Salman Khan – Khan Academy: Education Reimagined

November 14, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


[music playing] [applause] – SO WELCOME
TO THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF NASA AMES RESEARCH CENTER AND TO THE DIRECTOR’S COLLOQUIUM
SUMMER SERIES. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. KNOWLEDGE IS FREEDOM. THE ONLY THINGS
THAT YOU TRULY OWN IS WHAT YOU LEARN AND YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
WITH THE WORLD. SO KNOWLEDGE IS
THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE AND RECEIVE. THE KHAN ACADEMY
MAKES KNOWLEDGE ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE, KNOWLEDGE THAT WILL CHANGE
THEIR LIVES AND THE WORLD. TODAY’S TALK IS ENTITLED “KHAN ACADEMY:
EDUCATION REIMAGINED” AND WILL BE PRESENTED
BY SALMAN KHAN. MR. KHAN IS THE FOUNDER
OF THE KHAN ACADEMY, A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION
WITH A MISSION OF PROVIDING FREE,
HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ANYONE
ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. HE GRADUATED FROM MIT WITH TWO
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREES– ONE IN MATHEMATICS AND ONE
IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE AND A MASTER’S OF SCIENCE DEGREE
IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING. HE ALSO HOLDS A MASTER’S
OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION FROM HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL. FOR HIS WORK, SALMAN HAS
RECEIVED MANY PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS AND HONORS. PLEASE JOIN ME
IN WELCOMING SALMAN KHAN. [applause] – THANKS SO MUCH. SO VERY EXCITING
TO BE HERE. I ALWAYS LIKE TO START
THESE CONVERSATIONS REALLY JUST GETTING A SENSE
OF WHO’S IN THE ROOM. HOW MANY OF Y’ALL ARE– ARE USERS OF KHAN ACADEMY
IN SOME– OH, GOOD. YES.
HOW MANY OF Y’ALL– HOW MANY OF THOSE
ARE EXISTING STUDENTS? OKAY, HOW MANY OF Y’ALL
ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL? OKAY.
OH, THERE’S A GOOD CROWD HERE. HOW MANY OF Y’ALL
ARE IN COLLEGE? OH, WOW.
GRAD SCHOOL? A FEW. OKAY, VERY–
THIS IS– MIDDLE OR ELEMENTARY, ANY?
[laughter] OH, VERY GOOD. OH, YEAH.
OH, LOOK. OH, THERE. VERY GOOD, AND HOW MANY
OF Y’ALL ARE PARENTS WHO– OKAY. AND HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE NO IDEA
WHAT KHAN ACADEMY IS? GOOD. I’M GONNA BE
TALKING TO YOU TODAY. [laughter] SO AS– IT SOUNDS LIKE MOST OF Y’ALL
ARE PROBABLY FAMILIAR. KHAN ACADEMY
IS OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH A COLLECTION OF VIDEOS
THAT I STARTED MAKING, NOW, YOU KNOW,
A DECENT NUMBER OF YEARS AGO. BUT AS WE’RE GONNA TALK ABOUT
OVER THE COURSE OF THIS CONVERSATION IS IT’S NOW MUCH, MUCH, MUCH MORE
THAN JUST VIDEOS. IN FACT, IN MY MIND,
THE VIDEOS ARE A SMALL PART OF WHAT KHAN ACADEMY IS
AND WHAT IT’S GOING TO BE. BUT TO GET EVERYONE
ON THE SAME PAGE, AND ESPECIALLY FOR THE GENTLEMAN
WHO DOESN’T–ISN’T FAMILIAR WITH KHAN ACADEMY,
I WILL SHOW A QUICK MONTAGE OF VIDEOS. ALL THESE INTERACTIONS
ARE JUST DUE TO THE GRAVITY. – THIS IS AN AGE
RIGHT AFTER ISAAC NEWTON– – I’M TOLD THE HUMIDITY
MAKES IT FEEL HOTTER. WHY IS THIS? – EXCELLENT QUESTION, LEBRON. – AND YOU CAN JUST SEE
THE PLEASURE HE HAD. – CAN YOU DETERMINE WHICH
LIGHT BULB IS BEING SWITCHED? – THINGS ACTUALLY CAN
INTERBREED, ALTHOUGH FOR THESE TWO
IN PARTICULAR, IT SEEMS LIKE THE MECHANICS
WOULD GET KIND OF– [laughter] – KEEP PLAYING AROUND
WITH THESE NUMBERS AND SEE WHAT KIND OF COLORS
I CAN COME UP WITH. – IF THIS DOES NOT
BLOW YOUR MIND, THEN YOU HAVE NO EMOTION. [laughter] – HAD A FEELING THIS CROWD WOULD
APPRECIATE EULER’S IDENTITY. BUT AS I MENTIONED,
IT’S NOT JUST VIDEOS. THIS RIGHT OVER HERE, THIS IS
OUR COMPUTER SCIENCE PLATFORM. IT’S A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN GO,
YOU CAN CODE. AND OUR WHOLE GOAL HERE IS,
YOU KNOW, FOR ALL OF US
WHO HAVE EVER PROGRAMMED, WE ALWAYS GOT INTO IT SAYING,
“HEY, I WANT TO CREATE A GAME. I WANT TO CREATE A SCREENSAVER.
I WANT TO CREATE AN ANIMATION.” AND THEN WE JUST LEARNED
WHAT IT’D TAKE TO BUILD THAT ANIMATION, WHICH ISN’T
HOW IT’S TRADITIONALLY TAUGHT. TRADITIONALLY, IT’S LIKE, “HEY, THIS IS A FOR LOOP.
THIS IS A VARIABLE.” AND SO WE REALLY WANTED TO GIVE
THAT CREATIVE SPIRIT THAT I THINK ALL PROGRAMMERS
ORIGINALLY GOT INTO IT FOR TO THE LEARNER,
AND THEY CAN HAVE PROFILES, AND THEY CAN BUILD,
AND THEY CAN GET PEER FEEDBACK BASED ON
WHAT THEY’RE DOING. THIS IS WHAT MOST OF OUR TEAM
IS FOCUSED ON. I GUESS YOU COULD CALL THIS
THE MEAT OF KHAN ACADEMY. IT’S OUR INTERACTIVE
MATH EXPERIENCE. AND THE IDEA HERE IS
A STUDENT CAN GO, LOG ON, THEY’LL TAKE A DIAGNOSTIC,
AND ALL THIS IS FREE. IT’S ALL AVAILABLE. AND BASED ON HOW
THE STUDENT’S PERFORMING, IT’LL BUILD A STATISTICAL MODEL
OF WHAT THEY KNOW AND DON’T KNOW,
AND THEN BASED ON THAT, GUIDE THEM THROUGH EXERCISES,
GIVE THEM FEEDBACK. IF THEY HAVE A TEACHER
OR A PARENT, IT CAN GIVE THE TEACHER
OR THE PARENT REPORTS ON HOW THEY’RE DOING, AND OBVIOUSLY, A WHOLE SERIES
OF GAME MECHANICS TO HOPEFULLY KEEP THE STUDENTS
AS MOTIVATED AS POSSIBLE. SO THIS IS WHERE WE ARE
RIGHT NOW. KHAN ACADEMY IS BEING USED
IN SOME WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM IN ALMOST EVERY COUNTRY
ON THE PLANET. OVER 300,000 EDUCATORS HAVE REGISTERED
AND ARE USING IT IN SOME WAY. 10 MILLION UNIQUE STUDENTS
EVERY MONTH ARE USING THE SITE. AND THEY’VE DONE
OVER 2 BILLION EXERCISES, AND YOU SAW A LITTLE SAMPLE OF
WHAT THOSE EXERCISES LOOK LIKE. BUT BEFORE KIND OF GOING MORE
INTO WHERE WERE GOING, I WILL TAKE A STEP BACK,
AND I CAN SENSE THAT MANY OF YOU ALL
ARE FAMILIAR WITH THIS. BUT I’LL GIVE
A LITTLE BIT OF TEXTURE OF HOW ALL OF THIS
GOT STARTED. AND IT’S EXCITING
TO SPEAK HERE, BECAUSE IT ALL GOT STARTED,
FRANKLY, NOT TOO FAR FROM HERE. IF YOU REWIND
TO SUMMER OF 2004, SO ALMOST EXACTLY
TEN YEARS AGO, I WAS A YEAR
OUT OF BUSINESS SCHOOL. I HAD JUST GOTTEN MARRIED, AND I WAS BASED IN BOSTON
AT THE TIME. AND I HAD A BUNCH OF FAMILY
VISITING ME FROM NEW ORLEANS. THAT’S WHERE I WAS
BORN AND RAISED, AS WELL. AND IT JUST CAME
OUT OF CONVERSATION THAT ONE OF MY COUSINS,
NADIA– HER MOM TOLD ME THAT NADIA
WAS HAVING TROUBLE WITH MATH. AND SO WHEN NADIA
CAME INTO THE ROOM, I ASKED HER,
“WHAT’S GOING ON?” SHE SAID, “WELL, I TOOK A– YOU KNOW, I’VE BEEN
A DECENT STUDENT. I’VE BEEN GETTING
B-PLUSES, A-MINUSES.” BUT THERE WAS A PLACEMENT EXAM
AT THE END OF SIXTH GRADE, AND IT HAD UNIT CONVERSION
ON IT– YOU KNOW, OUNCES TO GALLONS,
MILES TO KILOMETERS– AND ACCORDING TO NADIA,
SHE JUST, YOU KNOW, COULDN’T PROCESS IT. SHE’S JUST NOT GOOD
AT UNIT CONVERSION. AND SO I TOLD HER, “LOOK, I THINK YOU COULD EASILY
OVERCOME THAT.” I THINK SHE THOUGHT IT WAS
KIND OF AN EMPTY PEP TALK. SO I SAID, “NO, NO, SERIOUSLY.
WELL, IF YOU’RE UP FOR IT, HOW ABOUT WHEN YOU GO BACK
TO NEW ORLEANS, WE’LL GET ON THE PHONE
AND WHATEVER ELSE WE CAN USE AND I’LL TUTOR YOU?”
AND SHE WAS UP FOR IT. SO SHE WENT BACK,
AND SO STARTING AUGUST OF 2004, EVERY DAY AFTER SCHOOL
FOR HER, EVERY DAY AFTER WORK FOR ME,
GOT ON THE PHONE. WE EVENTUALLY FIGURED OUT A WAY
TO SEE EACH OTHER’S SCRAWLS ON– YAHOO! INSTANT MESSENGER HAD
A LITTLE DOODLE FUNCTIONALITY AT THE TIME. AND SO WE JUST
STARTED WORKING, AND, YOU KNOW,
THE FIRST MONTH WAS TOUGH. SHE ESSENTIALLY
HAD PSYCHED HERSELF OUT. SHE HAD CONVINCED HERSELF THAT
SHE’S JUST NOT GOOD AT MATH. BUT SLOWLY BUT SURELY,
SHE STARTED TO ENGAGE, SHE STARTED TO REALLY KIND OF
OWN AND TACKLE THE PROBLEMS. AND THEN SOMETHING CLICKED, AND SHE NOT ONLY GOT
UNIT CONVERSION, SHE STARTED TO ACTUALLY GET
A LITTLE BIT AHEAD OF THE CURVE OF WHERE YOU WOULD EXPECT
A SEVENTH GRADE STUDENT TO BE. AND AT THAT POINT,
I BECAME WHAT I CALL A TIGER COUSIN.
[laughter] SO I CALLED UP HER SCHOOL,
AND I SAID, “YOU KNOW, I REALLY THINK
NADIA RAHMAN SHOULD RETAKE THAT
PLACEMENT EXAM FROM LAST YEAR.” THEY SAID, “WHO ARE YOU?”
