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Khan Academy Takes on Civics and U.S. History

Khan Academy civics video

The Khan Academy has launched a new series of videos focused on civics for students in K-12 and higher education — and anybody else interested in learning how government works in the United States. The videos feature academy Founder Sal Khan as well as news media celebrity and presidential debate moderator John Dickerson. Dickerson is co-host of CBS This Morning and contributor to Slate's Political Gabfest and The Atlantic. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Dickerson moderated CBS News' two presidential debates. Previously, he was CBS News' chief Washington correspondent, political director and anchor of Face the Nation.

The videos feature lively conversations about U.S. government, politics and history, including little-known anecdotes from the nation's past. The discussions also shed light on how American institutions have changed and why.

The first five videos in the new series have been posted and are available for free on Khan Academy and YouTube. The current crop of videos, which run from one minute to six minutes long and include captioning, cover:

  • An introduction to the series;
  • Why people should study U.S. history, government and civics;
  • How the Supreme Court has become increasingly politicized;
  • How the role of the president has changed; and
  • How changes in media have influenced the national discourse.

The videos appear alongside academic content in three courses on Khan Academy: U.S. Government and Civics, Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics, and U.S. History.

"Recording interviews with John Dickerson makes American civics and history content come alive," said Khan, in a statement. "We're excited to inspire students to become the next generation of informed and engaged citizens."

"Our history is filled with great personalities and transformative struggles," added Dickerson. "The stories of our past can help all of us better understand what's happening today."

New videos will be added to the collection over time.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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