Khan Academy- Sal Khan

Original Post by: Justin Bolivar June 10, 2017

Sal Khan and his venture Khan Academy has a mission to “provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.” They are a non-profit organization based out of the Bay Area that offers “practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard” as well as a variety of courses from Math, Science and Engineering, Computing, Arts and Humanities, Economics, and various standardized exams. As a pioneer of the flipped classroom model, Khan Academy allows students to not only enhance the skills they learn in the classroom but to go more in depth in topics that they are passionate about. Further, Khan Academy allows learners from all over the world to come together in a truly global classroom. As per a 2015 interview with Business Standard Magazine, Khan Academy delivered 440 million lessons, and students have completed approximately 3 billion exercises.

Sal Khan has been called “The Most Influential Person in Education Technology” by Peter High of Forbes Magazine. The idea for Khan Academy came when Sal was tutoring his cousin and he noticed that she was good at math, but had gaps in her basic mathematical knowledge. At the time this was happening, Khan was working in software and wrote a tool to help others with math problem. The tool and database worked, but he realized that scaling the tool would be an issue, and then turned to video to scale the product to a larger audience. Khan holds a robust educational background, holding a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Computer Science, and Masters of Engineering in Computer Science from MIT. He also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Before creating educational videos and starting Khan Academy, he was a Financial Analyst.

Behind Khan Academy is a large team of software engineers, developers, marketers, data scientists, and product managers. Further, the organization possesses a strong Board of Directors, Global Advisory Board, and Thought Leadership Council.

Below is his TED talk titled “Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education”


High, P. (2017). Salman Khan, The Most Influential Person In Education Retrieved 10 June 2017, from

Linkedin. (2017). Sal Khan Founder at Khan AcademyLinkedin. Retrieved 10 June 2017, from

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2 responses to “Khan Academy- Sal Khan”

  1. AmandaKong

    I have used Khan Academy for learning and teaching purposes. It serves well for my dual role as an online educator and student. Sal Khan exhibits the entrepreneur spirit very well. He generated original value by his conversational and simple approach to explaining concepts. Sal describes his teaching style as follows: “I teach the way that I wish I was taught”. This resonates with my own pedagogical vision where I teach my students to teach others as in teaching, you truly learn.

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  2. Devon Bobowski

    Right around the time I had finally decided to get my education degree (after a decade working in adult education), I read Sal Khan’s book, “The One World Schoolhouse.” I found it very inspiring, largely as someone who really didn’t enjoy their time in formal education.

    What I really like about Sal Khan is his efforts to try something different, and make a change doing so. The idea that technology can be used to offer education in ways and places it wasn’t available before is something that still resonates with me. It’s easy to criticize him for being either too idealistic or not really offering a revolutionary change (Khan Academy is essentially a YouTube alternative to textbooks or lectures). But that misses the point: here was someone trying something new. Instead of trying to build a product that could be sold to schools or students, the open nature of Khan Academy lets users find their own uses for it: students who use it to review material that was missed or poorly understood, ambitious students looking to move ahead in subjects they don’t have a class in, or teachers using it create a flipped classroom without taking more work to create content videos.

    Sal Khan hasn’t reinvented education, but he has offered tools that allow teachers and students to do that for themselves. I’ve used his material a bit, but I’m more drawn to his work as an inspiration and motivation to keep thinking about how things can be done differently.

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