[laughter] I POINTED OUT THAT
I’M HER COUSIN. AND SOMEWHAT SURPRISING, THEY DID ALLOW HER TO RETAKE
THE PLACEMENT EXAM, AND SHE WENT FROM BEING TRACKED
IN THE REMEDIAL CLASS TO NOT JUST THE AVERAGE CLASS,
BUT INTO THE ADVANCED CLASS. AND, YOU KNOW, AND I COULD
GO ON AND ON ABOUT NADIA. I MEAN, THAT SAME NADIA, JUST
TO FAST-FORWARD A LITTLE BIT, WHO, YOU KNOW,
AT AGE 12, THOUGHT SHE COULDN’T GET
UNIT CONVERSION, BY AGE 14,
WAS TAKING CALCULUS AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF NEW ORLEANS. AND THAT’S SOMETHING
THAT WE JUST– YOU KNOW, AND I’VE SEEN
MORE AND MORE THE MORE THAT KHAN ACADEMY
HAS GROWN. BUT AS–REWIND BACK
TO FALL OF 2004, I WAS EXCITED. IT WAS THIS KIND OF VERY SMALL
THING THAT I DID WITH MY COUSIN. IT SEEMED TO REALLY
HELP HER OUT, SO I STARTED WORKING
WITH HER YOUNGER BROTHERS. THEN A FEW THINGS HAPPENED
OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS. THE FIRST IS I WAS AN ANALYST AT A SMALL INVESTMENT FIRM,
AND– VERY SMALL, IT WAS ME,
MY BOSS, AND HIS DOG, AND– [laughter]
THE DOG WAS THE CHIEF ECONOMIST. AND WE–
[laughter] WE ACTUALLY HAD CARDS PRINTED. AND HIS WIFE– MY BOSS’ WIFE, NOT THE– BECAME A PROFESSOR
AT STANFORD LAW SCHOOL. SO WE MOVED THE FIRM
OUT HERE. AND SO I WAS NOW BASED
OUT HERE IN PALO ALTO
AND THEN MOVED TO MOUNTAIN VIEW. AND THE OTHER THING
THAT HAPPENED IS WORD GOT AROUND IN THE FAMILY
THAT FREE TUTORING WAS GOING ON. [laughter] SO I WAS WORKING
EVERY DAY AFTER WORK WITH ABOUT 10 OR 15 COUSINS,
FAMILY FRIENDS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. AND TO HELP SCALE THAT UP
A LITTLE BIT, YOU KNOW,
I WAS WORKING WITH– EVEN WHEN I WAS WORKING
WITH NADIA, BUT THEN ESPECIALLY AS I STARTED WORKING
WITH MORE AND MORE COUSINS, I SAW THAT EVEN THE ONES
THAT WERE PRETTY GOOD STUDENTS, THEY ALL HAD GAPS
IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE. AND I WANTED THEM
TO BE ABLE TO PRACTICE MORE, AND FOR ME, AS THEIR TUTOR,
TO SEE WHAT THEY KNEW AND WHAT THEY DIDN’T KNOW, SO I STARTED WRITING A LITTLE–
A QUIZZING PIECE OF SOFTWARE, A WEB-BASED THING THAT WOULD
GENERATE PROBLEMS FOR THEM. AS THEY MASTERED
ONE CONCEPT, IT WOULD MOVE THEM ON
TO THE NEXT ONE. AND THAT WAS ACTUALLY
THE GENESIS OF KHAN ACADEMY. IT WAS LITERALLY–
I REMEMBER THE DAY, I WAS LIKE, “OH,
WHAT DO I CALL THIS THING?” AND I LOOKED FOR, LIKE,
FIVE OR SIX DOMAIN NAMES. COULDN’T–AND ALL OF THEM
WERE TAKEN. I’M LIKE,
“WHAT ABOUT KHAN ACADEMY?” AND IT WAS AVAILABLE. AND–BUT AT THAT TIME, IT HAD
NOTHING TO DO WITH VIDEOS. BUT THEN YOU FAST-FORWARD
TO FALL OF 2006, I WAS AT A DINNER PARTY
RIGHT HERE IN SAN MATEO, AND, YOU KNOW, I WAS
SHOWING THIS SOFTWARE OFF TO A BUNCH
OF MY FRIENDS. AND THEY ALL KNEW
I HAD THIS CRAZY PROJECT WITH MY COUSINS. AND THE HOST,
I GIVE HIM FULL CREDIT, ZULI RAMZAN, HE SAYS, “WELL, YOU KNOW, SAL,
THIS IS COOL AND EVERYTHING, BUT HOW ARE YOU ACTUALLY SCALING
UP YOUR ACTUAL TUTORIALS?” AND I SAID, “YOU KNOW, I’M ACTUALLY HAVING TROUBLE
WITH THAT.” WHEN, YOU KNOW–WHAT I WAS ABLE
TO DO ONE-ON-ONE WITH NADIA, I CAN’T DO WHEN THERE’S
FIVE PEOPLE ON THE PHONE. OR SOMETIMES I’D COVER SOMETHING
WITH ONE COUSIN, AND THEN THE NEXT WEEK
I’M COVERING IT AGAIN WITH ANOTHER COUSIN,
AND I WISH SOMEHOW THAT THEY WERE THERE
FOR IT THE FIRST TIME. AND SO ZULI SAYS, “WELL, LOOK,
YOU KNOW, I’VE GOT AN IDEA. WHY DON’T YOU MAKE SOME
OF YOUR TUTORIALS AS VIDEOS AND UPLOAD ‘EM ON TO YOUTUBE
FOR YOUR COUSINS?” AND I IMMEDIATELY SAID,
“NO, THAT’S A HORRIBLE IDEA. YOUTUBE IS FOR CATS
PLAYING PIANO.” [laughter] “IT IS NOT
FOR SERIOUS MATHEMATICS.” BUT I WENT HOME
THAT WEEKEND, GOT OVER THE IDEA
THAT IT WASN’T MY IDEA. AND I–
[laughter] AND I DECIDED
TO GIVE IT A SHOT. AND SO I MADE THOSE FIRST FEW
VIDEOS ON LEAST COMMON MULTIPLE, ADDING FRACTIONS
WITH UNLIKE DENOMIN– JUST TOPICS THAT I SAW
A LOT OF MY COUSINS WERE HAVING QUESTIONS ABOUT. AND I–YOU KNOW, AFTER I MADE
ABOUT 20 OR 30 OF ‘EM OVER THE NEXT MONTH,
I STARTED TELLING MY COUSINS, “WELL, YOU KNOW, WHY DON’T YOU
WATCH THESE FOR REVIEW, AND THEN WHEN WE GET ON
THE PHONE, YOU CAN DIG DEEPER? AND THEN BASED ON THAT,
I CAN EVEN MAKE MORE VIDEOS BASED ON WHAT QUESTIONS
I’M GETTING.” AND AFTER ABOUT A MONTH OF THEM,
I ASKED FOR THEIR FEEDBACK, AND THEY SOMEWHAT FAMOUSLY
AND BACKHANDEDLY TOLD ME THAT THEY LIKED ME BETTER
ON YOUTUBE THAN IN PERSON. [laughter] AND, YOU KNOW,
I THINK THAT– AND THAT IS TRUE, BUT I THINK IT BEARS–
IT’S WORTH PARSING WHAT THEY WERE SAYING
AND WHAT THEY WEREN’T SAYING. THEY WEREN’T SAYING
THAT THEY DIDN’T APPRECIATE HAVING ME IN THEIR LIFE,
TAKING INTEREST, BEING THERE TO ANSWER
THEIR QUESTIONS, TO MENTOR THEM,
TO COACH THEM. THEY, I BELIEVE,
DID APPRECIATE THAT. BUT WHAT THEY WERE SAYING IS, IS THAT THE FIRST TIME
YOU’RE LEARNING SOMETHING– AND WE’VE ALL EXPERIENCED THIS–
IT’S ACTUALLY REALLY STRESSFUL. AND THE LAST THING YOU NEED
IS EVEN A WELL-WISHER WAITING FOR YOU
TO UNDERSTAND IT. “DO YOU GET THIS YET?” YOU’RE AFRAID THAT
YOU’RE GONNA WASTE THEIR TIME. IF YOU’RE IN NINTH GRADE AND YOU FORGOT A LITTLE BIT
OF YOUR FIFTH GRADE DECIMALS, YOU’RE EMBARRASSED. YOU DON’T WANT TO ADMIT IT,
EVEN TO A WELL-WISHER. BUT NOW, WITH THE VIDEOS,
NO ONE’S GOING TO JUDGE THEM. THEY CAN ACCESS IT
WHENEVER, WHEREVER, REPEAT AS MUCH AS NECESSARY,
SO I JUST KEPT GOING. I MADE MORE AND MORE
AND MORE VIDEOS. AND THEN IT SOON
BECAME CLEAR THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT
MY COUSINS WERE WATCHING. [laughter]
AND MAYBE EVEN A FEW– ACTUALLY,
WHO HERE WAS– WATCHED AS EARLY
AS, LIKE, 2007? ANYBODY?
OKAY, THERE’S A FEW. SO Y’ALL
ARE NOT MY COUSINS. THAT’S–SO Y’ALL WERE SOME
OF THE EARLY ADOPTERS OF IT. BUT–AND, YOU KNOW,
IT WAS NEAT FOR ME TO JUST SEE
THE VIEWERSHIP GROW, BUT THEN PEOPLE STARTED WRITING
COMMENTS BELOW THE VIDEOS. AND SOME OF THE COMMENTS WERE
JUST A SIMPLE “THANK YOU,” AND EVEN THAT
WAS A BIG DEAL. I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH TIME
Y’ALL SPEND ON YOUTUBE. MOST OF THE COMMENTS
ARE NOT “THANK YOU.” [laughter]
THEY ARE– THEY ARE SOMEWHAT EDGIER
THAN– BUT THEN–
BUT THEN, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE– I STARTED TO GET,
“HEY, I PASSED MY ALGEBRA EXAM BECAUSE OF THIS VIDEO,”
OR, “THIS IS A VIDEO AFTER RETIRING
FROM THE MILITARY, I’M ABLE TO GO BACK TO COLLEGE
AND REENGAGE IN MATHEMATICS.” I REMEMBER, THIS WAS EITHER 2–
I THINK IT WAS MID-2007, I GOT AN E–KIND OF
A YOUTUBE MESSAGE FROM A MOTHER, AND I BROUGHT
MY WIFE OVER TO READ IT. IT WAS REALLY INCREDIBLE. SHE SAID HER SONS
HAD A LEARNING DISABILITY. THEY WERE FALLING BEHIND, AND THESE VIDEOS WERE THE ONLY
THINGS THAT WERE ALLOWING THEM TO KEEP UP
WITH THEIR CLASS, AND BECAUSE OF THAT,
HER AND HER ENTIRE FAMILY WERE PRAYING FOR ME AND
MY ENTIRE FAMILY EVERY NIGHT. AND YOU GOT TO IMAGINE
WHAT A STRANGE FEELING THAT WAS. I WAS AN ANALYST
AT A HEDGE FUND. [laughter] I WASN’T USED TO PEOPLE
PRAYING FOR ME. IT WAS VERY– SO–AT LEAST IN THAT WAY. AND SO I JUST KEPT GOING. AND THEN YOU FAST-FORWARD
TO 2009, YOU KNOW, THE VIEWERSHIP KEPT
GROWING AND GROWING AND GROWING. BY FALL OF 2009,
I FRANKLY HAD TROUBLE FOCUSING ON MY DAY JOB,
AND, YOU KNOW, WE– MY WIFE AND I, WE HAD
A LITTLE BIT OF SAVINGS, ESSENTIALLY
FOR A DOWN PAYMENT ON A HOUSE. AND–BUT, YOU KNOW, SHE SAW
THAT THIS IS WHERE MY MIND WAS, THIS IS WHERE
MY PASSION WAS. I START–YOU KNOW, WE GOT
A LITTLE BIT OF PRESS. AND I SAID,
“WELL, YOU KNOW, IT FEELS LIKE
THERE’S SOMETHING REAL HERE.” I SET IT UP
AS A NOT-FOR-PROFIT. AND, YOU KNOW,
I THINK WHENEVER– WHEN YOU DO ANYTHING
ENTREPRENEURIAL, WHETHER IT’S FOR PROFIT
OR NOT FOR PROFIT, YOU ALMOST HAVE TO START FROM A SOMEWHAT DELUSIONALLY
OPTIMISTIC POINT OF VIEW. AND FOR ME, IT WAS LIKE,
YOU KNOW, LOOK, THE SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT
HERE IS OFF THE CHARTS. YOU KNOW, JUST ME,
I CAN DO THIS, BUT IF I COULD HAVE
SOME MORE PEOPLE TO HELP ME, WE COULD BUILD OUT
THE SOFTWARE, WE COULD REACH MORE
AND MORE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, AND SO I WAS LIKE,
“SURELY SOMEONE WILL FUND THIS.” AND, YOU KNOW,
SO I QUIT MY JOB. THIS WAS AUGUST OF 2009, AND LIKE
MOST ENTREPRENEURIAL STORIES, IT DOESN’T NECESSARILY WORK OUT
THE WAY YOU PLANNED. AND SO THOSE FIRST FEW MONTHS,
I PROBABLY– YOU KNOW, I PROBABLY
HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH ON THE ORDER
OF 20, 30 FOUNDATIONS AND DIFFERENT GROUPS, AND THERE WAS A LOT OF, “HEY,
THIS IS REALLY INTERESTING, BUT IT’S NOT QUITE
WHAT WE DO.” IT’S KIND OF
A STRANGE NOT-FOR-PROFIT, WHERE IT’S, YOU KNOW, ONE GUY
ESSENTIALLY MAKING VIDEOS, AT THAT POINT IN TIME. AND YOU FAST-FORWARD
TO MAY OF 2010, NOW NINE MONTHS HAVE PASSED. I’M STARTING TO GET
PRETTY PARANOID ABOUT THIS. MY SON HAD BEEN BORN,
OUR EXPENSES HAD GROWN, WE HAD JUST STARTED RENTING
A HOUSE HERE IN MOUNTAIN VIEW. AND I WAS QUESTIONING, YOU KNOW,
WHAT HAVE I DONE? I GAVE UP
A REALLY GOOD CAREER. I EVEN, IN SOME WEAK POINTS,
STARTED UPDATING MY RESUME. AND I WAS GETTING
SOME DONATIONS. I WAS GETTING–YOU KNOW,
THERE WERE $5, $10 DONATIONS. THEY WERE AMOUNTING TO, YOU
KNOW, ABOUT $100, $200 A MONTH. IF IT WAS ANY OF YOU,
THANK YOU. BUT IT–OBVIOUSLY, WE WERE
STILL DIGGING INTO SAVINGS, BUT THEN MAY OF 2010, ALL OF A SUDDEN,
A $10,000 DONATION COMES IN. SO I SEE WHO IT IS.
