Yes, The Khan Academy IS the Future of Education (video)

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Khan Academy

Salman Khan has taken a simple idea, YouTube videos that explain math, and transformed it into the future of education.

I'm just going to come out and say it: the Khan Academy is the best thing that has happened to education since Socrates. The brainchild of Salman Khan, the Khan Academy became famous by teaching simple math lessons for free through over 2000 YouTube videos. Now, after millions in donations and an expansion of the company, the academy is so much more. The website for the Khan Academy already had exercises you could use to test your understanding of the videos you just watched, but in the past few weeks the website has exploded with wonderful new features. You can create a profile for the site simply by logging in through Google or Facebook. You can track your progress with some wonderful metrics. Teachers (or 'coaches') can monitor student progress in groups. Students can earn badges to keep them interested. The list goes on and on and it's all free. Free, I tell you! In true Khan Academy fashion, Sal explains these new features in the video below. As they continue to expand beyond math, and increase the sophistication of their platform, I am left with little doubt that the Khan Academy represents the future of education. And it's already here.

Sal Khan does a very thorough job of explaining the ways in which the Khan Academy website takes its 2000 videos and expands them into a complete set of lessons, test exercises, and evaluations. If I could just highlight a few moments, however, I would point to the incredibly detailed blow by blow analysis that KA keeps of a student's progress. Teachers can see the results of each and every problem the student attempted (6:20). Everything these guys are doing is amazing:

The impact that the Khan Academy could have on the classroom is enormous. As Sal discusses in the video (8:10) they are already performing trials to see how teachers can use the KA platform to improve the way they track and help their students. With the Khan Academy, teachers would "intervene only when a student is stuck." In other words, the KA is supplementing the education paradigm in such a way that teachers are only needed as corrective influences. They'll be tutors more than lecturers.

Imagine that shift occurring across the board, not just in math. The Khan Academy already has great videos on history, the sciences, finances, even venture capital! They are still expanding their exercises, and we should eventually see them outside of math as well. If there's an objective way to present or evaluate a concept, chances are that Khan Academy could include it. All the lessons of traditional school, maybe even those that involve writing, could be there one day.

Yet such an expanded role of the Khan Academy would be so much more than just a movement of school to the internet. It would also allow for a profound transformation. Students can pause videos, rewind, replay, and research hard to understand concepts with the Khan Academy in ways they could never do with a human lecture. The KA software can generate nearly infinite number of exercises to test a student's skills. It can track their every success or failure in ways that human teachers never could hope with 30+ students in their classrooms.

As I mentioned before in previous discussions on digital education, the biggest difference is that this sort of online platform puts the pace and path of learning firmly in the hands of the student. Work at your own level, learn concepts in the order that makes the most sense to you. Learn when you want to learn, how you want to learn.

And do it all for free.

Free! How frakkin' beautiful is that? Students all over the world, young and old, can learn anything for the cost of internet access. It's a beautiful time, people.

Khan Academy metrics

The Khan Academy's new metrics are available once you create a profile. Tracking students is easy, and students are encouraged to learn more by earning badges.

And we're only getting started. You can tell from all this expansion that the Khan Academy is making good use of the $2 million that Google donated to the site, and the untold contributions from the Gates Foundation. Their lead designer, Jason Rosoff, is doing great work with the interface and the presentation of the analytics. Ditto for developer Ben Kamens. Judging from comments made by Khan, Rosoff, and Kamens, the Academy is only going to get bigger, better, and more refined from here on out.

Let's not forget that the Khan Academy isn't alone in this digital education revolution, either. We've seen other another math site, Mathletics, that has many of the same features as the KA software but that adds in global competition to the formula. Maybe KA will adapt that as well? Hopefully so. There are dozens of other online learning sites (many require a subscription fee, but not all) and the genre is getting stronger and more diverse everyday. There are real chances here that the Khan Academy, and others who follow their example, will push education into an era that is more flexible, reactive to students' needs, and open to everyone.

