Facebook, but I like the idea that I could. In the meantime, I might share a few on Twitter.

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