Salman Khan: “The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined” | Talks at Google

Salman Khan: “The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined” | Talks at Google

September 11, 2019 80 By Ronny Jaskolski


ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, good morning
or good afternoon, or good evening, depending on
where you are in Google. This is a familiar venue
for me, and I hope for all of you as well. We occasionally get to visit
with people who are probably more consequential than anybody
else in the world or pretty close. And in my career, I’ve had an
opportunity to visit and know one or two or three or
four of such people– Vint Cerf, for example, who
invented the internet. It may very well be that Salman
Khan becomes the most important educator in
the entire world. We will see. [LAUGHTER] ERIC SCHMIDT: But to imagine
the potential that this gentleman has, in terms of
changing the world ahead of us, literally gives me
goosebumps, to think of the impact that his invention and
his approach can have for billions of people. It is an honor and a privilege
to have you here at Google. SALMAN KHAN: Well, it’s
great to be here. And I like the low
expectations that you’ve set for me. ERIC SCHMIDT: So I think this
audience pretty much knows Sal’s story. But for those who may not know,
this is a gentleman who should have done
something else. Brilliant mathematician,
physics, everything you could imagine. On his way to the most lucrative
possible job, running hedge funds
here in New York. SALMAN KHAN: I think second
most lucrative after– well, anyway. ERIC SCHMIDT: And somehow, right
at that point, he made a decision that changed his life,
his family’s life, and I think, literally everyone
else’s. You want to talk about how you
got into the video YouTube business big time? SALMAN KHAN: Yeah so a lot
of you all might know the initial, genesis story. I was working with my
cousins remotely. Initially, I was in Boston. Then, the firm that I was
working for, it was me, my boss, who was our portfolio
manager, and his dog. The dog was the chief
economist. His wife became a professor
at Stanford Law. So then, we moved out
to Silicon Valley. And then, while I was tutoring
all of my cousins remotely, and I started working on the
interactive part, which is the questions and the quizzing and
keeping track of students. And I didn’t think about the
video it all, at that point. This was Fall of 2006. I was showing this to a friend
in Silicon Valley. You know, the software part
I was showing him. And he said, oh,
this is great. I said, but my problem is I’m
having trouble keeping up with all these cousins. And he’s the one that
recommended, well, there’s this thing called YouTube. And I was like, yeah. I’ve kind of heard of it. And why don’t you make some
tutorials and put it on that. I was like, no, no. YouTube is for cats
playing piano. It’s not for math. But I got over the idea that
it wasn’t my idea. And I gave it a shot. And I think a lot of stories
that you all are familiar with on YouTube– I’m not quite at Justin
Bieber scale yet– but a lot of people started
watching it. I had set it up as a
not-for-profit in 2008. And in 2009, as you described,
it was already taking over my life. At that point, there was no way
I could do anything else. ERIC SCHMIDT: So this is really
all about YouTube. SALMAN KHAN: It is. ERIC SCHMIDT: OK. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah,
I don’t think– ERIC SCHMIDT: I think,
frankly, you should just thank YouTube. SALMAN KHAN: I should. I should just thank YouTube. That’s right. ERIC SCHMIDT: So content– if it had not existed, you
would be like nothing. SALMAN KHAN: I would just
be one of those– ERIC SCHMIDT: You would
be making lots of money in hedge funds. SALMAN KHAN: Yes, exactly,
exactly. ERIC SCHMIDT: So what happened
was, we had this wonderful scenario where YouTube
created a platform. And then, you decided to
start working on math. How did this idea go from the
first, with your cousin? And how did it go to being all
of high school, all of everything? SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, it’s
interesting question. When I started this– Fall of 2006, early 2007– like everyone else, Wikipedia
was already out there. And you’re like, anything
substantive is going to be the crowd. Or it’s definitely going
to be multiple people. When you just think about
a K through 12 review. Khan is actually more
K through 14, or even goes into college. But it seems like this huge
amount of content. If you look at the textbooks,
each of these courses are like these 1,000 page textbooks. And so I immediately started. Well, I’m just going to do these
as a proof of concept. And I will then get my friends
or people I know, to kind of join in. We can do this together. Then, maybe collectively,
20 of us might be able to tackle Algebra. But once I started
doing it, I made about 80 videos initially. I was like, it’s not
100% comprehensive. But if someone watches those and
understands those, that’s a pretty good scaffold
of algebra. ERIC SCHMIDT: And it’s important
to– those of you who are not studying high school
algebra at the moment. But these are in fact
very simple videos. They’re shot with just