That's not to say that everyone is taking advantage of the opportunity. Although the Khan Academy has million of views, and thousands of users of its software, it and its peers have a long way to go before reaching a statistically significant percentage of the global student population. But, you know, they are gaining ground fast. I love going to Chartbeat and watching the KA statistics in real time. The great thing about this academy and its platform is that it can spread almost as fast as the internet itself.

There are no guarantees, of course. As with any new venture, digital education has its hurdles to clear. Security is paramount with any service used by young children. The KA, Mathletics, and other sites already do a good job with insulating their users, but undoubtedly they will be tested as their populations expand. Funding for the Khan Academy is excellent at the moment, but growing into the sort of universal online education system that they could become will require more than a few million dollars. There are huge areas of education, especially writing based skills, that will prove very difficult to automate. Not impossible, considering the progress we've already seen with AI writing, but a major challenge to be sure. This is all assuming, clearly, that the Khan Academy will want to expand in such a way.

If they don't, though, someone else probably will. I think the Khan Academy's example will prove powerful enough to attract other entrepreneurs and philanthropists to the cause of free global digital education. With enough visionaries, it could happen. If/when it does, the world will never be the same. In fact, I'm almost certain it will be considerably better.

My secret hope is that by the time I have children, and they are ready for school, they will be among the first generation raised in the new paradigm of digital education.

Godspeed Khan Academy. You have a few years, but keep up the hustle.

[image credits: Khan Academy via Facebook, ShiporDie]

[sources:Khan Academy]

Discussion — 58 Responses

  • Maurice450 February 13, 2011 on 4:55 pm

    Your article said it all, absolutely great news! It’s about time online learning became mainstream, which means this idea will catapult itself as the new paradigm of education within a few years.

  • Andrew Frenette February 13, 2011 on 5:17 pm

    Video and online learning certainly have their place in education. And not that so-called traditional models (teacher droning, chalkboard squeaking, students scribbling) are perfect by any stretch, but not everyone will be able to learn or be willing to learn with these models.

    • Ethelpark588 Andrew Frenette February 13, 2011 on 8:11 pm

      … but not everyone will be able to learn or be willing to learn with these models…

      Why not?

      • Andrew Frenette Ethelpark588 February 13, 2011 on 8:33 pm

        Do you know anything about learning? Some people learn by watching. Others doing. Others listening. Others by trial and error. Most of us are some combination of these. I’ve taken several online courses with success; there’s a great deal of autonomy involved and I’m a do-it-myself kinda guy. A co-worker, who took a couple of the same online courses, didn’t fair so well and despised the courses. He told me he’d rather have someone (a flesh and blood human being) standing up front and instructing him. Different strokes….

        • Keith Kleiner Andrew Frenette February 13, 2011 on 9:32 pm

          This won’t work for everyone, at least not as a 100% solution. However, platforms such as the one from Khan are likely to be helpful to almost everyone, and for a significant portion of the population it could serve as the central, core component of their curriculum – one that is superior to today’s lecture based curriculum.

        • Michael Breslin Andrew Frenette February 14, 2011 on 2:50 am

          “Do you know anything about learning?”

          Not only is this kind of statement unnecessarily negative in what should be a celebratory discussion about a clearly awesome new addition to education, it shows that you actually don’t know anything about learning. There are tons of studies (and more coming all the time) showing that learning styles are mostly nonsense. People may prefer to read lecture notes and text over watching someone work problems on the board, this doesn’t mean they can’t learn the material if it’s not presented in their most preferred way.

          Obviously there are no silver bullets and online learning won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s certainly a huge step forward and should be commended.

          • Andrew Frenette Michael Breslin February 14, 2011 on 1:24 pm

            Well, gee whiz, Michael, I did say that they have their place in education right up there, near the top, in my first comment.

            And “learning styles are mostly nonsense”? But, as your statement implies, not entirely. You’ve obviously got some prescience you’re using to see those studies yet to come. I’ve seen studies, too. Funny thing about studies — they can be made to say whatever you want them to say.

