Xholon - Khan Academy

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The Khan Academy provides a library of over 2,600 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history. I have started watching and learning from these excellent videos. But I learn best by doing something active at the same time, especially if that something involves coding (software development). That's my way of taking notes.

These pages include code in a variety of programming languages. Since the Khan Academy includes a Computer Science playlist that teaches the essentials of Python, I try to provide some Python code, along with JavaScript and Java.

A lot of the code is designed to work in Xholon, a modeling, simulation, and general learning environment I've created that works the way I think. It's based on Java, but also understands JavaScript, Python, and other programming languages. My passion is exploring how everything is connected. It's a good challenge to figure out how to connect Xholon with what I'm learning at the Khan Academy, and to get the topics in different Khan playlists working together, like physics and computer science.

I'll be adding some new behaviors for the beasts over at the Xholon Bestiary. I'm sure the cats, dogs, zombies and termites would love to be blasted out of a cannon, and learn first-hand all about the laws of physics as explained by Salman Khan (Sal).

All of the code on these web pages can be edited in place, and most of it can be executed using online tools.

I hope that these pages may be of use to others.

I started work on these pages in late December 2011. As of early January 2012 I'm just feeling my way, concentrating on the Khan Academy physics playlist. I have lots of ideas. My goal is to be able to create and execute a new model while Sal talks through a video, with only a few short pauses to catch up. I should start with a wiki-like templated page with blank areas to fill in, and be able to save it all when I'm done. It should be almost as simple as taking notes with a pen and paper. The Xholon Chameleon software includes the JScience library, which forces me to think explicitly in terms of scalars and vectors, magnitudes, units of measurement, and dimensions. And Xholon forces me to think in terms of domain objects (Block, Car, Rock, ...) and attributes with quantities (Velocity, Height, Pressure, ...), and the relationships between them. The use of Python or JavaScript forces me to be very exact with what I'm doing. The combination of all of these ensures that I understand what Sal is saying, or my model won't get the same result as Sal's video.