a little white board. SALMAN KHAN: When I
started doing it. I said, well, these are
for my cousins. I don’t feel like buying
a video camera. And I didn’t feel like buying
anything fancy. So I literally used a USB
headset and Microsoft paint. I didn’t even look to see
if there was something. ERIC SCHMIDT: We have
better products. SALMAN KHAN: I’ve
learned that. I’ve learned that. I now use another
free program. ERIC SCHMIDT: Everything
at Google is free. Trust me. SALMAN KHAN: Oh, yes. That is pressure– But anyway, I started
making them. And they were really just you
saw my little scrawls. And the first few ones, I
actually cringe when I look at the older ones. But some people said, oh,
I really like that. It felt very homespun
type of thing. But yeah, they’re kind of
the shaky handwriting. And you hear my voice-over. But it became clear. A lot of people think content
goes stale fast. And it’s true. If you’re writing a blog, if
you’re doing a news site, every day you’ve got to have– and people say, content
doesn’t scale. But with was stuff like algebra,
those 80 videos, it took me like a month
to do them. That’s kind of algebra. And then, I kept going. And it eventually became like
this Forrest Gump type– can I race across America
type of adventure. And I said well, I’m going
to do all of mathematics. ERIC SCHMIDT: And so we’re
clear, he didn’t stop when he did all of mathematics. Yes, what’s next after
mathematics? SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, the physics
was close to my heart. ERIC SCHMIDT: OK, that
was easy for you. What was the next one? SALMAN KHAN: Then, I was an
analyst at a hedge fund. And it was funny because
everyone– ERIC SCHMIDT: So how about– you did this “Origins of the
Financial Disaster” video? SALMAN KHAN: Yes. And people should look at– ERIC SCHMIDT: Who was the
target for that one? SALMAN KHAN: It was for people
I meet at cocktail parties. Because people say, you’re an
analyst at a hedge fund. And I was actually like a huge
housing bear in like 2005, 2006, 2007. And everybody says, how
come you haven’t bought a house yet? They could only go up. And you could– and I would say, let me
explain it to you. Actually, that used to be my
interview questions, when I used to interview someone
at a hedge fund. I would say, should
I rent or buy? And they would say,
you should buy. I was like, I haven’t even
told you the price yet. And they were like, OK. And you just keep going. And they’re like, the
rent is this. This is that. This is the house. It’s a $1 million. Should I rent or buy? Oh, you should buy that. OK. Now the house is $2 million. The rent hasn’t changed. Should you rent or buy? And so I felt that needed some
explanation to the world that there is a way of thinking about
this type of a problem. And then, I did a whole
thing about the– ERIC SCHMIDT: My guess is none
of the hedge fund managers have actually watched your
seven minute video. They’re too embarrassed to learn
from YouTube and you. SALMAN KHAN: Some of them have
actually been more forthright. During the financial crisis, I
did get a letter– and I won’t say which bank– from someone who said, thank
you for the video on mortgage-backed securities. I now know what I
do for a living. Which I thought, better
late than never. ERIC SCHMIDT: By the way, it’s
important to know that Sal has just organized a computer
science program. So those of you who are computer
scientists, you have an opportunity to learn about
computer science. SALMAN KHAN: I don’t think. Yes, I think the folks here
will– well anyway. ERIC SCHMIDT: There’s a very
interesting story that is the transition from you. At some point, you ran out
of USB camera time. And the time sitting
in your apartment. And you wanted to found– And Khan Academy is a
non-profit, by the way. So tell us. How did you go to being a
significant organization? How did you get funded? How did you get your
board set? SALMAN KHAN: Yeah. So there was one foundation that
in 2008 was saying, oh, are you a not-for-profit. I’m like, what’s a
not-for-profit. That’s my intention. And they told me. No, it’s a thing. You’d have to file it– become
a corporation then file with the IRS. And I said, I’m going
to do it. And originally, I called
up some law firm. And they said it was
$20,000 to do that. Then I found some people in
Tennessee who did it over the internet for $2,000. They’re actually very good. Actually, I’ll be a referral
for them at any point. So they set it up. That foundation didn’t end up
supporting Khan Academy. Then, in 2009, when I’d quit
my job, I started to think about it more seriously. ERIC SCHMIDT: Because
you didn’t have money for the rent. SALMAN KHAN: Because
I didn’t have. ERIC SCHMIDT: You had failed
to purchase a house. SALMAN KHAN: Yes, I didn’t
have a house. And not having money makes you
take things seriously. And I started pitching to a
bunch of foundations and philanthropists. And it was in May of 2010 that,
famously, Ann Doerr sent that $10,000 check. And I immediately emailed her
back saying, if we were physical school, you
would now have a building named after you. That was the largest donation
ever gotten. The rest before that,