            Personal observation and experience have demonstrated many things to me (I don’t rely entirely on studies to tell me what works and what doesn’t, it’s more trial and error, real world experience). I work, in part, in adult education, mostly men, ages 18 and up. Many cannot read, cannot spell, cannot write their own name. Some do not own computers, have no idea how to turn a computer on, and have no idea how to navigate to specific content on a website. Some have no desire to learn (about computers or anything else for that matter). How, exactly, is an online video helping any of these people?

            New education models and methods are certainly needed and welcome. The Khan Academy’s offering is among those offerings that will contribute to change. But I stand by my original statement – not everyone will be able or willing to learn using these models.

            • Brent Sears Andrew Frenette February 16, 2011 on 2:22 pm

              Everyone doesn’t matter. That may sound harsh, but 100% of people/students/users don’t all do/need/require the material covered on Khan Academy. Now 100% of the students wishing to learn a particular subject covered is another matter. And yes, the success rate will not be 100%, but that doesn’t make the site any less amazing. (Is 39,000,000+ lessons to date good enough?)
              100% of basketball players don’t like Nike shoes.
              100% drivers don’t like BMW
              100% of symphony lovers don’t like the LA Philharmonic.
              So focus on the people it works for and forget the rest. And for the people it doesn’t work for it will allow others to work to fill their needs.

        • David Jensen Andrew Frenette February 15, 2011 on 2:01 am

          I think you need to stop viewing Khan Academy as just an online school.
          Students watch and listen to teachers at chalkboards everywhere. This would be replaced with… a teacher at a (virtual) chalkboard. Then problems are done off of a screen instead of a textbook. I see this as an enhancement of traditional models, rather than an outright replacement. Furthermore, because the teacher isn’t always lecturing, they’ll have more time to focus on individuals and non-traditional teaching techniques.

          Also, there is a lot of focus at KA on helping motivate students through game mechanics, such as tech-trees and achievements.

          I’m sure there are home school students that use KA and don’t need a physically present teacher at all, but I don’t think that is the only purpose of KA.

    • mrTortoise Andrew Frenette February 14, 2011 on 1:22 pm

      ok so people learn differently? so what?
      Not everyone will be bale to read your comment.
      I do not get what your point is except unless it really is something as painfully banal such as yellow is not blue.

    • Gilbert Midonnet Andrew Frenette October 7, 2012 on 12:16 pm

      On-line learning will have numerous components to it. It will have as many as can be imagined and coded. Virtual teachers will be able to give one-on-one education. Take a look at wii “teachers” and coaches – now imagine computers with 1000x more computing power. Virtual teachers are the future.

  • NavSha February 13, 2011 on 7:57 pm

    I owe a lot to the academy myself.The videos are proving very useful in my preparation for a graduate degree in CS.And I’m very confident about the long term success of projects like this, if executed well enough and so far this one has been.Hats off to Sal Khan for doing something incredibly influential,empowering and revolutionary with his gifted talent.

  • Carlos Alberto Teixeira February 13, 2011 on 8:11 pm

    Wonderful article, Aaron. Greetings from Rio!

  • Sue Boston February 13, 2011 on 9:39 pm

    Partially true claims. Khan is very good for motivated self-directed learners.

    Not so great for the beginning levels though. Much more is needed and the interface is too abstract for a normal 4-8 yr old. Speaking only from personal experience though, unlike most.

    • Chris Bell Sue Boston February 13, 2011 on 10:36 pm

      Agreed Sue. Online/eLearning requires self-motivation and drive and/or a task master to keep students on pace.

      I also agree that the interface has a ways to go, but it’s great for free.

      • gzino Chris Bell February 14, 2011 on 4:02 am

        Those “layers” can always be added. Nice foundation to start with though.

    • Tim Sue Boston February 14, 2011 on 7:40 pm

      I’m trying to start a Video Math service in response to this, focused on the creative delivery of material to all ages, that I think would work well with Khan’s already established base of knowledge. Click the link below and check it out – see if the learning is any easier!

      I appreciate any feedback you have as we’re looking to develop the idea further… Thanks!

  • Melchizedek The Priest February 13, 2011 on 10:42 pm

    Hurray for the Khan Academy and the yeoman service they are providing to the public. Their expertize partnered with ours at The Universal Law Institute, School of Biotechnology could very possibly eliminate ignorance from the planet by the end of 2011.

