Khan Academy, Digitizing education and broadening horizons of schooling

The online digital platform known as Khan Academy was kicked off by an American educator which came into being unexpectedly. A non-profit educational organization eventually took shape in 2008 by Salman Khan with a mission to create online tools to aid students with better learning environment. It creates short videos on the prescribed lessons and also includes exercises and materials for facilitators. Besides English as the prominent language, it is also available in other languages such as Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, Georgian, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil and Turkish.

The founder Salman khan also known as Sal Khan has produced around 6,500 video tutorials which basically covers all subjects mainly focussing on maths and science. A well- educated man who has three degrees from MIT and MBA from Harvard. The Khan Lab School is also founded by him which is a brick-and- mortar school is associated with the academy itself.

In 2003, Sal khan started giving tuition classes to his cousin Nadia in maths over the internet. He used Yahoo’s Doodle notepad to create lectures. Later on, his other cousins were very keen to access his tutorials and finally on November 2006 he created a YouTube channel of his own and aligned all his videos over there. The popularity of his videos forced him to quit his job as financial analyst in 2009 and completely focus on developing his YouTube channel with the aid of a friend Josh Gefner. Subsequently, he received sponsorship from Josh’s wife, Ann Doerr. Within a few years, his videos received more than 458 million views and generated interest among both students and non-students as well.

He envisioned to accelerate learning for students among all ages and some of his videos are also beneficial to educate rural areas of Asia and Africa.

Salman has also published a book on Khan Academy titled The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined.It also enabled Coach feature to strengthen the relationship between teachers through videos. The year 2018 reflected a rise in the number of viewers watching the video around 1.6 billion times.

It has more than 4.8 million subscribers as of 2019 and Forbes magazine featured khan on the front cover page. Khan academy’s mission is  “changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.” 

The learning materials created initially were intended for distance learning but later on it was conceived for classroom purpose too. The tutorials are designed in an informal style which is primarily for building knowledge at a given point of time.

Teachers have the option to maintain records of the progress of the students who are operating the site. Khan Academy follows Flipped Classroom strategy where students could watch academy’s videos at home and utilize class hours in doing exercise and practices.

Bill Gates discovered this for his son and gave financial aid for the institution. It is supported by many high-profile organizations like Google and the academy has a strong professional team who contribute in curating study materials and lessons.

The Khan Academy has got the power to transform and educate students by using internet as a powerful medium. The academy has got great things to offer content wise which probably would change the educational scenario at its best possible sense. As of 2015, it has offered resources over 5000 subjects.

The academy is seen as one of the great examples of the power that internet has created to educate children. Until now it has delivered around 132,909,653 lessons which is a great sign of improvement towards digital literacy.



Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

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