it was like $50 was the biggest donation. And then, we famously met
in downtown Palo Alto. And she said, well, what’s
your vision? I said, it’s a free world-class
education for anyone anywhere. And she said, that’s
a modest ambition. And what does it envision? And actually, around the same
time, I had some initial talks with Google as well. And this is what I was
telling everyone. I was like, I want to keep
making these videos. We can translate them into the
languages of the world. We can create an interactive
platform. We can have a community
of learners. And she said, well, that’s
interesting. And how are you supporting
yourself? And I said, I’m not. And then, when I went home,
she wrote that first– she sent a wire over text. You should be supporting
yourself. I’ve just wired you $100,000. So it was a good day. And then, it was really
later that summer that it all came to– I was talking to Google
this entire time. And I didn’t realize it
was all about this 10 to the 100 Project. And it was really at the end of
that summer that the Google folks said, what would you
do with $2 million? And I said, is this
an open question? Because I could buy some pets. ERIC SCHMIDT: I was like that
interview question. SALMAN KHAN: But it was
really the same pitch that I told Ann. So by that fall, they were
really the first. At that point, it
was the largest donation is the $2 million. ERIC SCHMIDT: And Bill Gates
Foundation was also a significant– SALMAN KHAN: Yes, right out
the gate, in that fall of 2010, it was Google $2 million,
Gates Foundation, same order of magnitude. You know, get our first
office space. At the time, it was to hire a
team of five people and start translating into the different
languages and build a software platform. So thank you. ERIC SCHMIDT: And I want
to credit Ann Doerr. Ann, who I’ve known for many,
many years, is John Doerr’s wife– he’s on our board– saw this and immediately
understood the scale of what this could be. And I’ve told her, I think this
may be the single most important professional thing
she ever does, at the scale that you’re now operating. And she’s been fantastic
as a supporter. And I’ve recently joined the
board, in the spirit of full disclosure. And obviously, I’m
a supporter. The interesting thing is that
there was a point at which you went from hey, I’m making really
interesting videos. What happened in the US was
that moms and dads, mostly moms, who had preteen kids
started watching these videos. And it was completely
word of mouth. And so you’d hear this. And you’d hear it
in your corner. Who’s Khan Academy? There’s a different Khan. That’s like a politician. SALMAN KHAN: There’s
a Bollywood actor. He’s somewhat well known. ERIC SCHMIDT: OK. So it’s one of those
underground kind of viral things. And it worked. And that was where, I
think, the word of mouth really started. And then with the Google
grant, you got this opportunity to the international
thing. But then something interesting
happened. Somehow, you decided to change
the way education works or at least run the experiment. And you showed up
in Los Altos. This is where you live,
in Los Altos. And you sort of say, hey, I
want to change the school system in my little district. SALMAN KHAN: I live
in Mountain View. But obviously, I live literally
100 meters away. So they’re the adjacent
school district. And when we got the first
grants from the Gates Foundation and Google, we
still viewed this– none of that initial pitch
was about thinking about transforming physical schools
or thinking about what education could become or what
happens with higher education. We were just like, no. Through virtual means, we’re
going to do the best we can to see how we can deliver knowledge
and interactivity and whatever else. But right when we did that, Los
Altos came to us and said, we heard some stuff about
what you’re doing. Maybe it could be used
in a physical school. So what would you do? ERIC SCHMIDT: Was it really your
idea or really sort of a joint idea? Or is it some superintendent
who was clever? SALMAN KHAN: Actually, it was
Mark Goines, who’s a fairly prominent angel investor in
the valley, who was on the board of Los Altos. And we were introduced by I
think some at the Gates– he’s an interesting guy to
talk to, a good adviser. He’s a great guy. We met at that Pete’s
Coffee on Castro. And at the end of it, he’s
like, I’m on the board at Los Altos. I’d love to have you meet the
superintendent and the assistant superintendent. And then when we chatted, they
said, well, what would you do with a fifth grade classroom? And I said, now that there are
ways to get lecture other than a traditional, physical lecture,
now that there are ways to get interactive problem
solving and give teachers data, I wouldn’t
have classroom based on lectures anymore. And as soon as it’s not based
on lecture, then it doesn’t have to be at the same
pace anymore, either. So we’ll have every student
working at their own pace. Teachers get information about
it and are able to intervene in a very personal way with
students or have the students intervene with each other
in a personal way. And I thought this was a very
theoretical conversation. It’s let me dream big. And they came back, literally