    Utilizing their expertize in that BRANCH OF KNOWLEDGE to disseminate the following information which constitutes the BODY OF KNOWLEDGE, will achieve the overdue organic singularity, as opposed to the artificial singularity visualized by the well-intentioned Mr Kurzweil. The combination of these two parts of the TREE OF KNOWLEDGE is America’s opportunity to present this priceless gift to the world.

    As a Bio-Software Engineer and Relationship Consultant, my focus is on reuniting you, the genius or LIGHT, with the information encoded within the atoms which (you) LIGHT converted into and bonded into a BARCODE of atoms known as your human form.

    Reverting back into ONE indivisible unit of LIGHT in human form, empowers you to fearlessly personify the true function of the information enshrined within your formerly DENSE BARCODE of atoms, which you are now enlightened of.

    To enable you to enlighten and READ your DENSE BARCODE of atoms, therefore, The Universal Law Institute, School of Biotechnology and Relationship Restoration, has designed and created an Organic Scanner™. Getting custom-fitted with this cutting-edge, state-of-the-art Bio-Software is currently available to the public by appointment. Schedule yours today.

    Ignorance, negligence or unwillingness to accurately execute the function of the information enshrined within your BARCODE of atoms, translates into the unhealthy degeneration of your nerve cells, since they are being FORCED to process activities contrary to the activities for which the atoms comprising their form were assembled.

    For a deeper scientific understanding of this biochemical anomaly, check out the research of former Georgetown Professor, Dr Candace B Pert, in her eye-opening book, “Molecules of Emotion”.

    Melchizedek The Priest
    [email protected]

  • Anonymous February 13, 2011 on 11:08 pm

    OH wow, I never thought about it like that before.

  • N2itv42 February 13, 2011 on 11:21 pm

    Wow, the printing press, radio, television, computers, and social media are going to change the world! How naive can we get. The problems of the world are not about revealing the answers to known problems. Granted, it’s a great thing to have this information available, but it’s been available for centuries. The real problems are those with no revealed answer – they are the ones for which there is no clear answer. It’s not enough to train monkey’s to type – they have to be able to make difficult choices, improvise and innovate, and above all else, be grounded in a sense of their own fallibility. To develop these skills requires challenge, courage, and experience – you can’t get that solving quadratic equations behind a screen. Just sayin’.

  • Steve Daley February 13, 2011 on 11:22 pm

    For classroom education, there will be a need for personal access by each student. This means one laptop per child and universal internet access at school and home, which is realistic in only the most developed countries. Most ICT for development advocates are more impressed by the potential of the basic 3g feature phones to allow individuals to universally access mobile internet. Add to that the best case scenario of young children watching HTML5 video on future cheap Android phone, and it’s obvious that there is a barrier in that mobile broadband data, especially bandwidth hogging video is not cheap.

    I’m unsure how the Khan Academy can transform classroom education as you envisage. I’d like to see education transformed but am sceptical that bandwidth heavy video can be delivered affordably. I’m not sure how this can be resolved, but we seem to need more innovation before we can hail KA as the future. KA is very much in its infancy and may, sadly, not be the best fit for transforming educational progress globally.

    • David Jensen Steve Daley February 14, 2011 on 12:36 am

      You can fit all of the current Khan Academy video in about 35GB. No need for the internet.
      Currently you need the internet for the extra features, but I’m sure this can change if it has to.
      An android tablet or laptop could be about $250. (that’s the price of the Nook Color)

      • Steve Daley David Jensen February 14, 2011 on 11:33 am

        To repeat, if KA is to transform classroom education globally (as celebrated in this article) then it has to overcome the real barriers to universal personal internet connectivity. KA is not designed for group learning, and is more designed for individual self-study. This is not a trivial problem nor is $250 per seat low enough for universal use in the classroom. What’s needed are adaptive educational resources that work on 2G/3G feature phones that are affordable for every child.

