Chok is a newly created club in KAIST with the objective of using videos uploaded on the Internet to help tutor students who are financially challenged and cannot afford private tuition. On April 18 and 19, Chok held its first explanatory session at the Undergraduate Library. Attended by around 20 to 30 students, the session was followed by an interview for prospective applicants.
Chok started as a small volunteer organization that tutored students from low-income families in the Daejeon area free of charge. Initially named STX Knowledge Sharing Volunteer Group, the club decided to expand their activities to the Internet so that anyone could gain access to their lessons online. Chok plans to set up a website with educational and instructional videos for both junior high and high school students, and expect to expand their services to help university freshmen as well.
Unlike the standard video lectures uploaded by established online tutoring sites such as Megastudy, the videos Chok is trying to create are strikingly different. Rather than creating hour-long videos based on textbook chapters, Chok creates videos that are barely 10 minutes in length. These videos are then organized by concepts so viewers can follow the logical flow of an idea such as integration or the double helical structure of DNA. Instructors create these videos using tablet hardware while speaking into a microphone rather than recording a teacher working on a blackboard.
The inspiration behind Chok was Khan Academy, a non-profit organization that also aims to spread free education to the world through short online lectures. Started by Salman Khan, a former hedge fund analyst and MIT graduate, Khan Academy has over 3,100 videos in a wide number of fields such as biology, mathematics, computer science and economics. The website is funded by a number of large donations, of which the most notable are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Google. Most recently, Khan Academy received a $5 million donation from the O’Sullivan foundation.