HER NAME’S ANN DOERR. SHE’S BASED IN PALO ALTO. SO I IMMEDIATELY
EMAIL HER BACK. AND I SAID,
“THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS INCREDIBLY GENEROUS
DONATION. THIS IS
THE LARGEST DONATION THAT KHAN ACADEMY
HAS EVER RECEIVED. IF WE WERE
A PHYSICAL SCHOOL, YOU WOULD NOW HAVE A BUILDING
NAMED AFTER YOU”… [laughter] WHICH IS, I THINK,
QUITE INEXPENSIVE. AND ANN IMMEDIATELY
EMAILS BACK. SHE’S LIKE,
“WELL, I’M LOCAL. I’VE BEEN USING
YOUR SITE MYSELF. I’VE BEEN USING IT
WITH MY DAUGHTERS. I’D LOVE TO MEET AND FIND OUT
MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE DOING.” AND SO I THINK IT WAS
TWO OR THREE DAYS LATER, WE MET IN DOWNTOWN PALO ALTO
ON UNIVERSITY AVENUE AT AN INDIAN BUFFET RESTAURANT, AND OVER LUNCH, ANN ASKS ME,
“SO WHAT’S YOUR GOAL HERE?” AND I TOLD HER, YOU KNOW,
WHEN YOU FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK TO BE A NOT-FOR-PROFIT
WITH THE IRS, THERE’S A PART OF THE FORM
THAT SAYS “MISSION:” AND THERE’S, LIKE,
A LINE AND A HALF. AND I FILLED OUT
“A FREE WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION FOR ANYONE ANYWHERE.” AND ANN SAID,
“THAT’S AMBITIOUS.” [laughter] “HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF
DOING THAT?” AND I TOLD HER, “I DON’T KNOW.
THIS IS A MISSION STATEMENT. I DON’T EXPECT TO JUST
CHECK IT OFF TOMORROW AND THEN MOVE ON TO HEALTH CARE
OR SOMETHING.” [laughter] “BUT I THINK WE CAN MAKE
A LOT OF PROGRESS HERE.” AND SO I SHOWED HER–I HAD
A BIG STACK OF THESE LETTERS AND TESTIMONIALS
THAT PEOPLE WERE SENDING. I SHOWED HER THE VIEWERSHIP
FROM THE VIDEOS. I HAD ALL THESE SCREENSHOTS
FROM THE SOFTWARE THAT I HAD BEEN–AND I WAS STILL
WORKING ON FOR MY COUSINS, THE TEACHER TOOL KIT
THAT HAD BEEN USED AT A COUPLE OF SUMMER CAMPS
IN THIS AREA. AND SO ANN SAYS, “YOU KNOW,
YOU’VE BEEN ABLE TO DO A SURPRISING AMOUNT WITH, IT SEEMS LIKE,
VERY LITTLE RESOURCES. I HAVE ONE QUESTION. HOW ARE YOU
SUPPORTING YOURSELF?” AND IN AS PROUD OF A WAY
AS POSSIBLE, I SAID, “I’M NOT.”
[laughter] AND SO ANN KIND OF
PROCESSES THAT, AND WE PART WAYS. AND TEN MINUTES LATER,
I’M DRIVING INTO MY DRIVEWAY HERE IN MOUNTAIN VIEW, AND I GET A TEXT MESSAGE,
AND IT’S FROM ANN. AND IT SAYS, “YOU REALLY NEED
TO BE SUPPORTING YOURSELF. I’VE JUST WIRED YOU
$100,000.” SO THAT WAS A GOOD DAY. THAT WAS–
[laughter] AND FRANKLY,
IT JUST GOT– YOU KNOW, THE–CRAZIER
AND CRAZIER SERIES OF EVENTS. ABOUT A MONTH LATER,
THIS IS SUMMER OF 2010, I WAS RUNNING A LITTLE
SUMMER CAMP IN PORTOLA VALLEY AT A MIDDLE SCHOOL,
A VERY SMALL– IT WAS ME AND A FRIEND.
WE WERE– AND IT WAS REALLY
AROUND THIS IDEA OF, “HEY, I’M THIS VIRTUAL GUY. YOU CAN GET LECTURES
ON DEMAND NOW. WHAT COULD YOU NOW DO
WITH A PHYSICAL CLASSROOM?” I NEVER VIEWED
THIS VIRTUAL STUFF AS SOMEHOW BEING
A REPLACEMENT. I ALWAYS VIEWED IT AS LIBERATING
THE PHYSICAL CLASSROOM. AND SO THE SUMMER CAMP WAS
A WAY TO EXPERIMENT WITH THAT. AND WE HAD KIDS DOING DIALOGUE
AND SIMULATIONS AND MAKING PROJECTS, AND WE WERE
IN THE MIDDLE OF ONE– IT WAS A BUNCH
OF MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS– IT WAS A SIMULATION
THAT I CAME UP WITH. WE HAD SIX KIDS
PLAYING A GAME OF RISK, WHILE THE OTHER 20
TRADED SECURITIES BASED ON THE OUTCOME
OF THE GAME OF RISK. [laughter]
IT’S A GOOD GAME. AND WHILE
THAT WAS HAPPENING, ALL OF A SUDDEN, I START GETTING
TEXT MESSAGES FROM ANN, WHICH YOU COULD IMAGINE
I NOW TAKE VERY SERIOUSLY. [laughter] AND SO–AND IT WAS ACTUALLY
HARD TO READ, ‘CAUSE THEY WERE DISJOINTED, AND IT WASN’T CLEAR
WHICH CAME BEFORE WHICH, BUT THEY READ
ALONG THE LINES OF, “I’M AT THE ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVAL
IN ASPEN, COLORADO. I’M IN THE MAIN PAVILION.
BILL GATES IS ONSTAGE. LAST FIVE MINUTES
TALKING ABOUT KHAN ACADEMY.” SO I DIDN’T KNOW
WHAT TO MAKE OF THIS. SO I IMMEDIATELY
BOOT THE NEAREST SEVENTH GRADER OFF OF A COMPUTER.
[laughter] AND I START LOOKING
FOR SOME EVIDENCE OF THIS EVENT THAT ANN
IS TALKING ABOUT. AND IT TOOK
ABOUT 20 MINUTES, AND I DID EVENTUALLY FIND
THE FOOTAGE. IT WAS LITERALLY
WALTER ISAACSON, HEAD OF THE ASPEN INSTITUTE,
ONSTAGE WITH BILL GATES. AND HE ASKS BILL–
I CALL HIM BILL NOW– [laughter] HE ASKS BILL,
“WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT?” AND HE JUST RANDOMLY STARTS
GOING, “WELL, THERE’S THIS SITE, KHAN ACADEMY.
I USE IT WITH MY KIDS. I USE IT MYSELF,” AND HE WENT
ON AND ON AND ON ABOUT IT. I MEAN, HE CLEARLY SPENT
A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TIME WITH THE SITE. AND YOU COULD IMAGINE
HOW I FELT. YOU KNOW, AT FIRST,
THIS JUST FELT LIKE A DREAM. THIS WAS SURREAL. BUT THEN THE VERY NEXT IMPULSE, I ACTUALLY BECAME
REALLY NERVOUS. I WAS LIKE,
THOSE VIDEOS WERE FOR NADIA… [laughter]
NOT BILL GATES. AND FRANKLY,
I DIDN’T– YOU KNOW, I WENT HOME
THAT EVENING. I TOLD MY WIFE ABOUT IT. A COUPLE OF MY FRIENDS
HEARD ABOUT IT AS, YOU KNOW,
THEY EMAILED ME OR CALLED ME. AND THEN I–IT–
I WAS CONFUSED. YOU KNOW,
WHAT DO I DO NOW? WHAT’S THE PROTOCOL?
DO I CALL HIM? [laughter]
I’M GUESSING HE’S NOT LISTED. AND THEY LEFT ME IN THAT LIMBO
FOR ABOUT TWO WEEKS. TWO WEEKS LATER,
I’M IN MY WALK-IN CLOSET, ABOUT TO RECORD A VIDEO. AND–
[laughter] AND CELL PHONE RINGS,
AND IT’S A SEATTLE NUMBER. I ANSWER IT.
“HELLO.” “HI, THIS IS LARRY COHEN.
I’M BILL GATES’ CHIEF OF STAFF. YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD
THAT BILL’S A FAN.” “YEAH, I’VE HEARD THAT.”
[laughter] “AND IF YOU’RE FREE
IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS OR WEEKS, WE’D LOVE TO FLY YOU
UP TO SEATTLE AND FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE
MIGHT BE ABLE TO WORK TOGETHER OR POTENTIALLY SUPPORT
WHAT YOU’RE DOING.” AND I WAS LOOKING
AT MY CALENDAR FOR THE MONTH– COMPLETELY BLANK.
[laughter] I SAID, YEAH,
MAYBE NEXT WEDNESDAY AFTER CUTTING MY NAILS,
MAYBE DO SOME LAUNDRY, BUT I THINK I CAN–
I THINK I CAN MEET BILL GATES. AND SO WE HAD
THE MEETING. AND IT WAS ACTUALLY VERY SIMILAR
TO THE MEETING WITH ANN. AND RIGHT
AROUND THE SAME TIME, SOME FOLKS FROM GOOGLE
REACHED OUT. AND I’VE TRIED TO SEE
IF THERE WAS ANY CONNECTION, BUT THESE WERE ALL
INDEPENDENT EVENTS. SOME FOLKS FROM GOOGLE
REACHED OUT, AND THEY SAID, “HEY,
I DON’T KNOW IF YOU KNOW, BUT A LOT OF THE TEAM HERE
HAS BEEN USING KHAN ACADEMY WITH OUR CHILDREN.
WE LOVE THE SITE. WE’D LOVE TO THINK ABOUT,
YOU KNOW, WHAT YOU COULD DO IF YOU HAD MORE RESOURCES. SO, YOU KNOW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO
IF YOU HAD– WHAT WOULD YOU DO
IF YOU HAD $2 MILLION?” AND I SAID, YOU KNOW,
“IS THIS AN OPEN QUESTION?” [laughter] BUY NEW PANTS OR SOMETHING.
NO. BUT I–VERY, VERY SIMILAR
TO THAT CONVERSATION, SO ALL OF A SUDDEN, 2010, IT ALL–YOU KNOW,
ALL THE STARS ALIGNED. AND THE GATES FOUNDATION
AND GOOGLE WERE THE FIRST TO KIND OF REALLY ALLOW
KHAN ACADEMY TO BECOME
A REAL ORGANIZATION SO THAT WE COULD START HIRING
OUR FIRST– THE BEGINNINGS OF OUR TEAM AND THEN GET OFFICE SPACE,
ET CETERA, ET CETERA. AND WHAT WE IMMEDIATELY STARTED,
I GUESS YOU COULD SAY, INVESTING IN OR WORKING ON WAS THE INTERACTIVE MATH PART
OF KHAN ACADEMY. AND WHAT YOU SEE HERE, THIS IS
WHAT WE CALL OUR KNOWLEDGE MAP, AND IT’S NO LONGER
OUR PRIMARY NAVIGATION INTERFACE ON KHAN ACADEMY. IT WAS BACK WHEN IT
WAS BEING USED FOR MY COUSINS. BUT IT’S STILL THERE. BUT WE–I LIKE TO SHOW THIS
BECAUSE IT SHOWS HOW WE THINK
ABOUT MATHEMATICS. SO EACH OF THOSE CIRCLES THERE
ARE A CONCEPT IN MATH, AND THE ONES AT THE TOP
ARE BASIC MATHEMATICS. THEY’RE THINGS LIKE
BASIC ARITHMETIC– ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS TWO. AND AS YOU GO FURTHER
AND FURTHER DOWN, IT GOES ALL THE WAY TO COLLEGE
LEVEL STATISTICS AND CALCULUS, AND OUR GOAL IS TO JUST KEEP
GOING ON AND ON AND ON AND EVENTUALLY INTO
OTHER SUBJECTS, AS WELL. YOU SAW, THE VIDEOS ARE MUCH
BROADER THAN JUST MATH. AND THE IDEA IS,
ONCE A STUDENT SHOWS MASTERY IN A BASIC CONCEPT, IT THEN MOVES THEM ON
TO A MORE ADVANCED CONCEPT. AND THOSE LINES SHOW
THAT DEPENDENCY. AND AT SOME LEVEL,
THAT’S COMMON SENSE. THAT’S THE WAY YOU WOULD PLAY
A VIDEO GAME. YOU BEAT–
YOU KEEP TRYING ON LEVEL ONE UNTIL YOU BEAT THE LEVEL ONE
BOSS, AND YOU GO TO LEVEL TWO. IT’S THE WAY YOU WOULD LEARN
A MARTIAL ART. YOU KEEP PRACTICING
THE WHITE BELT SKILLS, AND ONLY ONCE YOU’VE MASTERED
WHITE BELT AND YOU PASS THE TEST,
THEN YOU BECOME A YELLOW BELT. BUT WHAT WE ALWAYS POINT OUT–
THIS IS NOT THE WAY THAT A TRADITIONAL SCHOOL MODEL
IS ARCHITECTED. A TRADITIONAL SCHOOL MODEL– YOU GROUP STUDENTS TOGETHER,
USUALLY BY AGE, AND THEN LATER BY AGE
AND PERCEIVED ABILITY, BUT USUALLY BY AGE, AND THEN YOU MOVE THEM TOGETHER
AT A SET PACE. AND WHAT HAPPENS IS, NORMALLY IN CLASS, MOST OF IT
IS THE TEACHER LECTURING. AND THEN STUDENTS GO HOME,
THEY DO HOMEWORK, THEN THE NEXT DAY
YOU REVIEW HOMEWORK A LITTLE BIT AND MAYBE GET
A LITTLE BIT MORE LECTURE. THEN YOU GO BACK,
DO A LITTLE MORE HOMEWORK, AND THEN THAT CYCLE–HOMEWORK,
LECTURE, HOMEWORK, LECTURE, HOMEWORK, LECTURE–CONTINUES
FOR ABOUT TWO OR THREE WEEKS, AND THEN YOU HAVE AN EXAM. AND LET’S SAY THAT EXAM–
LET’S SAY THE UNIT THAT WE WERE WORKING ON
WAS BASIC EXPONENTS, AND ON THAT EXAM, LET’S SAY
I GET A 75%, YOU GET A 90%, YOU GET A 60%, AND EVEN THOUGH THE EXAM
IDENTIFIED THOSE GAPS– CLEAR, THE PERSON
WHO GOT THE 60% DIDN’T KNOW 40%
OF THE MATERIAL– EVEN THOUGH IT IDENTIFIED IT–
EVEN THE “A” STUDENT WHO DIDN’T KNOW 5%
OR 10% OF THE MATERIAL– EVEN THOUGH THE ASSESSMENT
IDENTIFIED THOSE GAPS, THE WHOLE CLASS THEN MOVES ON
TO THE NEXT CONCEPT, SOMETHING THAT PROBABLY BUILDS
ON THOSE GAPS, SAY, NEGATIVE EXPONENTS
OR LOGARITHMS. AND TO PUT IT
IN PERSPECTIVE, ON SOME LEVEL,
HOW ABSURD THIS IS, IMAGINE IF WE DID OTHER THINGS
IN OUR LIFE THAT WAY, SAY, HOME BUILDING. [laughter] SO YOU BRING
THE CONTRACTOR IN, AND YOU SAY, “WELL, WE’VE BEEN
TOLD WE HAVE THREE WEEKS TO BUILD A FOUNDATION.