        • kristof Steve Daley February 15, 2011 on 5:01 pm

          I think the world is moving in a direction to where this technology will be available to everyone at a very affordable cost. Currently the cost of text books is an enormous portion of the educational budget, if we could eliminate the 5 or 6 books that each child needs with one electronic device that could be used for all subjects we will be well on our way an improved system of online interactive education.

  • Skip February 13, 2011 on 11:33 pm

    Learn from the best teachers in the world. Submit your own lessons, questions, etc. and if the community determines it to be really good, you get paid.

    • Maurice Skip February 14, 2011 on 12:40 am

      Wow that website is a great idea!

  • fastcodejava February 14, 2011 on 12:40 am

    Absolutely agree to this. Great job Mr. Khan.

  • Kevin Burke February 14, 2011 on 2:05 am

    What if we could get employers to use Khan Academy profiles to find potential hires? Then educational dis-intermediation could really begin! “This Khan Academy student has more skills than our pile of resumes from college graduates.” You thought housing was a bubble? Just wait to see higher education implode.

    • Melchizedek The Priest Kevin Burke February 14, 2011 on 5:10 am

      There’s no need for us to stand by and allow higher education to implode, Kevin. Higher education is near implosion, because focus is placed on the BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE only, due to academia’s inability to teach students to access the information enshrined within the BARCODE of atoms known as their human form. That activity constitutes the BODY OF KNOWLEDGE.

      At The Universal Law Institute, School of Biotechnology and Relationship Restoration, we have created a cutting-edge piece of bio-software known as an Organic Scaneer™, whose custom-fitted installation requires exposure to overlooked relationship between the Laws of thermodynamics and all human forms of energy which it governs.

      That overlooked history of your human form, from the explosion of information transmitted as SOUND, to the transmission of that info by electromagnetic energy or LIGHT, to LIGHT’s conversion into atoms, to the bonding of those atoms into DENSE compound human form, whose alien frequency conflicts with the LIGHT (photons) which holds that form together, to how one reconciles those two warring factions back into ONE indivisible unit of LIGHT in human form, is the activity which constitutes the BODY OF KNOWLEDGE.

      Academia is clueless when it comes to accomplishing that and are too proud to admit that they are, so we (including you Kevin) have to skillfully teach them how, because their expertize in the BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE has its place in the reconstruction of the flame-guarded TREE OF LIFE. There’s no need to let it implode and saddle us with the unnecessary task of re-inventing the wheel.

      One part of the ROOT OF KNOWLEDGE which I gave to Abraham (Genesis 14:18-20) in the form of bread and wine, has made itself visible in Eygpt through Ishmael, Abraham’s first son outside of his marriage. The other part of the ROOT represented by Isaac, his second son through his marriage, who sired Jacob (Israel), is looking on with trepidation.

      If we skillfully unite the BODY and BRANCHES, we will have the momentum on our side to skillfully graph those two prongs of the ROOT back into the serene TREE OF LIFE, before their centuries-old quarrel explode onto the BODY and the BRANCHES. If you supply me with an email address I will bring you up to speed on my efforts, so far, on exposing the Organic Scanner™ to the Presidents and Provosts of various Universities and Colleges.

      I can be reached at [email protected]

      • Muskie the Otterboi Melchizedek The Priest February 15, 2011 on 1:45 am

        Seriously. What. The. *Bleep* is this guy going on about with his pseudoscientfic Quasi-religious Claptrap here?

        • kristof Muskie the Otterboi February 15, 2011 on 5:07 pm

          Its hard to choose one line but my favorite line is “…BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE has its place in the reconstruction of the flame-guarded TREE OF LIFE.”

          Its quite poetic…

        • Melchizedek The Priest Muskie the Otterboi February 16, 2011 on 7:25 am

          That’s a really strange way to respond to something you don’t understand Muskie. Anyway, let’s set the record straight. There is nothing scientifically pseudonymous about the fact that your DENSE human form and all other human forms of energy are governed by the Laws of thermodynamics.

          Thermodynamics is the branch of physics which deals with the REVERSIBLE transformation of heat into other forms of energy and with the laws governing such conversions of energy. What you are referring to as “claptrap” is a sequenced summary of YOUR history.

