Full Text of Rethinking Learning with Salman Khan at Stanford GSB.
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JD Schramm – Lecturer in Organizational Behavior at Stanford
I am thrilled to see so many people here on a Thursday evening. And I actually, just so that we can understand our marketing efforts a little bit better, I would love to know, just a show of hands, Stanford GSB students. If I can see where the GSB students are? Excellent, excellent. Greetings in the balcony. Stanford undergrad students, welcome. We love having you here. Members of the rest of the Stanford community, faculty, staff, alumni, that sort of thing. And from the Harvard community, who has joined us besides our speaker? Welcome. We are delighted that you are here. Tonight is a chance for two great schools to come together. And we are delighted for the evening, that we are going to spend with you.
My name is J.D. Schraum. I’m a faculty member here at the GSB. I teach courses in Communication, and I also have the privilege of leading the Master in Communication Initiative, which is a series of non-credit offerings to help students build their abilities to speak, write, and participate more effectively.
Behind me you will see some of the events that are coming up through the rest of the quarter. If you don’t have the moment to write them down quickly, you can go to our website, which is simply gsb.stanford.edu\mastery, and that will open up the world of master in communication to you.
When we were looking for a speaker for this evening, we really wanted to find somebody who had made their success because of their ability to communicate effectively. And, last year I had the privilege of seeing Salcon at the TED Conference. Saw him speak at a company here in the Bay Area, and we began our dialogue to have him come in.
Before I introduce the student who will introduce Sal to you, there’s one event in particular that I want to be sure that I mention to you. And that is, that we have a viewing of the TED Conference this year. It will happen from February 28th to March 2nd, and we have a site license, to broadcast the full TED Conference, here to the GSB. To our GSB students, I encourage you to sign up by going to our website. You’ll also see information about it, in the distributions that come out to you, through email. But that is, we’re excited about having that event here.
You did not come here tonight to hear from a professor. You came to hear from an entrepreneur. And so to introduce him, I’m delighted to welcome to the stage Luke Peña. Luke is a second year MBA student in the joint degree program, between the School of Ed and the School of Business. And Luke, if you could come forward.
Luke Peña: From age eight to age 13, my home was my classroom. And I was my own teacher. Now I have the privilege of standing before you as Luke Peña, joint MBA MA Education degree student, Co-President of the Stanford Education Club, and proof that non-traditional students can find the path to success. It’s my great honor and privilege to welcome you all here tonight. And my responsibility to remind you to please not use your cell phones and computers during tonight’s event.
Back to the classroom of my youth. I was a hyperactive child with a hyperactive mind. Traditional schools evaluated me and determined that I would require either medication, or special education courses. My mother disagreed. So my mother decided to homeschool me, and serving as my teacher through the fifth grade. I took tests every year to make sure that I was performing at or above the level of my peer group in traditional schools.
When my mother decided to return to undergraduate school to pursue her degree, I became my own teacher. And for the next five years I relied on a variety of non-traditional education resources to guide my learning. Without access to these resources, I would never have found my own passion for education. I would have never survived grade school, and I would never have found my way here to Stanford. I know that there are countless other students, traditional and non-traditional, who require and desire and desperately need these innovative resources to create their own education opportunities.
Khan Academy is creating these very opportunities for students around the globe. Along the way, Khan Academy is redefining the very way we think about teaching, about learning, and about education. The organization is committed to changing education for the better by providing a free, world-class education anywhere, anytime. The Khan Academy website now provides self-pacing software and includes over 3,000 instructional videos on its YouTube channel, covering everything from basic arithmetic to college-level science and economics. It’s the most used library of educational videos on the web with 3.7 million unique students per month, over 88 million lessons delivered, and over 260 million exercises completed. A growing number of classrooms around the world are relying on Khan Academy to build student mastery of topics, and to create space in class for dynamic, project-based learning.
Khan Academy owes its success to its founder Salman Khan. Khan was helping a young cousin with math in 2004, communicating by phone and using an interactive notepad. When others expressed interest, he began posting his hand-scribbled tutorials on YouTube, and demand took off.
Before founding Khan Academy, he was the portfolio manager at Khan Capital Management, and the Senior Analyst at Wohl Capital Management. Sal received his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was president of the student body. He also holds a Masters in electrical engineering and computer science, a BS in electrical engineering and computer science, and a BS in mathematics from MIT, where he was president of the class of 1998. While at MIT, Sal was the recipient of the Eloranta Fellowship, which he used to develop web-based math software for children with ADHD. Children not unlike myself.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Sal Khan.
Salman Khan – Founder, Khan Academy
Thank you much. This is very exciting. So, so how many of you all have been to the site, or used the site and, in some way? Oh good. So this is a good, good, good audience.
So I guess, how many of you have not been to the site? Oh good, so, so I have something to show you.
So for those of you who have not been to the site, I have a little montage that shows what, what the videos look like. But what we’ll see over the course of this, and I actually do want to make it as much of a conversation as possible. There’s microphones and all the rest. I’m going to talk for like, I don’t know, 10 or 15 minutes. And then I just want to have questions, comments, anything else. But we’ll see, Khan Academy is much more than just a library of videos that initially I started creating, and now we have a few other people working on as well. But let me just show, oh yes.
All right that wasn’t too bad. Oh, oh, okay, there’s other things happening in the background. Okay, all right, very good. So here we go.
[Video: We can integrate over the surface and the notation usually is a capital sigma. All these interactions are just due to gravity over interstellar, or almost you could call it intergalactic. So the right slot is i plus 1. This animal’s fossils are only found in this area of South America. Nice clean band here. They create the Committee of Public Safety, which sounds like a very nice committee. Notice, this is an aldehyde, and it’s an alcohol. It’s some type of infectious disease.
Exactly so the key is, when you start to look at data, you have to look at all aspects of it.
It’s their $30 million, plus the $20 million from the American manufacturer. If this does not blow your mind, then you have no emotion.]
Well-educated audience. You appreciate Euler’s identity and The French Revolution, that’s very good.
So just to get you up to speed, and a little bit of this was covered in the introduction, and this slide, and actually some of the data from the introduction was a few months old, and this is old, too. What we’re actually now pushing about five million unique students a month. They’re doing two million exercises a day, actually, and, growing. And you know, out in Silicon Valley we get used to a million here, million there. Oh, you know, that’s not so exciting until you get to ten million or whatever else. But, but in education these really are large numbers. And, you know, I didn’t do that to pick on Harvard, but, but that is, and actually since these numbers are older now that, on a monthly basis, we’re serving six to seven times the number of students that Harvard has served since 1636. And we’re growing 400% a year, so it’s, you know, we’ll see where that goes.
But before we go in kind of the present of what Khan Academy’s up to, I want to talk a little bit about how it happened. Because it’s, you know, I still kind of wake up in the middle of the night and wonder about this very strange journey that you’re kind of catching me hopefully in the middle of. Or maybe very close to the beginning of, hopefully. It’s been good so far.
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