Salman “Sal” Khan is the founder of Khan Academy, a free online education platform and organization that has produced more than 6,500 video lessons covering topics  such as math, science, computer programming, economics, art history, and more. The mission of Khan Academy is “to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.”  

YouTube Success Story

As of October 2016, The Khan Academy channel on YouTube has more than 2.8 million subscribers and the videos have been watched more than 840 million times. Time Magazine even named Sal Khan to its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012. How did this former hedge fund analyst become a leader in education? It all started with family.

Family First

Sal, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, got his start in “education” by helping his cousin Nadia with her Algebra homework. He began tutoring her over the internet using an online sharing tool.  

When other friends and relatives wanted in on his tutoring, Khan created a YouTube account and moved his mathematics tutorials to the video sharing site in 2006. The videos went viral, and attracted millions of viewers. Sensing a big opportunity, Khan quit his financial analyst job in 2009 to focus on developing his Khan Academy YouTube channel full-time.  

Kahn Online Academy

Khan Academy now offers a web portal that allows student learners access to their library of video tutorials. Kids (and adults) that use the site get a personalized learning dashboard to guide them through subjects. The site will also identify a learner’s strengths and weaknesses, and suggest skills to improve in weaker areas. There’s also a login portal for parents, so they can keep up to date with their child’s progress.

In 2012, Khan introduced the “coach” feature which allows teachers to connect with students through video and monitoring tools. Teachers can see a summary of class performance as well as individual student profiles. Khan hopes to continue expanding the use of Khan Academy materials in schools as a way to more personalize curriculum for each individual child.

Free Education For Anyone

Khan has written a book about Khan Academy and his lofty educational goals titled The One World Schoolhouse: Education ReimaginedOne of Khan’s core ideas is to use technology to help liberate teachers from lecturing and state mandated curriculum calendars and open up more time in class for personalized instruction. He wants to bring more human interaction into the classroom.  Khan also wants his online lessons to help pave the way for his ultimate goal, free universal global education for anyone that wants it.

Have you or your child taken classes through the online Khan Academy? Share your thoughts and comments in our Education Community.