Rethinking Learning with Salman Khan at Stanford (Full Transcript)

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.

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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.

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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.

As was introduced, 2004 I had just gotten married. I was a newly minted MBA, graduated in 2003. Was working in Boston as an analyst at a hedge fund, and I had family visiting me from New Orleans. Right after my wedding in New Jersey, they came up to Boston. My 12 year old cousin, Nadia, her younger brother, Arman, who’s two years younger and then the youngest, Ali. And I showed them all the sites in Boston, and I was very impressed with Nadia. I hadn’t seen her since I had left from, you know, I grew up in New Orleans where, since I was in high school. So, she was like two or three years old, and now she was 12 years old, super smart girl, and I kept encouraging her. I was like oh, you know, you should think about some of these fancy schools that are in town, and all the rest. And her mom told me, one morning before Nadia had woken up, that this is very nice, Nadia views you an older brother figure and all the rest. But, she’s actually having trouble with mathematics. And I had trouble believing this. You know this, one I, we were having conversations and she seemed at least super, she intimidated me among half the conversations. And on top with that, we shared a certain amount of DNA.

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