Khan Academy launched a partnership today with SmartHistory which not only expands their content library but introduces new instructional voices and perspectives to the popular site. The new Art History section contains 100+ videos discussing a variety of historic pieces from Ancient to Modern times and begins with this message: “Spontaneous conversations about works of art where the speakers are not afraid to disagree with each other or art history orthodoxy. Videos are made by Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker along with other contributors.”
Clicking on one of the videos directs you to the SmartHistory site which is visibly labeled as ‘presented by Khan Academy.’ I think this partnership is a great step in the right direction to increase the content offering and perspectives that are guiding and ‘instructing’ viewers on this incredibly popular site, which has tripled its unique users to 3.5 million over the past year. I was especially intrigued to see that some of the ‘other contributors’ include Second Life correspondents, such as the two avatars who guide us through this recreation of Michelangelo’s Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, providing historical and physical context in their explanation.
I’m thrilled to see art history content highlighted in this way and am looking forward to what future partnerships will bring to the Khan Academy.
You can watch Sal Khan sharing this announcement at the Web 2.0 Conference here.