DO WHAT YOU CAN.” [laughter] SO THE CONTRACTOR DOES
WHAT THEY CAN– MAYBE IT RAINS, MAYBE
THE SUPPLIES DON’T SHOW UP, MAYBE SOME OF THE WORKERS
FALL SICK. AND AFTER THREE WEEKS,
YOU GET THE INSPECTOR. THE INSPECTOR COMES AND SAYS,
“WELL, YOU KNOW, THE CONCRETE’S STILL WET AROUND THERE. THAT PART’S
NOT QUITE UP TO CODE. I’LL GIVE IT AN 80%.” SO GREAT,
THAT’S A B-MINUS OR C-PLUS. LET’S BUILD THE FIRST FLOOR.
[laughter] SAME PROCESS, “CONTRACTOR,
WE HAVE ANOTHER THREE WEEKS. DO WHAT YOU CAN.” AFTER THREE WEEKS, INSPECTOR
COMES, “HEY, THAT’S A 90%.” “OKAY, GREAT.
LET’S BUILD THE SECOND FLOOR.” AND YOU KEEP DOING THAT–
THIRD FLOOR, FOURTH FLOOR. AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN,
WHILE YOU’RE BUILDING THE FOURTH FLOOR,
THE WHOLE THING COLLAPSES. AND THE REACTION THAT PEOPLE
TEND TO HAVE, OR IF WE HAVE THE SAME REACTION
THAT PEOPLE OFTEN HAVE IN EDUCATION, THEY SAY, “OH,
MAYBE IT WAS A BAD CONTRACTOR,” OR, “MAYBE WE NEEDED
BETTER INSPECTION OR MORE INSPECTION,”
AND WHO KNOWS? MAYBE THAT HAD SOME PART
TO DO WITH IT. BUT THE REAL THING
THAT IS GOING ON IS THAT THE PROCESS
WAS ABSURD. YOU WERE
ARTIFICIALLY CONSTRAINING HOW LONG YOU HAD
TO WORK ON SOMETHING PRETTY MUCH ENSURING
A VARIABLE OUTCOME, PRETTY MUCH ENSURING
YOU WERE GOING TO HAVE GAPS. THEN YOU TAKE THE TROUBLE
OF IDENTIFYING THOSE GAPS, BUT ONCE YOU’VE IDENTIFIED THEM,
YOU JUST COMPLETELY IGNORE THEM, AND THEN YOU MOVE ON. AND SO WHAT WE SAY,
INSTEAD OF HOLDING FIXED HOW LONG
AND WHEN YOU LEARN SOMETHING AND PRETTY MUCH ENSURING
A VARIABLE OUTCOME– “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “F”–
DO IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. HOLD FIXED THAT EVERY STUDENT
SHOULD MASTER BASIC EXPONENTS, SHOULD GET
TO THAT “A” LEVEL, AND THEN THE CONSTRAINT
THAT GETS LOOSENED, THE VARIABLE CONSTRAINT, IS WHEN AND HOW LONG
THEY GET TO LEARN THE MATERIAL. RIGHT WHEN WE STARTED, SOME LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS,
LOS ALTOS, ESPECIALLY, BUT THEN SHORTLY AFTER,
MOUNTAIN VIEW AND OTHER LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND THEN MANY AROUND THE COUNTRY
AND WORLD, ACTUALLY, STARTED SAYING, “WELL,
HOW COULD WE USE KHAN ACADEMY IN A CLASSROOM?” AND YOU KNOW,
OUR POINT OF VIEW IS, WELL, THIS COULD FREE UP
THIS WHOLE “ONE PACE FITS ALL.” YOU COULD HAVE EVERY STUDENT
LEARNING AT THEIR OWN PACE, MASTERING CONCEPTS. YOU KNOW, WE HAD ALREADY HAD
SOME DASHBOARDS FOR TEACHERS, AND WE WERE
WORKING ON MORE. AND THE IDEA–AND THIS IS–
THIS IS KIND OF– WE STARTED SEEING THIS BEHAVIOR
BY OBSERVING THESE CLASSROOMS– IS THAT, YOU KNOW, EVEN THOUGH
EVERY STUDENT IS LEARNING AT THEIR OWN PACE, IT WASN’T AN ISOLATED KIND OF
LEARNING EXPERIENCE. IN FACT, IT BECAME
MORE INTERACTIVE WHERE, YOU KNOW, THIS DASHBOARD
THAT WE HAVE FOR TEACHERS KIND OF ENCAPSULATES
HOW A CLASSROOM COULD RUN, WHERE EACH OF THESE COLUMNS
ARE ONE OF THOSE CONCEPTS THAT YOU SAW
ON THE KNOWLEDGE MAP. EACH OF THESE ROWS
ARE A STUDENT IN THE CLASS. AND THEN THE DEPTH OF BLUE IS THE SYSTEM’S SENSE OF HOW
WELL THE STUDENT UNDERSTANDS IT. AND THE RED STUDENTS ARE FLAGGED
THAT THIS STUDENT SEEMS STUCK. AND SO AS A TEACHER,
I COULD WALK IN, I COULD SAY, “OH, LOOK,
A LOT OF THE STUDENTS SEEM FINE WITH SQUARE ROOTS
OF PERFECT SQUARES, BUT THERE’S A COUPLE OF
STUDENTS WHO ARE HAVING TROUBLE WITH SOLID GEOMETRY.” EITHER I COULD DO A VERY FOCUSED
INTERVENTION WITH THOSE STUDENTS WHILE LETTING EVERY OTHER
STUDENT LEARN AT THEIR OWN PACE, OR EVEN BETTER, I CAN GET SOME
OF THE PEERS TO HELP EACH OTHER. MAYBE SOME OF THE STUDENTS
WHO HAVE MASTERED IT ALREADY. LOOK AT THE ADDED BENEFIT
OF YOU LEARN IT EVEN DEEPER WHEN YOU EXPLAIN IT. THIS IS SOME DATA
FROM A LOCAL CHARTER SCHOOL UP IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA. AND YOU KNOW, THIS IS,
YOU KNOW– AND I’LL CAVEAT THIS. I DON’T WANT TO GIVE ANYONE
THE SENSE THAT YOU CAN JUST DROP
KHAN ACADEMY INTO A CLASSROOM, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN,
THE BUTTERFLIES WILL FLY AND THE FLOWERS WILL BLOOM. IT’S A TOOL,
AND LIKE ALL TOOLS, IT’S GOING TO BE AS GOOD
AS HOW IT’S BEING USED. AND, YOU KNOW, THE CREDIT
TO WHAT I’M ABOUT TO TALK TO YOU IS REALLY–THE BULK OF IT
GOES TO THE TEACHING STAFF, ESPECIALLY THEIR HEAD TEACHER,
PETER MCINTOSH. BUT WHAT WAS EXCITING–
YOU KNOW, THIS WAS A– THIS IS A NINTH GRADE
ALGEBRA CLASSROOM. IT’S A CHARTER SCHOOL
IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA. THEY’RE GETTING STUDENTS
FROM THE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT. MANY OF THESE STUDENTS, TWO, THREE, FOUR YEARS
BEHIND GRADE LEVEL. SOME OF THESE STUDENTS
DIDN’T KNOW THEIR MULTIPLICATION TABLES,
DIDN’T KNOW BASIC ARITHMETIC. AND WHAT HAPPENED HERE IS– YOU KNOW, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT
PETER MCINTOSH ALWAYS BELIEVED, IS THAT THE WAY TO ADDRESS THAT
IS TO LET THESE STUDENTS, EVEN IF THEY’RE IN ALGEBRA, MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE
THAT STRONG FOUNDATION AND TRY TO GET THEM
TO OWN THEIR OWN LEARNING, SET THEIR OWN GOALS,
LEARN AT THEIR OWN PACE. AND HE WAS JUST LOOKING FOR
A TOOL TO ALLOW HIM TO DO THAT. AND SO THIS CLASSROOM
AND ACTUALLY EVEN THE YEAR BEFORE, EVEN,
THIS SLIDE, IN 2010, THIS CLASSROOM
WAS IN THE 22ND PERCENTILE IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AMONGST NINTH GRADE
ALGEBRA CLASSROOMS. AND THEN THIS PAST YEAR, THEY WERE JUST
IN THE 99TH PERCENTILE IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AMONGST NINTH GRADE
ALGEBRA CLASSROOMS. I THINK THERE’S ONLY
NINE CLASSROOMS IN THE STATE THAT OUTPERFORM THEM. AND WHAT’S BEEN NEAT
ABOUT THIS– I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY, YOU KNOW,
EVERYONE ALWAYS TALKS ABOUT TEST SCORES, AND CLEARLY
THE TEST SCORES WERE GOOD. BUT WHAT PETER MENTIONS IS,
“LOOK, THE TEST SCORES– THAT’S ALL NICE,
AND MATH LEARNING IS NICE,” BUT HE VIEWS THAT
AS REALLY A PRETEXT, THAT THE MORE POWERFUL THING
THAT HAPPENED IS THESE WERE STUDENTS
WHO CAME IN DISENGAGED THINKING THAT THEY WEREN’T GOOD
IN MATH, LIKE MY COUSIN, LIKE NADIA,
AND THEY WERE VERY PASSIVE. “HEY, TEACHER,
TELL ME HOW TO DO IT. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO? DO I HAVE
TO MEMORIZE THAT FOR THE EXAM?” THEY WOULD LOOK AT A PROBLEM
FOR FIVE SECONDS AND SAY, “OH, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO
DO THAT. I’M NOT GOOD IN MATH.” BUT BY ALLOWING THEM
TO MOVE AT THEIR OWN PACE AND BY ALLOWING THEM
TO SET THEIR OWN GOALS AND REALLY
KIND OF SHOWING THEM THAT MASTERY IS IMPORTANT,
IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO JUST SUPERFICIALLY
UNDERSTAND SOMETHING, IT GAVE THEM OWNERSHIP
OVER THEIR OWN LEARNING. AND WHEN YOU GAVE THEM OWNERSHIP
OVER THEIR OWN LEARNING, IT CHANGED THEIR MIND-SETS
FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE. AND THAT OWNERSHIP IS
PROBABLY A MORE IMPORTANT SKILL THAN ANY OF THE ALGEBRA,
AND THAT PAYS DIVIDENDS, NOT JUST
IN THE OTHER CLASSES, BUT OBVIOUSLY AS YOU GO
INTO CAREERS AND WHATEVER ELSE. NOW, EVERYTHING
THAT I’VE TALKED ABOUT SO FAR HAS BEEN KIND OF A– WELL, THIS HAS BEEN
THE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT, BUT OBVIOUSLY,
OUT OF THE 10 MILLION STUDENTS, NOT ALL OF THEM
ARE IN CLASSROOMS. LIKE, 9 MILLION ARE JUST
INDEPENDENT LEARNERS. AND THIS NEXT VIDEO
IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF JUST HOW MUCH POTENTIAL
THERE IS OUT THERE IF WE JUST LET PEOPLE
TAP INTO IT. – SO I ACTUALLY DROPPED OUT
OF HIGH SCHOOL TWICE, BOTH DURING
MY FRESHMAN YEAR. AND WHEN I EVENTUALLY
CAME BACK, I WAS PUT IN, SORT OF, LOWER
LEVEL MATH AND SCIENCE CLASSES BECAUSE I WAS SO BEHIND. THEN I DISCOVERED
KHAN ACADEMY, AND I WAS ABLE TO SKIP
TWO YEARS’ WORTH OF MATH JUST THROUGH
USING THE SITE. AND I CAME INTO SCHOOL,
I TOOK THE EXAM WITH STUDENTS WHO HAD BEEN
ENROLLED IN THE CLASS ALL YEAR, AND I WAS ACTUALLY ABLE TO GET
THE HIGHEST OR THE SECOND HIGHEST SCORES
IN THE CLASS. SO FOR ME, KHAN ACADEMY
REALLY CHANGED THE TRAJECTORY OF MY ENTIRE LIFE, BECAUSE WITHOUT IT, I DON’T THINK I EVER REALLY
WOULD HAVE BEEN INSPIRED TO LEARN AND TO LOVE MATH
AND TO LOVE SCIENCE. I ENDED UP GRADUATING
AS THE VALEDICTORIAN AND GOING ON TO PRINCETON, WHERE I’M NOW
A COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJOR. AND I’M ABSOLUTELY PASSIONATE
ABOUT LEARNING, ABOUT COMPUTERS,
ABOUT MATH, ABOUT SCIENCE. AND WITHOUT KHAN ACADEMY, I DON’T THINK THAT THESE THINGS
WOULD REALLY MATTER TO ME THE WAY THAT THEY DO TODAY. SO I’D JUST LIKE TO SAY
A MASSIVE THANK-YOU TO EVERYONE AT KHAN ACADEMY,
SAL AND THE TEAM. PLEASE KEEP DOING THE GOOD WORK
THAT YOU’RE DOING BECAUSE YOU’RE REALLY
CHANGING LIVES. – SO–
[applause] SO THIS ACTUALLY GOT
EVEN MORE INTERESTING. SO WHEN WE FOUND OUT THAT CHARLIE IS
A COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJOR, WE SAID, “YOU KNOW,
WE HAVE INTERNSHIPS.” [laughter]
AND SO HE INTERVIEWED FOR THE INTERNSHIPS, AND HE DID
VERY WELL IN THE INTERVIEW, ACTUALLY, SO WELL THAT A COUPLE
OF PEOPLE WHO INTERVIEWED HIM SAID, LIKE, “WHO IS THIS GUY?
