The new Khan Academy iPad application was launched recently and represents a step towards free tablet-based learning that some pundits believe is the most important education tool of the next 5 years.  Will students one day be sitting down in their classroom reading animated e-books and doing interactive puzzles on their iPad?  Perhaps.  While the Khan app promises interactivity soon enough, at this point it is just a centralized collection of all their useful educational videos.  I take a closer look below.

The app lets you browse the various Khan Academy videos using a cool two paned interface — you browse the videos on the left sidebar and then watch the videos on the right hand side.  One interesting element is that you can actually download the videos if you’re interested, and even click a button in the bottom left to download “all the videos” in a certain category.  Take a look at the interface in the photo below.

There are 5 overarching categories that hold a total of 2,701 videos at this point: Math, Science, Humanities & Other, Test Prep and Talks & Interviews.  They each have a series of subcategories, and it just takes a few minutes of browsing to see just how deep Salman goes, even on specifics like the California Standards Algebra I test: he has 16 videos dedicated to that topic alone.  The app also lets you log in to keep track of your viewed videos and to more easily share what you’ve watched on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The app also has more than just the educational aspect — the talks and interviews section has a series of discussions with Salman himself.  Salman Khan is an MIT and Harvard Business School graduate who went into hedge funds and then decided to pursue his passion to create educational videos for children.  He has pursued the business for years and some of his videos have over 9 million views.  There’s no doubt that this iPad application will help him expand the reach of his free educational tools, so I look forward to seeing how this develops.

What do you think of the new Khan Academy app?