I had heard of Salman Khan and the Khan Academy before, but it wasn’t until I finally got around to reading an article one of my Businessweek issues from May that I realized the magnitude the Khan Academy is having on the world of education. After doing a little more research online, I realized that Salman Khan is a GENIUS that everyone should know about.
Khan was born in New Orleans and attended MIT, receiving a BS in mathematics, a BS in electrical engineering and computer science, and a Masters in electrical engineering and computer science. On top of that he also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and has worked for venture capitalist firms and companies such as Oracle. He started the online Khan Academy in 2006 after he realized his tutoring for his little cousin and her friends were actually improving their grades significantly. Interestingly, the Khan Academy is still not-for-profit and Khan worked for free for years. His first big donation of $10,000 came from John Doerr and his wife in 2010, which allowed him to finally collect a salary. Since then, John Doerr has donated another $100,000. Huge donations soon started coming in from all over, the most prominent being $1.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, $2 million from Google, and $3 million from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
The Khan Academy is basically just a HUGE library of mini tutorials on everything to do with math, science, finance, history and more. There are over 2,400 videos and over 66 million individual lessons delivered so far. After exploring the site a little bit, I was blown away with the amount of content. . I took my first three tutorials on the current US/China debt relationship and was instantly hooked. I am now especially excited to watch videos on subjects like the credit crisis, inflation and deflation, banking, investing, finance and history.
The Khan Academy is really changing the whole educational world because of the way this content is made, shared, and consumed (all for free remember). In April, about 2 million students visited the website. This is really great, because according to the 2010/11 Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum ranked the US 52nd in the quality of our math and science education. Salman Khan, as well as other people such as Bill Gates, know this is TERRIBLE for the future of our country, and the Khan Academy is literally changing the world. I would highly suggest you check it out if you haven’t already!