YOU KNOW, HE’S REALLY JUST ROCKING ALL THE ROUNDS
OF THE INTERVIEWS.” AND I SAID, YOU KNOW,
“WHY ARE YOU SURPRISED? WE EDUCATED HIM.” [laughter] BUT HE ACTUALLY GOT OFFERED,
ACCEPTED THE INTERVIEW, AND NOW HE’S INTERNING
WITH US THIS SUMMER. AND HE’S ACTUALLY HERE, SO–
YEAH. YOU WANT TO STAND UP? ACTUALLY, CHARLIE, YOU WANT TO–
YEAH, YEAH, YEAH. [applause] THIS IS ACTUALLY THE FIRST TIME
THAT I’M LIKE, “WAIT, CHARLIE’S IN THE ROOM.
I SHOULD, LIKE”– I’M ALWAYS–ACTUALLY,
ALL THE PEOPLE AT KHAN ACADEMY, WHY DON’T YOU STAND UP,
JUST SO EVERYONE– WE HAVE A BUNCH OF INTERNS AND
NEW FOLKS THAT WE ALL INVITED. SO AS YOU CAN–
[applause] AS YOU CAN TELL, I ALWAYS LIKE
TO PACK THE AUDIENCE WITH FRIENDLY PEOPLE
SO THAT I CAN MAXIMIZE THE– SO THIS IS SOMETHING
THAT SOME OF YOU ALL MIGHT HAVE HEARD ABOUT. COLLEGE BOARD,
MAKERS OF THE S.A.T., ABOUT TWO MONTHS AGO ANNOUNCED
THAT THEY’RE GONNA CREATE A NEW S.A.T. IN 2016
THAT’S MORE ALIGNED WITH WHAT STUDENTS
ACTUALLY LEARN IN SCHOOL AND IS MORE CORRELATED
WITH BEING PREPARED FOR COLLEGE. BUT AS PART OF THAT,
THEY FINALLY RECOGNIZED WHAT EVERYONE HAS ALWAYS
RECOGNIZED FOR MANY DECADES NOW, IS THAT THERE’S BEEN
THIS PERCEIVED AND MAYBE ACTUAL INEQUITY
IN PREPARING FOR THESE TYPES
OF HIGH-STAKES TESTS. YOU HAVE THIS WHOLE
MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR INDUSTRY AROUND TEST PREP
THAT THE MIDDLE CLASS AND UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS
CAN AFFORD, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO NEED IT
THE MOST CAN’T. AND SO THEY DECIDED– THEY’VE NEVER DONE ANYTHING
LIKE THIS–TO PARTNER WITH US TO CREATE FREE TEST PREP. AND WHAT’S EXCITING
ABOUT THIS ON BOTH SIDES
OF THE RELATIONSHIP IS, YOU KNOW, THE REASON WHY
THEY PARTNERED WITH US IS BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T–
THEY WANTED TO DO TEST PREP ON A MUCH DEEPER LEVEL. IT’S HISTORICALLY BEEN
ASSOCIATED WITH FAMILIARITY WITH EXAMS, HERE ARE
SOME TEST-TAKING STRATEGIES, HERE’S HOW YOU GUESS,
HERE’S HOW YOU CRAM. BUT THEY RECOGNIZE
THAT WE’RE NOT ABOUT THAT. YOU KNOW, WE’RE LITERALLY
ABOUT BUILDING YOUR FOUNDATIONS, MASTERING CONCEPTS,
NOT SOMEHOW COVERING YOUR SUPERFICIAL WEAKNESSES. AND SO WHAT WE’RE
GONNA BE BUILDING TOGETHER– AND IT’S A VERY,
VERY CLOSE RELATIONSHIP– IS, YOU KNOW,
NOT JUST FREE TEST PREP, BUT LITERALLY THE BEST TEST PREP
THAT HAPPENS TO BE FREE, AND NOT JUST
ABOUT FAMILIARITY WITH EXAMS OR WHAT YOU DO IN THE WEEK
OR TWO BEFORE THE EXAM. BUT WHEREVER YOU ARE,
HOWEVER YOU START, WHATEVER AGE YOU ARE,
WE CAN GET YOU TO WHATEVER KNOWLEDGE STATE
THAT YOU WANT TO GET TO. WE ALSO HAVE A PARTNERSHIP
WITH NASA, WHICH I THOUGHT WOULD BE FUN
TO MENTION HERE. [applause]
THIS IS– SO THERE’S A WHOLE SERIES
OF CONTENT ON KHAN ACADEMY NOW, SIMULATIONS AND VIDEOS ON,
YOU KNOW– AND I HAD DONE A WHOLE SERIES
ON COSMOLOGY EVEN BEFORE, BUT NOW, WE HAVE
SOME REAL NASA CONTENT ON, YOU KNOW, HOW TO–
YOU KNOW, MISSION TO MARS, HOW DO YOU FIGURE OUT HOW FAR
A STAR AWAY– A STAR IS
AND THINGS LIKE THAT. SO THERE’S A, YOU KNOW,
VERY, VERY EXCITING PARTNERSHIP. OBVIOUSLY,
TO SOME DEGREE– I MEAN, I WAS JUST SPEAKING
TO THE FOLKS HERE, YOU KNOW, NASA’S MISSION IS–
YOU KNOW, IT’S OBVIOUSLY
ABOUT EXPLORING SPACE, BUT IT’S ALSO ABOUT EDUCATING,
ESPECIALLY IN STEM, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE
THE TALENT SO THAT WE CAN
EXPLORE SPACE. SO EVERYTHING
I’VE TALKED ABOUT SO FAR HAS BEEN THE WORLD
THAT MOST OF US LIVE IN, THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING WORLD,
THE DEVELOPED WORLD. MANY OF YOU ALL
MIGHT BE THINKING, WELL, YOU KNOW, WHAT
ABOUT THE REST OF THE PLANET? MAYBE THEY COULD EVEN BENEFIT
MORE FROM SOMETHING LIKE THIS. AND, YOU KNOW,
AS EARLY AS 2007, THERE WERE FOLKS
TAKING KHAN ACADEMY ON, YOU KNOW, THE VIDEOS
OR SOMETIMES EVEN THE SOFTWARE, AND TAKING THEM
ALL OVER THE WORLD ON THUMB DRIVES
AND SOMETIMES ON COMPUTERS AND MAYBE SOMETIMES
SETTING UP BROADBAND, AND ALL OF THESE ARE
PICTURES OF THOSE OTHER GROUPS, OTHER NOT-FOR-PROFITS,
OTHER NGOs, SOMETIMES GOVERNMENTS, TAKING
KHAN ACADEMY OUT TO THE WORLD. SO THESE ARE ALL KIDS USING
KHAN ACADEMY IN RANDOM PLACES. AND THEY’RE EACH
PRETTY INCREDIBLE STORIES, BUT PROBABLY
THE MOST INCREDIBLE ONE IS THE ONE
ON THE TOP RIGHT. YOU KNOW, I USED TO GIVE TALKS
LIKE THIS AND JOKE THAT, YOU KNOW, “MAYBE ONE DAY
THIS WILL BE USED IN MONGOLIA,” JUST IMAGINING THE FURTHEST
PLACE ON THE PLANET, AND THEN A FEW MONTHS LATER,
I GET A LETTER FROM MONGOLIA. AND IT’S THE YOUNG WOMAN
ON THE TOP RIGHT. HER NAME’S ZAYA, AND, YOU KNOW,
SHE HAD A– AN EMAIL
AND THEN A LINK TO A VIDEO, AND HER VIDEO IS VERY SIMILAR
TO CHARLIE’S, SAYING HOW SHE LIKED
KHAN ACADEMY. IT REALLY HELPED HER IN MATH. AND IT WAS–
IT WAS A COOL VIDEO, BUT I IMMEDIATELY ASSUMED
THAT SHE MUST BE MIDDLE CLASS OR UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS.
HER ENGLISH WAS QUITE GOOD. SHE HAD ACCESS
TO THE INTERNET AND A COMPUTER. BUT THEN I READ THE TEXT
OF THE EMAIL MORE CAREFULLY, AND IT TURNED OUT THAT THERE WAS
A GROUP OF ENGINEERS FROM CISCO SYSTEMS THAT WERE USING
THEIR VACATION TIME TO GO TO MONGOLIA
AND SET UP COMPUTER LABS WITH BROADBAND IN ORPHANAGES. AND SO WHAT YOU SEE
IN THE TOP RIGHT THERE, THOSE ARE THE ACTUAL
ORPHAN GIRLS USING KHAN ACADEMY, AND ZAYA WAS–IS–WAS
ONE OF THOSE ORPHAN GIRLS. AND THAT, BY ITSELF,
WAS, LIKE, YOU KNOW, SOMETHING
OUT OF A SCIENCE FICTION BOOK, BUT IT GOT EVEN MORE INCREDIBLE,
BECAUSE ZAYA THEN WENT ON TO BECOME ONE OF
THE TOP CONTRIBUTORS OF CONTENT IN THE MONGOLIAN LANGUAGE. AND SO IT’S, YOU KNOW–
I GUESS IT’S VERY SIMILAR TO CHARLIE’S STORY THAT, YOU
KNOW, HOPEFULLY, SHE BENEFITTED. THEN SHE’S ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE
TO HELP THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEARNERS HERE. WE’RE, ACTIVELY, TO BE ABLE
TO REACH MORE AND MORE PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD,
TRANSLATING THE WHOLE PLATFORM, NOT JUST THE VIDEOS,
BUT THE EXERCISES, THE DASHBOARDS, EVERYTHING
TO THE WORLD’S MAJOR LANGUAGES. THIS IS THE SPANISH VERSION
OF KHAN ACADEMY, WHICH WE LAUNCHED
IN THIS PAST FALL. WE’VE RECENTLY LAUNCHED
BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE. WE’RE LAUNCHING SOON
TURKISH AND FRENCH, AND OUR GOAL OVER TIME IS TO DO ALL OF THE WORLD’S
MAJOR LANGUAGES. AND TO GET A FEELING
FOR WHAT SOME OF THIS– AT LEAST THE VIDEO CONTENT
FEELS LIKE IN OTHER LANGUAGES, I’LL SHOW YOU
THIS NEXT VIDEO. [woman speaking Spanish] [woman speaking French] [woman speaking Mandarin] [man speaking Hindi-Urdu] [man speaking Arabic] [man speaking Farsi] [man speaking Hebrew] [woman speaking Swahili] [woman speaking Xhosa] [man speaking Turkish] [man speaking Portuguese] – I WATCH THAT
WHENEVER I GET LAZY. [laughter] SO THESE ARE JUST MORE PICTURES
OF KHAN ACADEMY. I MEAN, WE GET SENT THESE
ALMOST EVERY DAY OF PICTURES ALL OVER THE WORLD
OF PEOPLE USING KHAN ACADEMY. AND, YOU KNOW,
WHAT I ALWAYS TELL FOLKS– I TELL THIS TO THE TEAM
ALMOST ON A WEEKLY BASIS. I TELL IT TO OUR SUPPORTERS. I TELL IT
TO ALL OUR STAKEHOLDERS, AND ONCE AGAIN, YOU KNOW,
YOU SAW SOME OF OUR TEAM. WE’RE NOW–YOU KNOW, EVEN IN THE SUMMER,
WE’RE 60 FULL-TIME PEOPLE AND 20-SOMETHING INTERNS.
WE’VE HAD HUNDREDS, ACTUALLY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE
HELP VOLUNTEER IN TERMS OF HELP SUBTITLE
AND GO OUT INTO THE FIELD. OBVIOUSLY, THERE’S HUNDREDS
OF THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS PART OF THIS,
AND WHAT I TELL EVERYONE WHO’S KIND OF INVOLVED OR NOT INVOLVED EVEN,
IS THAT, YOU KNOW, YOU HEAR THE TERM ONCE-IN-
A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY A LOT, BUT IN MY MIND,
IT’S MUCH MORE THAN THAT. IT’S ACTUALLY MUCH CLOSER TO A ONCE-IN-A-MILLENNIUM
OPPORTUNITY WHERE, YOU KNOW, WE’RE CLEARLY AT THIS
INFLECTION POINT IN HISTORY, PROBABLY ONE THAT’S BIGGER
THAN THE PRINTING PRESS, BIGGER THAN
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, AND PROBABLY WOULD RIVAL
THE ADVENT OF WRITING OR THE ADVENT
OF AGRICULTURE. AND WHENEVER YOU HAVE
THESE NEW INFLECTION POINTS, IT RAISES NEW PROBLEMS
BUT ALSO NEW OPPORTUNITIES. AND TO TAKE IT–
TO SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS, IT ALSO KIND OF BRINGS ABOUT
NEW INSTITUTIONS. AND IT WAS KIND OF
A DELUSIONAL DREAM WHEN I WAS A GUY OPERATING IN
A CLOSET HERE IN MOUNTAIN VIEW, BUT NOW IT SEEMS
A LITTLE BIT LESS DELUSIONAL, THAT OUR HOPE IS THAT
KHAN ACADEMY CAN BE AN INSTITUTION THAT,
OVER THE NEXT DECADE, 50 YEARS, YOU KNOW,
100 YEARS, 500 YEARS, CAN TAKE THIS THING
CALLED EDUCATION AND, YOU KNOW, THIS THING THAT’S
FUNDAMENTALLY BEEN SCARCE, THAT’S FUNDAMENTALLY BEEN
THE DETERMINANT BETWEEN THOSE WHO SUCCEED
AND THOSE WHO DON’T AND MAKE IT
MORE UBIQUITOUS, LIKE CLEAN DRINKING WATER
AND SHELTER, AND REALLY,
JUST A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT. THANK YOU. [applause] – SO WE HAVE TIME
FOR A FEW QUESTIONS. IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION,
PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND. WAIT FOR THE MICROPHONE,
AND WHEN YOU GET IT, STAND UP. THANK YOU. – I HAVE A QUESTION BACK HERE,
SAL. HELLO. HI, SAL.
