Khan Academy Lite Allows Offline Access to Materials

THE OFFLINE LEARNING REVOLUTION: Say what you want about Khan's methods and content quality, but the company is dead set on making education accessible to the world. In the words of Jamie Alexandre, one of their intern developers, "We're currently experiencing what we're calling an 'online learning revolution'--but what about the 65% of the world that can't take advantage of it?"

Last week, the company unveiled Khan Academy Lite, a "lightweight," offline solution for those who don't have reliable Internet access. Here's how it works: the KA Lite server (which contains all the videos) can be downloaded and run on basic devices (like the $35 Raspberry Pi). Other devices then just connect to that server, rather than the Internet, to access the videos and reporting features. The potential reach is truly global: from rural communities in underdeveloped countries to the prison system right here in the U.S. (where Internet access is sometimes denied).

Equally promising is the technology behind KA Lite. Following the eventual consistency model, data is synced from device to device until until it finds a live connection to sync with KA's database. The capabilities extend well beyond KA content, though -- Alexandre imagines an offline "isolated community in Nepal being able to blog via the adhoc sneakernet."

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