          Whether you subscribe to “Let there be”.. Light or “The Big Bang” as the beginning of this Universe, both are irrefutable evidence that the history of your human form can be traced to SOUND, which CREATED electromagnetic radiation or LIGHT, which converted into atoms, which LIGHT (your genius/photons) bonded into a DENSE COMPOUND known as your human form.

          It is at this point in your thermodynamic history that your “bleepingly” demonstrated inability to GRASP, unavoidably became a sad reality.

          The reason? Biochemistry confirms that as a DENSE COMPOUND, you lose the characteristic (LIGHT) of your individual atoms and assume an alien characteristic, which has been definitively identified as FEAR.

          As is the case with all DENSE human form who got separated from the enLIGHTened understanding of their SOUND information, Muskie, you were introduced to this planet’s various inadequate attempts at religion.

          However, the fact that ALL of this planet’s attempts at religion are inadequate, doesn’t change the fact that religion is an IMPERATIVE human activity, confirmed by biochemistry and no lesser person than Albert Einstein.

          Einstein accurately stated that “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”.

          The humungous amount of energy expended by DENSE human form to perpetuate this fictitious divide, is THE reason for this planet’s variety of inadequate attempts at religion and our self-robbing application of the laws of thermoodynamics towards the improved function of machinery only.

          However, Muskie, your “bleeping” response to my post put your attempts to perpetuate their fictitious divide on a collision course with SOUND, irrefutable fact. After this collision, if you allow misrepresentations of religion to fuel your mis-characterization of it, you will be guilty of willful ignorance.

          The etymology of the word “religion” can be traced to the Latin word “religare” which means “to bind back”.

          The average person engaged in one of the many inadequate attempts at religion does not know this, nor do they know that their DENSE human form and the genius (photons)which shaped that form, are the two parts of themselves they’ve been intuitively seeking “to bind back” into ONE indivisible unit.

          Science, however, removes the mysticism of bonding DENSE human form and LIGHT, by informing you that reversion to LIGHT’s frequency is the action required. Conscientious practice of whatever that action translates into, constitutes effective religion.

          Much more to be stated, Muskie, but let’s see if there’s any change in your ability to grasp and if it allows you to demonstrate that incrased ability in your communication.

  • Jbergmann February 14, 2011 on 3:15 am

    I was one of the first teachers to “flip” his classroom. A good video which explains what we are doing can be found at In it my colleague, Aaron Sams explains how using videos, like Kahn can transform the regular classrooms of the world.

  • gzino February 14, 2011 on 4:05 am

    Very nice. Interactive video – especially telepresence (immersive) – should be added in future.

  • Anonymous February 14, 2011 on 4:17 am shares most of the subscription revenue with the instructor

  • Adam Helweh February 14, 2011 on 9:18 am

    Some of the many reasons why we are very excited to have Salman Khan presenting at TEDxSanJoseCA next month (

    I only recently heard of the great work Salman is doing when I joined the organizing team for the event. I am ashamed that I was not previously aware of the work that was happening just across the bridge from me in Palo Alto.

    The quote from this article that really reflects how I feel about seeing how people are leveraging technology to much an impact such as this is “It’s a beautiful time, people.”

    I am very excited to meet Salman and hear him speak in March.

  • Rob Mason February 14, 2011 on 11:35 am

    Other benefits are political independence and massive savings in money. Here in the UK education is a political football and it is the kids who suffer and us parents who have to pay for a substandard politicised service. As for the difficult things such as writing and verbal skills, there is no doubt that this will be automated eventually because as others have pointed out on this site, IT development has no limits and with IT power doubling per £ every 10 months or so it will happen a lot quicker than supposed.

  • Max February 14, 2011 on 3:32 pm

    Awesome news. I watched a few Khan videos and they are so much better than any lectures I had in college. I hated most math (hard thing when you are CS major lol) but his vids make me wish go back and learn it proper

  • Michele Lyon-Brown February 14, 2011 on 5:42 pm

    I, for one, will delve into this further as it sounds really interesting. If it delivers a fraction what is suggested it would be hugely dynamic

  • davidwees February 14, 2011 on 10:27 pm

    Yes this is the future of education indeed! Instead of creativity and play, and imagination, we will use technology to deliver stale content. Let’s make sure our kids spend all day staring at videos instead of interacting with each other in possibly destructive ways.