– OH, YES. – SO I HAVE A QUESTION
ABOUT THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN WHAT
WE’RE TEACHING PEOPLE… – MM-HMM.
– AND WHAT WE– WHAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO
IN THE REAL WORLD. – YEAH.
– AND SO ONE OF THE RESTRICTIONS IS, I’M SURE YOU WELL KNOW,
IS THAT WE HAVE TO HAVE THINGS THAT WE CAN MEASURE
WHEN WE’RE IN SCHOOL. SO WE HAVE
THIS SORT OF MONITORY, HOW DO YOU DECIDE
IF YOU’VE SUCCEEDED OR FAILED? BUT WHEN YOU GO
INTO THE REAL WORLD, IT’S QUITE A DIFFERENT STORY,
AND YOU WELL KNOW THAT, RIGHT? – YEAH.
– AND DEPENDING ON YOUR PROFESSION, YOU HAVE TO HAVE
SOME VERY DIFFERENT TOOLS. AND MANY TIMES,
IT’S SOCIAL TOOLS, RATHER THAN
THE KIND OF EDUCATIONAL TOOLS THAT WE LEARN
IN OUR SCHOOLS. I’M SURE YOU’RE WELL AWARE
OF THIS, AND I JUST WANTED TO HEAR YOU
SPEAK ABOUT IT. – YEAH.
NO, YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT,
AND, YOU KNOW, THE WAY I THINK ABOUT IT– AND I’VE WRITTEN A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT THIS IN MY BOOK– IS, YOU KNOW, EDUCATION IS
THIS HUGE SPECTRUM OF THINGS. THAT, YOU KNOW, AT THIS END
RIGHT OVER HERE, I GUESS YOU COULD THINK
OF YOUR MOST ROTE THINGS– THIS IS
YOUR MULTIPLICATION TABLES AND YOUR GRAMMAR
AND YOUR VOCABULARY– AND THEN AS YOU GO FURTHER
AND FURTHER IN THIS DIRECTION, IT BECOMES
MORE AND MORE OPEN-ENDED. THIS IS CREATIVITY.
THIS IS COMMUNICATION SKILLS. THIS IS
DEALING WITH COMPLEXITY. AND, YOU KNOW,
FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, PROBABLY BECAUSE OF EXACTLY
THE REASON YOU POINT OUT, BECAUSE OF ITS MEASURABILITY, THE TRADITIONAL SYSTEM
HAS BEEN FOCUSED RIGHT HERE. IT’S–YOU KNOW,
NOT JUST ON ROTE THINGS. IT’S DONE
SOME MORE OPEN-ENDED THINGS, BUT IT’S, FOR THE MOST PART,
THIS SPECTRUM RIGHT OVER HERE, KIND OF SQUEEZING OUT TIME
FOR SOME OF THE STUFF THAT MIGHT BE
EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, BUT IT’S VERY HARD
TO MEASURE. AND SO, YOU KNOW,
WHEN WE ENVISION WHAT THE SCHOOL
OF THE FUTURE SHOULD LOOK LIKE, IS YOU TACKLE A LOT
OF WHAT I WOULD CALL YOUR FOUNDATIONAL,
YOUR CORE LEARNING– AND EVEN THERE, I AGREE,
IT’S COMPLETELY UP FOR DEBATE. SHOULD YOU BE LEARNING CALCULUS
INSTEAD OF STATISTICS? SHOULD YOU BE LEARNING,
YOU KNOW, CIVICS AND LAW? IT’S NOT PART
OF THE TRADITIONAL CURRICULUM. BUT THAT CORE FOUNDATION
YOU CAN GET MORE EFFICIENTLY THROUGH SOMETHING LIKE– THROUGH SOMETHING LIKE
A KHAN ACADEMY– LEARNING AT YOUR OWN PACE,
LEARNING AT YOUR OWN TIME. BUT WHAT THE GOAL IS,
IS IT REALLY SHOULD FREE UP MOST OF THE CLASS DAY, MOST
OF YOUR LEARNING EXPERIENCE, TO BE FOCUSED ON BEING ABLE TO,
YOU KNOW, DEAL– YOU KNOW, WORK ON A PROJECT,
DO SOCRATIC DIALOGUE, DEALING WITH COMPLEXITY,
WHATEVER IT MIGHT BE. AND FRANKLY,
THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT I THINK PEOPLE
SHOULD BE EVALUATED ON. YOU KNOW, WHERE ARE YOU? AND IF, IN MY MIND,
THE CREDENTIAL OF THE FUTURE IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE–
AND I MEAN, THE REALITY IS, IT’S ALREADY
THE CREDENTIAL OF TODAY, IT’S JUST
NEVER BEEN RECOGNIZED. YES, YOUR TEST SCORES AND STUFF,
THEY’RE, YOU KNOW– THEY’RE A MEASURE
OF YOUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS AND YOUR READING COMPREHENSION
SKILLS AND WHATEVER ELSE, BUT THAT’S ONLY ONE PART
OF WHO YOU ARE. THE MORE IMPORTANT PARTS ARE
YOUR PORTFOLIO OF WORK THAT YOU’VE CREATED. SO YOU KNOW, RIGHT NOW, IF
YOU’RE AN ARCHITECT OR DESIGNER, THEY WALK AROUND
WITH A PORTFOLIO. I THINK–IN FACT, I THINK
THAT IT IS ALREADY TRUE OF ALMOST ANY CAREER. I’VE TOLD, YOU KNOW,
SOME OF MY COUSINS WHO ARE NOW,
YOU KNOW, IN COLLEGE, I SAID, “LOOK, YOU KNOW,
GET GOOD GRADES, HAVE A–GET A GOOD DEGREE,
BUT THE WORK YOU CREATE, DOCUMENT IT, BECAUSE THAT’S
GOING TO IMPRESS PEOPLE MORE.” EVEN WHEN WE’RE HIRING
AT KHAN ACADEMY, WE’RE MORE IMPRESSED
IF WE CAN SEE PEOPLE’S WORK. AND THEN THE OTHER ASPECT IS
PEER FEEDBACK. WHAT DID YOUR PEERS
THINK OF YOU, WHAT DID YOUR LEADERS
THINK OF YOU, WHAT DID YOUR SUBORDINATES
THINK OF YOU WHEN THEY WORKED WITH YOU? SO I COMPLETELY AGREE THAT THE HOPE IS NOT TO JUST KIND OF
GET INTO THIS REDUCTIONIST, YOU KNOW,
CORE SKILLS WORLD, BUT TO LET–BUT IF WE CAN TACKLE
THAT MORE EFFICIENTLY TO BROADEN
HOW WE EVALUATE PEOPLE. – I HAVE A FOLLOW-ON QUESTION
THAT DIRECTLY RELATES TO WHAT YOU JUST SAID. YOU’RE GOING INTERNATIONAL, WHICH MEANS TOTALLY
CROSS-CULTURAL. – YEAH.
– AND YOU’RE CREATING AN INTERNATIONAL,
A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON WHAT CONSTITUTES
AN EDUCATED PERSON. HAVE YOU BEEN LOOKING
INTO THE CULTURES OF MONGOLIA AND ALL OF ASIA, WHICH ARE
LONG-ESTABLISHED CULTURES… – YEAH.
– AND CONSIDERING THE IMPLICATIONS CULTURALLY? AND I DON’T MEAN
ON A RELIGIOUS SENSE. – YEAH, YEAH.
NO, ABSOLUTELY. SO, YOU KNOW,
I THINK THE GENERAL IDEA IS, YOU KNOW, THE GOOD THING
IS, MATH IS NOT THAT, YOU KNOW, DIFFERENT FROM– YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY, THEY MIGHT
USE DIFFERENT NOTATION, DIFFERENT WORDS FOR THINGS,
BUT THERE’S A LOT OF AGREEMENT. THAT’S NOT A LOT–IT DOES
BECOME MORE OF AN ISSUE AS WE GO INTO SUBJECTIVE
SUBJECTS, ESPECIALLY HISTORY. AND WE EVEN–
YOU KNOW, I DID A– A FEW YEARS AGO,
THERE WAS AN ARTICLE THAT CAME OUT ABOUT–
YOU KNOW, THE CIA LITERALLY PUBLISHED DOCUMENTS
ABOUT THEIR INTERVENTION IN CHILE TO KIND OF– WITH THE ALLENDE REGIME, AND I
THOUGHT THIS WAS FASCINATING. I THOUGHT, WELL,
THIS WOULD MAKE A GOOD VIDEO. SO I LITERALLY WENT
TO THE PRIMARY DOCUMENTS, TALKED ABOUT IT,
UPLOADED IT, TRYING TO BE AS OBJECTIVE
AS POSSIBLE, TELLING PEOPLE, “LOOK, YOU KNOW,
EVERYONE’S GOT A BIAS, SO BE SKEPTICAL.”
AND IMMEDIATELY, A LOT OF AMERICANS WOULD SAY,
“HEY, THIS WAS A GOOD VIDEO.” SOME SAID, “OH, YOU COULD HAVE
BEEN A LITTLE BIT– YOU KNOW, IT WAS THE COLD WAR.
YOU COULD HAVE BEEN– GIVE A LITTLE BIT MORE CREDIT
TO THE CONTEXT.” BUT THEN SOME CHILEAN STUDENTS
CAME ON AND SAID, “YOU ARE AN IMPERIALIST PIG.
YOU HAVE WHITEWASHED HISTORY. MY UNCLE DIED
IN THAT INTERVENTION. THIS IS
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.” AND MY INITIAL REACTION WAS
LIKE, “WOW, YOU KNOW, THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN
ON THE ALGEBRA VIDEOS.” [laughter] AND IT ALSO DIDN’T HAPPEN
IN THE HISTORY CLASSES THAT I WAS A PART OF,
GROWING UP. BUT THEN THE QUESTION IS,
WELL, WHY DIDN’T IT HAPPEN IN THE HISTORY CLASSES?
‘CAUSE IN A TRADITIONAL– YOU KNOW,
IN A TRADITIONAL HISTORY CLASS, YOU KNOW, ROOM LIKE THIS, THE
PROFESSOR SAYS WHAT THEY SAY, AND PEOPLE TAKE NOTES,
AND THEY KIND OF FEED IT BACK TO THE PROFESSOR
ON THE EXAM. AND SO I THINK
ONE OF THE BEAUTY– ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS
ABOUT THE INTERNET IS HOW TRANSPARENT IT IS. AND YOU CAN’T GET AWAY
WITH EXTREME BIAS, BECAUSE SOMEONE’S GOING
TO CALL YOU ON THAT. WITH THAT SAID, I THINK IT’S
GOING TO BE, ESPECIALLY HISTORY, YOU KNOW, THERE’S A WHOLE SET
OF KIND OF HOT-BUTTON ISSUES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
THAT WE’RE– YOU KNOW, WE DON’T WANT TO–
OVER THE LONG-TERM, WE DEFINITELY DON’T WANT
TO SHY AWAY FROM THEM BECAUSE WE THINK PEOPLE–YOU
KNOW, THIS WILL HELP THE WORLD IF MORE PEOPLE
ARE JUST AWARE OF– BUT WE WANT TO DO IT
IN AN OBJECTIVE AND AS KIND OF
A RESPECTFUL WAY AS POSSIBLE. – I’M A FAIRLY NEW PARENT. I HAVE
A 2 1/2-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, AND SHE LOVES YOUTUBE
ON THE IPAD, AND WE HAVE TO DOLE IT OUT
AS A REWARD FOR CERTAIN THINGS TO HER
TO GET HER TO EAT AND TO DO OTHER THINGS.
[laughter] SO SCREEN TIME’S A BIG ISSUE
FOR PARENTS. AND THEN IT DAWNED ON ME, WHY
AM I HOOKING HER INTO YOUTUBE? I SHOULD BE, NOW, HOOKING HER
INTO KHAN ACADEMY. – YOU’RE A TIGER DAD.
– [laughs] SO I WANTED TO HEAR ANY STORIES
OF THE YOUNGEST KIDS WHO ARE USING KHAN ACADEMY
AND WHAT AGE THEY START OFF. AND THEN ALSO,
IF YOU YOURSELF HAVE KIDS AND IF YOU JUST TELL ‘EM,
HEY, GO AND– – YES.
– GO GET HELP FROM THE INTERNET WITH YOUR HOMEWORK.
– YES. SO I DO HAVE KIDS.