three days later, and said, this is a great idea. Let’s try it. We want to try it in
four classrooms. ERIC SCHMIDT: By the way,
this never happens. This is like a meteorite hit. That’s how rate random
this is. SALMAN KHAN: No, it was funny. Because right when they
said that, I was like, oh, that’s great. ERIC SCHMIDT: You must have
done a pretty good job of pitching this. SALMAN KHAN: Perhaps. I don’t know. I don’t know what they saw. I guess it was good. ERIC SCHMIDT: Some random
guy walks up and says, let’s redo the– I mean, come on. SALMAN KHAN: We had been
recently validated by some well known– but it’s true. It was funny. Because right after they told
me that, I was like, by the way, can we lease some office
space from you? We ended up going to downtown
Mountain View. But we didn’t even know. That was, I think our president
now, Shantanu, either was about to join or had
just joined from McKinsey, to kind of help out. But we didn’t know where
our office space was. We hadn’t hired our team yet. But yeah, it was very
early days. And we were shocked because it’s
a public school district. ERIC SCHMIDT: So Sal came to
Google and actually sort of explained his model. And a number of us
were part of it. And the most interesting thing
that has become the overall narrative is the inversion
of the classroom. Can you explain that idea? And does it really work? SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, so this Los
Altos thing ended up working wonderfully, especially
in the early days. We didn’t have the data
in the early days, the test score data. But anecdotally, famously, the
kids didn’t want to go to recess anymore. It was super interactive. The teachers were enjoying
themselves. ERIC SCHMIDT: This also
never happens. SALMAN KHAN: And it
was in that April invited to TED to speak. And so I was like, look. We’re going to talk about this
interesting thing that’s happening at Los Altos. And during that TEDTalk, kind
of in the run up to talking about Los Altos, which was
really taking it a lot further than the flipped classroom
that I think is being alluded to. I talked about, even in 2007,
2008, I did get emails from teachers who were saying– you’ve already given a competent
lecture or an interesting lecture about
factoring polynomials. Or how does meiosis work? Or why does borrowing make
sense, or who knows what it might be. I don’t need to give that
lecture anymore. Students can watch it at their
own time, their own pace. They get the benefits
that my cousins had. If you’re in algebra class,
and you forgot how to add fractions, you will not raise
your hand and say, excuse me, I forgot how to– now, you can do it without
any shame. And then, they could
use class time for actual problem solving. So it used to be homework. Problem solving can now be done
with the context of peers and your teacher. You have people to help you. By helping other people,
you’ll learn more. And that used to be one pace,
very passive lecture could now be a somewhat more
active lecture. You could pause if you don’t
understand a term, watch another video, remediate. What we hope now– and that’s what the TEDTalk,
the next few minutes of it, went into well, that’s great. Now we can take it even further,
with every student learning at their own pace. ERIC SCHMIDT: What
was interesting about the first results– and I remember this
very clearly. You gave the example of a little
Johnny or whatever, who got stuck on a particular kind
of fractions and loses the rest of the year. Because that building
block is needed for the subsequent work. And so there’s evidence that,
in traditional learning, the kid gets stuck. And they never catch up. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah. ERIC SCHMIDT: Whereas, in your
model, they take a little bit of extra time because it’s hard
or for whatever reason. And there is data that indicates
that they ultimately do better than the median. That’s extraordinary. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, it’s
blown our minds. And on some level, it’s
been like oh, my God. This is an amazing thing. But on a whole other dimension,
it’s completely common sense. You know, I write a lot
of in the book about– one example, this past year
we’ve been working in Oakland. And it’s a charter school. These kids are signed
up for, essentially, a Pre-Algebra class. They’re sixth and
seventh graders. And then, as soon as they
started working on Khan Academy, we were able to look
at the data in real time and say, wow. Some of these kids don’t know
their multiplication tables. Some of these kids don’t know
how to add decimals. And in traditional model,
they’re in an Algebra class. They’re in a Pre-Algebra
class. You do algebra. And the teacher knew
this, too. The teacher knew that there
were these core weaknesses because these students just
kept being promoted along, even though they had these
gaps in their knowledge. And then, at some point, when
they’re just not getting algebra, it has nothing to
do with the algebra. It’s just because they
can’t even understand what’s going on. And so when we kind of did it
the other way around, even in this case in Oakland and
earlier, in Los Altos, the most interesting data came from