    Seriously though, we could be using the technology to engage and excite kids, but instead we are focusing on improving outdated delivery methods. This is not the SCHOOL of the future, but instead a way to support learners. We must not forget that it is in schools that our children learn the vital skills of communication, collaboration, and cooperation.

    • Keith Kleiner davidwees February 14, 2011 on 10:31 pm

      You are totally missing the point. Khan Academy will not replace teachers, it will augment them! Instead of giving boring adhoc lectures riddled with delays and poor delivery, teachers can provide students with pre-recorded high quality lectures that the students can watch at their leisure asynchronously at home. This will allow for MORE time to interact with peers and the teacher during that all too valuable, yet limited class time.

    • David Jensen davidwees February 15, 2011 on 2:24 am

      You should listen to one of the talks by Salman Khan. There was one at Stanford recently. He addresses a lot of these issues. He sees KA as a tool that could provide more opportunities for collaboration and communication. By having lectures be the homework, there is more time for “creativity and play, and imagination” during school time.

      The “one size fits all” (or one pace fits all) current state of Math education needs to be fixed.

    • rdmillett davidwees September 19, 2011 on 9:50 am

      I agree. This website is only for drilling ideas which is sometimes necessary and I’ve used Khan in my classroom a few times when I wanted students to practice some problems (such as adding and subtracting with negatives), however, this website does not teach our students how to be algebraic thinkers. The future of teaching is not watching videos and learning how to do problems that don’t apply to our lives, it is learning how to become an algebraic thinker, and this only happens through problem solving experiences and deep discussion with peers that is directed by the teacher. People undermine what math teachers actually do in their classrooms when they are teaching the students in a meaningful way.

  • SkorpionUK February 15, 2011 on 10:36 am

    One thing that I don’t think has been mentioned yet (forgive me if I overlooked it!) is the fact that these lessons are, to date, mono-lingual. As far as I can see, the Future World Citizen cannot get around the need to know English, but I wonder how it’s going to (continue to) affect other languages.

    There is no logical obstacle to re-recording all material in other languages, assuming the Khan Academy and others do not object, except for the massive effort and manpower this would require. Meanwhile, those who have English skills already are at quite an advantage.

    I am definitely excited by the possibilities of this model, whether it’s used to supplement or replace education as it currently stands. I am also wary of the way that the Anglo-Saxon mono-culture continues to spread via the Internet, seemingly obliterating much in its path.

    • David Jensen SkorpionUK February 16, 2011 on 1:50 am

      A lot of the money from Google and the Gates foundation will be going towards translation.

  • Mary H February 15, 2011 on 3:23 pm

    I use MOODLE as a virtual learning environment for my students. I have linked many Khan Academy videos in my MOODLE for my students to watch at home for “extra help” – some students need it – others don’t. The problem is the videos are on YouTube which because YouTube contains porn is blocked in most school districts. Facebook is also blocked. So the KA right now is a big help at home. What the digital revolution is doing is that teachers do not need to spend as much time lecturing and can spend more time helping students doing seat work.

    Everyone does learn differently. Some need the reassurance of a teacher right there. Some just need to find how they can get the answer – they don’t care for the process. Some are a combination of many styles.

    What the future of education holds is that resources like the Khan Academy are growing exponentially and students have more help then they have ever had in my memory.

    The students have to want and accept the help. That is the culture shift that I have seen….

  • Kristof February 15, 2011 on 4:50 pm

    FANTASTIC!!! I wish this was around when I was in high school.

  • Mark Richards February 15, 2011 on 5:15 pm

    Having viewed a few videos I see the method as glitzy but quite 2 dimensional (naturally) and leaving students who desire and better learn from hands-on, experimentation, and kinisthetic feedback left at a disadvantage. Which in essence is where the US public education system leaves many students. So this is just extending the pain through a different media.