I HAVE A FIVE-YEAR-OLD, A THREE-YEAR-OLD,
AND A NEGATIVE THREE-MONTH-OLD. [laughter] A FEW PEOPLE WILL–
[applause] IT’S NOT HARD TO DO.
ANYWAY… [laughter] THE–SO, I MEAN, SO MY VIEW ON SCREEN TIME, I MEAN, A LOT OF PEOPLE ASK ME
ABOUT THIS, AND IT ACTUALLY–
IT WAS FUNNY. I WAS ONCE IN A MEETING
OF KIND OF THESE ED LEADERS, AND BILL GATES WAS THERE. AND YOU KNOW, A BUNCH OF PEOPLE
STARTED GOING ON THE WHOLE SCREEN TIME ISSUE
AND THEY’RE LIKE, “IS IT HEALTHY FOR KIDS
TO JUST STARE AT SOMETHING? YOU KNOW, EVEN IF
THEY’RE LEARNING A LOT, IS IT JUST HEALTHY FOR THEM
TO STARE AT IT FOR, YOU KNOW, AN HOUR AT A TIME,
EVEN IF THEY’RE”– AND THEN BILL GATES– I MEAN, I DON’T KNOW IF HE MEANT
TO BE FUNNY, BUT HE SAYS,
“YOU MEAN LIKE A BOOK?” AND THEY’RE LIKE,
“OH, THAT’S A GOOD POINT.” YOU KNOW, BUT I THINK
THERE’S A REAL THING THERE. LIKE, I MEAN, I–AND FOR ME,
I DON’T THINK OF IT FROM, LIKE, WHAT IS THE LIMIT? YOU KNOW, WHAT’S
THE MAXIMUM TIME OR MINIMUM TIME OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. I THINK OF IT MUCH MORE OF,
LIKE, IF IT’S– AS LONG AS THE KID IS GETTING
THE OTHER IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THEIR LIFE,
THEN THINGS ARE GOOD. IF THEY’RE SPENDING
A COUPLE OF HOURS A DAY OUTSIDE GETTING TO RUN AROUND, IF THEY
ARE GETTING A COUPLE HOURS A DAY INTERACTING WITH PEERS, YOU
KNOW, OR MAYBE THEIR SAME AGE OR ABOVE
AND BELOW A LITTLE BIT, IF THEY’RE GETTING
SEVERAL HOURS A DAY WHERE THEY’RE HAVING
QUALITY TIME WITH A PARENT JUST PLAYING AND IMAGINING
AND DOING THINGS, THEN, YOU KNOW–
THEN I THINK IT’S FINE. IT’S–BUT IF THEY HAVE
NO SCREEN TIME, BUT THEY ALSO DON’T GET
TO GO OUTSIDE AND THEY DON’T GET QUALITY TIME,
THEN I THINK IT’S– YOU KNOW, THAT’S THE WORST
OF ALL THE WORLDS. SO I THINK THAT’S THE–YOU KNOW,
AS LONG AS THEY GET A BROAD MIX,
AND ONCE AGAIN, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE IMAGINE WHAT THE SCHOOLS
OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE, WHEN WE SEE
THE BEST IMPLEMENTATIONS, THE KIDS ARE OUTSIDE
MORE THAN THEY WERE IN KIND OF
A NON-TECHNOLOGY ENABLED WORLD. THEY’RE INTERACTING
WITH EACH OTHER MORE THAN THEY DID
IN A TRADITIONAL CLASSROOM WHERE THEY WERE KIND OF JUST,
YOU KNOW, LISTENING AND TAKING NOTES. IN TERMS OF YOUNGEST, I MEAN, YOU KNOW, I WOULD SAY,
RIGHT NOW, KHAN ACADEMY, DEFINITELY
WE’VE SEEN IT RESONATE WELL WITH KIND OF MID TO LATE
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. WE HAVE JUST LAUNCHED
SOME EARLY LEARNING CONTENT. I WILL SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, IT’S
STILL LEVERAGING THE INTERFACE OF THE STUFF THAT’S BEING USED
BY MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS,
SO IT’S NOT PERFECT. AND WE ARE–
YOU KNOW, WE JUST BROUGHT ON SOME INCREDIBLE PEOPLE
TO REALLY THINK ABOUT IT IN KIND OF A MOBILE ENVIRONMENT,
‘CAUSE OBVIOUSLY, ESPECIALLY FOR, YOU KNOW,
FOLKS YOUR DAUGHTER’S AGE, YOU KNOW,
BUT EVERY NOW AND THEN, I’VE ENCOUNTERED, YOU KNOW,
A PARENT WHO’S– YOU KNOW, HAS A FIVE-YEAR-OLD
OR SOMETHING WHO USES IT. BUT I MEAN,
THAT MAKES ME INSECURE, ‘CAUSE MY SON WASN’T ON IT,
AND YOU KNOW– AND ANYWAY, I’M TRYING NOT
TO PROJECT TOO MUCH. WE WERE AT–ACTUALLY,
AT WHOLE FOODS THE OTHER DAY, AND SOMEONE RECOGNIZED ME–
ME AND MY SON– HE LIKES TAKING RIDES
IN ELEVATORS, SO WE WERE, LIKE,
ON OUR FIFTH RIDE. AND SOMEONE SAID,
“OH, KHAN ACADEMY.” HE’S LIKE,
“IS THIS YOUR SON?” I WAS LIKE,
“YEAH, THIS IS MY SON.” – HE WAS LIKE, “OH, YOU MUST BE
SO GOOD AT MATH.” [laughter]
“WHAT’S FOUR PLUS THREE?” AND HE’S LIKE, “SIX.” I’M GOING,
“NO. OH, NO.” SO, YEAH.
SO I DON’T KNOW. I THINK I’M GONNA HAVE MY OWN
SET OF ISSUES TO DEAL WITH. – HI.
– OH. OH, YES. – YEAH, ALL THE WAY BACK.
– YES. – I WAS WONDERING IF THERE WERE
ANY PLANS FOR KHAN ACADEMY TO BE ADDING CURRICULUM
TO LEARN NEW LANGUAGES. – HMM. YEAH. NO, I MEAN,
THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS NO. I MEAN, IT’S INTERESTING.
WE WERE JUST CHATTING WITH SOME
OF THE DUOLINGO FOLKS. I DON’T KNOW
IF YOU ALL ARE FAMILIAR. I MEAN, THEY’RE A GREAT APP
FOR LEARNING LANGUAGES. BUT NO, WE DON’T.
I MEAN, I– YOU KNOW, I’VE GOT IDEAS
FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING, AND, I MEAN, I’LL TELL YOU
SOME OF MY CRAZY IDEAS. YOU KNOW, SETTING UP
SKYPE BUDDIES WITH, YOU KNOW,
KIDS OF DIFFERENT AGES– I MIGHT TRY TO SET IT UP
FOR MY KIDS IN THE NEAR FUTURE– WHERE, YOU KNOW, A KID IN INDIA
OR A KID IN MEXICO, WHERE THEY SPEND SOME TIME
IN ENGLISH, SOME TIME
IN THE OTHER LANGUAGE AND TRY TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
TOGETHER. I’VE EVEN THOUGHT THAT,
YOU KNOW, THE BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE
INSTRUCTION–AND IT ACTUALLY– IN FACT, IT DEFINITELY
WOULD BE MORE ECONOMICAL– WOULD, YOU KNOW, JUST SEND THEM
TO A COUNTRY FOR A MONTH, AND THEY WILL COME BACK
HAVING KNOWN THE LANGUAGE. SO YES–BUT NO, WE AREN’T PROBABLY GONNA DO
FOREIGN LANGUAGE ANYTIME SOON. YES.
– HI, SO I SPEND A LOT OF TIME, LIKE YOU, WITH MIT ENGINEERS
AND NASA ENGINEERS, AND THERE’S A LARGE PERCENTAGE
OF PEOPLE IN THAT POPULATION WHO FIT THE FOLLOWING
DESCRIPTION, WHICH IS, THEY’RE REALLY GOOD IN MATH,
AND THINGS LIKE WRITING ESSAYS AND WRITING STORIES,
THEY’RE, YOU KNOW, NOT SO GREAT. SO I ACTUALLY SIGNED UP
ON KHAN ACADEMY A FEW MONTHS AGO AND I WAS LOOKING
FOR A WRITING COURSE. – MM.
– DIDN’T FIND ONE, SO I THOUGHT–WELL,
I HAD A RANGE OF RESPONSES. AT ONE END, I’M THINKING,
MAYBE THAT’S TOO CHALLENGING OR THERE’S SOMETHING UNIQUE
ABOUT IT AND THEY JUST HAVEN’T GOTTEN
TO IT YET. AT THE OTHER END
OF THE SPECTRUM, I’M THINKING, WELL, MAYBE FOR SOME CAREERS,
YOU KNOW, WRITING ISN’T THAT IMPORTANT. – OH, NO.
WELL, I MEAN, I– I PUT UP–I PUT WRITING UP
THERE, I MEAN, IF, YOU KNOW– LIKE, THAT’S THE ENABLER
OF, YOU KNOW, ALMOST EVERYTHING. AND, I MEAN, I THINK
THERE’S A TRAGEDY OUT THERE TOO. I MEAN, I AGREE, A LOT OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE STRONG IN MATH AND SCIENCE KIND OF THINK
WRITING ISN’T FOR THEM, AND THEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE
ON THE OTHER SIDE WHO ARE STRONG WRITERS,
WHO THINK MATH AND SCIENCE ISN’T FOR THEM,
AND IT’S A TRAGEDY, BECAUSE IF ANYTHING,
I’VE SEEN– IT’S THE SAME EXACT MUSCLES
YOU USE. IT’S THE ABILITY
TO THINK CLEARLY, TO STRUCTURE YOUR THOUGHT,
TO BE LOGICAL. SO, I MEAN, I ACTUALLY THINK
IF PEOPLE ALLOW THEMSELVES TO THINK THIS WAY,
THE PEOPLE– THE VERY SAME PEOPLE
WHO ARE EXCELLENT WRITERS CAN BE AMAZING MATHEMATICIANS
AND VICE VERSA. AND, YOU KNOW, I SEE KIND OF A–
THERE’S A COROLLARY THERE WHERE I SEE PEOPLE
WHO IT’S LIKE, “OH, I’M NOT
INTO MATH AND SCIENCE. I CONSIDER MYSELF
A CREATIVE PERSON.” AND THAT KILLS ME TOO,
BECAUSE AS WE ALL KNOW, MATH AND SCIENCE IS, YOU KNOW,
ESPECIALLY IN ENGINEERING, IT’S ALL ABOUT CREATING THINGS
THAT NEVER EXISTED BEFORE. AND I THINK
SOME OF THIS DICHOTOMY HAPPENS BECAUSE, YOU KNOW,
EARLY ON IN OUR EDUCATION, WE EVALUATE STUDENTS, YOU KNOW,
WITH THESE TESTS, YOU KNOW. AT THIRD GRADE, HOW WELL CAN YOU
MULTIPLY THESE TWO NUMBERS? HAVE YOU MEMORIZED
YOUR MULTIPLICATION TABLES WELL? AND WE EVALUATE,
AND WE GIVE THEM– YOU KNOW,
WE GIVE THEM A GRADE. AND THAT GRADE ISN’T LIKE,
OH, YOU KNEW 80%. LET’S KEEP WORKING ON IT,
SO YOU GET 100%. THAT GRADE IS, YOU KNEW 80%.
YOU ARE A “C” STUDENT. YOU ARE MEDIOCRE. JUST REMEMBER THAT,
YOU’RE MEDIOCRE. AND WHAT THAT DOES IS– OH, I MEAN, WELL, I JUST LOST MY
TRAIN OF THOUGHT WITH ALL THE– WHAT WERE WE TALKING ABOUT?
– WRITING. – OH, WRITING.
YEAH, WE WERE TALKING– [muttering]
[laughter] IT WAS REALLY GOOD TOO,
WHAT I WAS ABOUT TO SAY. ANYWAY, I’M GONNA REMEMBER IT
IN, LIKE, 30 SECONDS. BUT I JUST HAD A COMPLETE–YES.
BUT ANYWAY, THE– OH, NOW I REMEMBER.
WE– [laughter] THAT–WHAT THAT IS,
IS THAT’S LIKE– THAT’S LIKE
EVALUATING ARTISTS BASED ON HOW WELL
THEY MIX PAINT. OR IT’S LIKE EVALUATING A DANCER BASED ON HOW FLEXIBLE THEY ARE
AT AGE EIGHT. AND SO I THINK
THERE COULD BE A LOT THAT COULD BE DONE
ON THE WRITING SIDE. I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE
HAVE A FEAR OF WRITING. THEY HAD A TEACHER AT SOME POINT
THAT WAS VERY, “HEY, YOU MISSPELLED
THAT WORD.” AND THEY LOST
THE CREATIVE SIDE. HEY, JUST WRITE,
WRITE WHAT YOU’RE THINKING. WRITE FREELY, WRITE WHAT
YOU’RE–YOUR ARGUMENT. AND LIKEWISE, A LOT OF PEOPLE
GET TURNED OFF OF MATH AND SCIENCE. THEY GOT DINGED, HEY,
YOU’RE NOT GOOD AT THIS OR THAT. EVEN THOUGH THEY WOULD LOVE TO
BUILD THINGS AND CREATE THINGS. IN TERMS OF KIND OF THE WRITING,
I MEAN, IT IS SOMETHING THAT ONE DAY
WE WILL WANT TO DO ON KHAN ACADEMY. I THINK
IT’S ACTUALLY GOING TO BE SOMETHING CLOSER TO
OUR COMPUTER SCIENCE PLATFORM, WHERE YOU HAVE THESE PROJECTS,
YOU CAN CREATE THEM. YOU CAN PUBLISH THEM,
THEY’RE IN YOUR PROFILE, AND THEY’RE ESSENTIALLY
YOUR PORTFOLIO. AND THEN THE REST
OF THE COMMUNITY CAN GIVE YOU FEEDBACK
ON HOW YOU DID, AND SO YOU CAN KEEP ITERATING
AND MAKING THEM BETTER. – OKAY, THANKS.
