In 2004, Sal Khan was a successful hedge fund manager in Boston who had started remotely tutoring his young cousin in New Orleans when the “aha” moment occurred. What started with his young protégé’s need for a little help with her math homework has exploded into called the Khan Academy, now the world’s most popular online learning website with five million unique visitors a month, a million page views a day and over 650 million exercises completed.
Khan’s approach to education is based on the idea that the existing model we use to teach humans is hopelessly archaic, and may never have been effective in the first place. In his new book, “The One World Schoolhouse,” Khan does far more than criticize the existing education paradigm; he offers specific and radical ideas to push the way we teach, and the way we learn into the 21st century.
A cornerstone of Khan’s approach is the use of technology to humanize the learning process and provide free access to education through the use of online videos and software. Khan also believes that this new approach can address existing problems in education like low teacher pay and job satisfaction and the lack of access to quality education for children and adults alike.
With American high school students ranking 23rd in the world in science and math proficiency, how can a new approach change things for the better? What can technology bring to education on a national or global scale?
Salman Khan, founder and executive director of The Khan Academy, the world’s largest online learning website; author of “The One World Schoolhouse”