    It may be useful to train more students per teacher (those students who learn visually and through words – the rest will continue to be ill-served). I imagine the greatest attraction being that school systems can “reach” more students with fewer staff.

    And, since Bill Gates is all hot and bothered, it has to be suspect.

    • David Jensen Mark Richards February 16, 2011 on 2:09 am

      Khan has said that he’d like to see his lectures used as homework, which would free up time in the classroom for more hands-on activities.

  • Karim Nurani February 17, 2011 on 3:39 pm

    This is a MUST VIEW, Salman Khan & Khan Academy have done a fantastic job in Creating, leveraging Open Education and elevated it to the next level. The badges of accomplishment is a concept that should be further explored for self learners & Community Colleges. I am hoping that employers of the future will begin to realize that OER has value & appropriately build this into an applicants resume.

  • Karim Nurani February 17, 2011 on 3:42 pm

    This is a MUST VIEW, Salman Khan & Khan Academy have done a fantastic job in Creating, leveraging Open Education and elevated it to the next level. The badges of accomplishment is a concept that should be further explored for self learners & Community Colleges. I am hoping that employers of the future will begin to realize that OER has value & appropriately build this into an applicants resume.

  • Kerryoco February 23, 2011 on 9:03 pm

    I love the Academy, but are there any plans to make the lessons more visually exciting? Why are we recreating messy chalkboards? (No offense to Mr. Kahn, I’m actually impressed he keeps it as neat as he does)
    A good animation team would be revolutionary, IMHO.
    It would be a lot of work, but considering it only has to be done once… worth it.
    Roosevelt’s New Deal… meet Obama’s New Curriculum.

    • Jbergmann Kerryoco February 24, 2011 on 2:28 am

      We have been making videos for 3 yrs now. I think they are more visually appealing than Kahn’s-though I truly admire what he as done. Check them out at:

  • Ben Martinez February 27, 2011 on 8:07 pm

    I just discovered this site today. I am impressed and plan to spread the word via blogging about Khan. I have 17 month old son and another child on the way. The Khan academy is well on its way to educating my children!

  • Inti March 13, 2011 on 3:18 pm

    I just discovered your virtual school. I love it!
    Thank you very much for your fantastic work and knowledge.
    Could you please tell me if you are going to include languages in your virtual teaching? I need
    to practice Spanish, English and French.

  • Carol Hinderliter November 9, 2012 on 2:51 pm

    Schools all over America would benefit from their programs. I wonder if they have also thought about using it online for seniors to access for remedial training. I know I would love to relearn some of the math I haven’t used for more than 40 years and possibly learn higher math. Even some of the other modules in Sciences, etc would be great for us. I am 65 and love learning new things or re-learning things.

  • Andrew Atkin January 11, 2013 on 1:45 pm

    Yeah – education should be redefined. I have long thought it’s now around the wrong way. We have teachers giving repeat-lectures that could be provided far better via video, rather than doing the real work of assisting students when required. Students should go home and watch a lecture, and come to school (if they must) to receive help in the exercise/discussion phase. It’s the other way around today.

    I write on this in detail too, if anyone is interested.

    …also, the questions in modern education go much, much deeper than traditional measurable goals. Frankly I would hate to see a society of well-educated but “mindless” internaliser’s. We have some serious assumptions that need to be tested here.

  • dreams15 February 26, 2015 on 8:49 am

    We have been using Khan Academy for one year. My son uses it together with Beestar. Whenever he encounters a new concept on Beestar, he would watch the exact video lesson on Khan for explanation. Based on our experience, both websites are very helpful.
    Beestar provides many core subject programs. Its math program is completely free. Since the exercise on Khan is limited, my son works on Beestar’s math practice every week. He likes it because the questions are very interesting and well organized, from easy to hard, leading him to graspcomprehend math skills step by step. At the same time, he got to know many smart friends from nationwide. They even have an online math discussion group.
    As a parent, I can monitor his progress on Beestar at any time. I have seen his significant progress in the past 12 months. Khan Academy is like a tutor while Beestar provides valuable practice. I will let him keep using them in the future.