– YEAH. – I MENTOR MOUNTAIN VIEW
HIGH SCHOOL ROBOTICS TEAM. AND ONE
OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES I HAVE AS A MENTOR FOR THESE KIDS,
THESE HIGH SCHOOL KIDS– I’M AN ENGINEER HERE AT NASA– IS GETTING THEM TO COMMIT
TO DOING IT, TO, YOU KNOW, GO READ STUFF OUTSIDE
OF SOMEONE HANDING IT TO ‘EM AND ALL THAT, AND YOU SHOWING
THE YOUNG FELLOW HERE’S VIDEO, I WAS THINKING,
HE WAS ONE OF THOSE KIDS– MAYBE WORSE SO
THAN THE ONES I’M WITH– AND THEN HE ENGAGED,
AND HE COMMITTED TO LEARN, AND HE FOLLOWED THROUGH, AND
HE’S DONE EXCEPTIONALLY WELL. THE ONES THAT I MENTOR
THAT DO THAT, COMMIT AND GO ON,
DO REALLY WELL. THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I HAVE
IS TO GETTING THEM TO COMMIT. – YEAH.
– WHAT DO YOU HAVE ON THAT? – YEAH, I MEAN, YOU KNOW,
THERE’S NO SIMPLE ANSWER THERE. I MEAN, I–THERE’S– YOU KNOW, I WILL CITE,
THERE’S ALL THIS– YOU KNOW, THIS IS SOMETHING
WE TALK A LOT ABOUT IN OUR OWN–
AT KHAN ACADEMY. THERE’S ALL THIS RESEARCH
AROUND MIND-SETS, AROUND, YOU KNOW,
THE GROWTH MIND-SET– HOW MANY OF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THIS IDEA
OF A GROWTH MIND-SET? ANY–OKAY, A FEW FOLKS.
THERE’S A RESEARCHER, CAROL DWECK AT STANFORD,
HER WHOLE RESEARCH FOR THE LAST SEVERAL DECADES
IS GROWTH MIND-SET. AND IT’S THIS IDEA THAT YOU CAN
EITHER HAVE A GROWTH MIND-SET OR A FIXED MIND-SET. AND UNFORTUNATELY, MOST OF
THE WORLD HAS A FIXED MIND-SET. THEY JUST THINK THAT THEY’RE
EITHER GOOD OR BAD AT SOMETHING. I’M A GOOD WRITER.
I’M BAD AT MATH. OR I’M–YOU KNOW,
SO THEY THINK INNATE, IT WAS KIND OF GOD-GIVEN. WHILE A GROWTH MIND-SET PERSON
SAYS, “WELL, IF I KEEP WORKING ON SOMETHING ENOUGH
AND IF I REALLY OWN IT, I CAN EVENTUALLY GET
TO WHATEVER I NEED TO GET TO.” AND HER RESEARCH HAS SHOWN
THAT, LIKE, IF YOU DO GROWTH MIND-SET
INTERVENTIONS– THERE’S ANOTHER RESEARCHER,
ANGELA DUCKWORTH AT UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA,
ON GRIT AND PERSEVERANCE– AND THEY DO THESE, YOU KNOW,
YOU WOULD THINK, ALMOST SUPERFICIAL
INTERVENTIONS, WHERE THEY WILL JUST TELL
THE STUDENT THAT, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU MAKE A MISTAKE,
THAT’S WHEN YOUR BRAIN GROWS. OR THEY WOULD DO
A LITTLE INTERVENTION ABOUT– AND IT HAS ALL SORTS
OF IMPLICATIONS FOR THE REST OF THEIR– SO IT’S–
I THINK IT’S PART OF OWNING– PART OF THE REASON
WHY PEOPLE DON’T OWN THINGS IS BECAUSE THEY’RE AFRAID
OF STRUGGLING AND FAILING, AND THEN THEY KIND OF
JUDGE THEMSELVES. SO I THINK
THAT’S PROBABLY ONE ASPECT. I THINK THE OTHER ASPECT
OF IT, THAT’S HAPPENING FOR A LOT
OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, IS THAT WE KIND OF
OVERSCHEDULE THEIR TIME, SO THEY HAVE–
THERE’S NO BREATHING ROOM. AND THAT TIME IS LITERALLY,
YOU KNOW, LIKE, THEY HAVE SIX DIFFERENT TEACHERS
SAYING, DO THIS TONIGHT.
DO THAT TONIGHT. DO THAT TONIGHT. THEY’RE JUST SO TIRED
JUST DOING BUSYWORK ALL NIGHT THAT THEY DON’T HAVE TIME,
THEY DON’T HAVE SPACE TO KIND OF START TO OWN THINGS. BUT I THINK THIS–YOU KNOW,
THIS GROWTH MIND-SET STUFF, I WAS–WHEN I FIRST HEARD OF IT,
I WAS LIKE, THAT’S INTERESTING. WE’VE EVEN RUN SOME EXPERIMENTS
ON KHAN ACADEMY. WE’RE ALWAYS RUNNING EXPERIMENTS
TO SEE WHAT WORKS, AND WE’VE DONE SOME GROWTH
MIND-SET EXPERIMENTS, AND THEY DID WORK. AND YOU KNOW, VERY RECENTLY,
WHILE I WAS WORKING WITH MY SON TO TEACH HIM HOW TO READ, AND HE
WAS STRUGGLING WITH WORDS, AND I COULD SEE THAT HE WAS
GETTING A LITTLE DISCOURAGED, I, LITERALLY–
I TOLD HIM, “YOU KNOW, RIGHT WHEN YOU’RE STRUGGLING
IS WHEN YOUR BRAIN GROWS.” AND ACTUALLY, I WENT
A LITTLE FURTHER THAN THAT. I WAS LIKE, “AND I THINK I SAW
YOUR BRAIN GROW.” [laughter] AND NOW, I MEAN, IT’S– I MEAN, I DON’T KNOW
IF I SHOULD SHARE THE SECRET ‘CAUSE IT’S A COMPETITIVE WORLD,
BUT THIS– BUT JUST LAST NIGHT,
HE, LIKE, YOU KNOW, STRUGGLED THROUGH
A COUPLE OF WORDS IN THE BOOK, AND HE’S LIKE, “I STRUGGLED
THROUGH SEVEN WORDS. DID MY BRAIN GROW?” AND I
WAS LIKE, “I THINK IT DID.” HE’S LIKE, “OH, GOOD.”
AND THEN– AND SO I THINK IT’S–
YOU KNOW, ANYWAY, IT’S– I THINK THERE’S SOMETHING THERE,
BUT, YOU KNOW, THERE’S OBVIOUSLY
NOT A SILVER BULLET. – SO FIRST, I WOULD LIKE
TO MAKE A COMMENT AND THANK YOU
FOR WHAT YOU’RE DOING. YOU MADE A COMMENT ABOUT YOUR COUSIN
HAVING COMMON QUESTIONS… – MM-HMM.
– AND HOW JUST WORKING OVER THOSE COMMON QUESTIONS
WILL BRIDGE THE GAP. AND I REALIZED THE POWER OF
HAVING SOMEONE WHO’S EDUCATED, IN THE LIFE OF A YOUNG STUDENT,
TO BE ABLE TO HELP THEM NAVIGATE THAT. FOR MANY STUDENTS, FROM
COMMUNITIES THAT I COME FROM, DON’T HAVE THAT.
– NO. – AND SO ONE OF THE THINGS,
WHEN I LISTEN TO YOUR TALK, AND WHEN I LISTENED
TO YOUR TED TALK, IT HELPS ME TO REALIZE
HOW TRANSFORMATIVE AND REVOLUTIONARY
WHAT YOU’RE CREATING HERE IS IN ORDER TO DEMOCRATIZE
EDUCATION AND INCREASE ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION, SO I’M
REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT. I WAS JUST TALKING TO
A COUPLE OF MY COLLEAGUES TODAY ABOUT HOW I WANT TO WORK
AND DO RESEARCH ON EQUITY ISSUES IN EDUCATION,
YOU KNOW, ESPECIALLY IN UNDER-RESOURCED,
UNDERSERVED AREAS. SO I REALLY APPRECIATE THE TOOLS
THAT YOU’RE PRESENTING HERE. SO I WANT TO THANK YOU.
THAT’S ONE THING. AND THEN THE SECOND THING
IS MY QUESTION. YOU MENTIONED SOMETHING
ABOUT THE CHARTER SCHOOL IN OAKLAND
AND HOW THAT’S A TOOL AND HOW IT IMPROVED
STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN THAT CHARTER SCHOOL. IS THERE ANYTHING
IN YOUR BUSINESS PLAN OR IN YOUR FUTURE PLANS
FOR EXPANDING OR REACHING OUT TO UNDERSERVED,
UNDER-RESOURCED COMMUNITIES OR SCHOOL DISTRICTS? BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT EDUCATION
SHOULDN’T DEPEND ON YOUR ZIP CODE.
– YEAH. – AND IT SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE
THAT SAME PHILOSOPHY. SHOULDN’T DEPEND
ON YOUR ZIP CODE, SHOULDN’T DEPEND
ON YOUR PARENTS’ INCOME, BUT RATHER,
IT SHOULD BE FREE FOR ALL. – YEAH.
– AND SO I WAS WONDERING IF THERE’S ANYTHING
WITHIN YOUR PLAN OR IN THE SCOPE
OF YOUR PROJECT TO REACH THOSE DEMOGRAPHICS?
– YEAH. NO, ABSOLUTELY. AND THOSE ARE GOOD POINTS. I MEAN, WE EVEN SEE IT
ON THE DATA ON OUR SITE IS IF YOU ARE
ON KHAN ACADEMY AND YOU HAVE A COACH–
SO THIS COULD BE A PARENT, OR IT COULD BE A TEACHER,
OR IT COULD BE JUST A COUSIN– YOU ARE 50% MORE ENGAGED THAN A STUDENT
WITHOUT A COACH. SO IT’S VERY IMPORTANT–
AND IT COULD BE SOMEONE WHO HAS A BACKGROUND
AND, YOU KNOW, WHO’S EDUCATED AND ALL THAT, BUT SOMETIMES IT’S
LITERALLY JUST HAVING AN ADULT, SOMEONE WHO CARES,
SOMEONE WHO TAKES INTEREST– THAT’S PROBABLY 90% OF IT, SOMEONE WHO TAKES INTEREST
IN WHAT YOU’RE DOING. IN TERMS OF REACHING–YOU KNOW,
AND THIS IS ACTUALLY SOMETHING, OBVIOUSLY, VERY CLOSE
TO OUR HEARTS. THIS IS
IN OUR MISSION STATEMENT, TO REACH ANYONE ANYWHERE– I THINK, YOU KNOW,
THE UNFORTUNATE– WELL, THE REALITY OF TODAY
IS WE ARE DEPENDENT ON SOMEONE HAVING ACCESS
TO BROADBAND OR A DECENT INTERNET CONNECTION
AND A COMPUTER. AND RIGHT NOW, 70%
OF THE DEVELOPED WORLD HAS IT, AND 30% DOESN’T. AND IN THE REST OF THE WORLD,
IT’S THE OTHER WAY AROUND– 30% HAVE IT, 70% DON’T. AND THE UNFORTUNATE THING IS,
EVEN IN THE U.S., THE 30% WHO DON’T ARE THE EXACT PEOPLE WHO COULD
BENEFIT THE MOST FROM IT. SO WE’RE EXPLORING WAYS
THAT WE CAN GET MORE OUTREACH, WHERE–YOU KNOW, WHENEVER
I MEET ANYONE IN GOVERNMENT, WHATEVER, I WAS LIKE–
AND THEY SAY, “WHAT CAN WE DO?” I WAS LIKE,
“JUST HELP BUILD AWARENESS.” THIS IS THE EASIEST THING. YOU
KNOW, TELL YOUR CONSTITUENTS, THIS THING EXISTS. IT IS FREE.
YOU CAN USE IT. WE’RE ALSO ALWAYS EAGER
TO FIGURE OUT, WHO CAN WE PARTNER WITH? IF YOU CAN’T HAVE ACCESS
AT HOME, ARE THERE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS,
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS, LIBRARIES WHERE KIDS
CAN ACCESS IT? SO IT’S SOMETHING
WE’RE EXPLORING, AND YOU KNOW, I DON’T THINK THERE’S
AN EASY SOLUTION TO IT TOMORROW. BUT I THINK OVER
THE NEXT FIVE, TEN YEARS– YOU KNOW, I THINK IN TEN YEARS,
EVERY TV IS ESSENTIALLY GOING TO BE
A COMPUTATION DEVICE. AND SO AT THAT POINT,
AT LEAST IN THE U.S., WE’LL BE ABLE TO HAVE
MUCH DEEPER PENETRATION. SO ACCESS IS PART OF IT,
NOT GONNA GET SOLVED OVERNIGHT. AND THE OTHER PART OF IT IS,
YES, HOW DO WE BUILD MENTORSHIP, KIND OF A NETWORK
OF MENTORS? AND I THINK THAT’S GONNA BE
PARTNERS WITH, LIKE, BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS
AND THE FOLKS LIKE THAT. – THANK YOU. – SO PLEASE JOIN ME
IN THANKING SALMAN KHAN. [applause] [musical tones]
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