a remedial math class. When we let these students work
at their own pace, right in the beginning, there were
these group of kids that just raced ahead. And you’d say, oh, those
are the gifted kids. They’ll go work at
Google one day. And here are the slower kids. There are other things
that they can do. And in a traditional school
system, that’s how you do it. Usually around middle school,
you track them. But what we see is if you let
this group over here work at their own pace– a lot of it was remediation,
picking up stuff that they really should have learned. But in the old system, you
get a C. That’s fine. That’s passing. You go to the next thing, even
though you have a gap. And they were able to fill in
all those gaps and really get mastery at them. That’s same kid that you thought
was week six months ago is now the best student
in the class. And we’re seeing that,
over and over again. ERIC SCHMIDT: What I’d like to
do is now is explore a little bit about where this goes. The first question is– this is an analytical group,
by any measure. What are the provably true
things that we could say today, based on the activities
you’ve done? We know that there’s a lot of
anecdotal evidence that people do better with your videos and
parents around the world are celebrating this. What sort of science is
behind your success? SALMAN KHAN: So the provably
true statements are the ones– I could say this. And it’s very different
depending on which schools. So I don’t want to make a
blanket statement that Khan Academy will always improve your
test scores by 25% or– I guess I could say, or your
money back because it’s free. But in the ones that
we’ve studied– Los Altos, Oakland Unity,
Summit, KIPP– is that we’ve seen fairly
substantial, not 1% to 2% changes. But in the case of Oakland, we
saw an order-of-magnitude change in the number of students
who were performing at a proficient level. In the remedial class, in Los
Altos, not just based on our own data, I talk about that kid
who was slow and speed up. On the California test scores,
clearly to be placed in a remedial class, they were well
below average, all of them, some of them severely
below average. But then, after this,
there were a few kids that were advanced. ERIC SCHMIDT: The next question
has to do with the educational establishment. You’re the classic example of
the outsider who has the benefit of not being aware that
there’s been 20 years of data which says you’re wrong. And you’ve been pretty heavily
criticized by people who, I think, are more jealous than
anything else that you’ve done so well. That’s obviously my bias. What’s the legitimate response
from the educational institutions? Do you ultimately think that
they will embrace this model? Do you think that they
will reject you? You have some experience. And you need teachers. SALMAN KHAN: Absolutely. ERIC SCHMIDT: You don’t replace teachers in your model. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, and
I think that hits at a bunch of things. One is some of the
misperceptions that people might have or are having that
when anything virtual shows up, that’s going to be in
competition for the physical. It’s Amazon.com versus
Barnes and Noble. And from the beginning,
obviously, we were working in Los Altos. We talked about it
in the TEDTalk. If you have nothing else,
it should be able to stand on its own. But how does that virtual
supercharge what happens inside of the physical. And I think sometimes, the press
narrative, they like this one man in a closet story
and he’s fighting the establishment. And so that tends to be the
narrative, no matter what we try to do. But the reality is, from day
one, we were working deeply with students. I mean, in those early days,
we had two people in the organization. And we were working with four
teachers and a bunch of administrators. And a third of our team is
either former teachers, current teachers, and
people who directly interface with teachers. We have 20,000 teachers
using it in their classrooms as we speak. And so I think that’s, one,
just a misperception. I think some of the fair
criticism is– we get these great headlines because
people like the story. You know, “The Messiah of
Math.” One I liked in particular, was “The Math of
Khan,” which I thought was quite good. But there are these
grand headlines. It’s a revolution
in education. And at some point,
we like that. It gets people onto the site. It gets them engaged. It’s kind of validation. But it risks oversimplifying
it. And I think a lot of
people come back. No, so there’s no
silver bullet. There’s no panacea here. It’s just a possible tool. And that’s something
we agree with. We’re at the very early stage
of what we’re doing. It’s literally two years since
we got our first funding. We’re 36 people. We’re not a big organization. And we’re constantly iterating
on top of that. So yeah. I think it’s really healthy. I think it’s good that we’re
getting this feedback. I call it. ERIC SCHMIDT: So the current
breadth of your classes is what largely analytical
subjects. And you’re sort of jumping
a little bit into first year college. Where does it go, from a content
perspective, over the next five years? What is your ambition? SALMAN KHAN: So on the video
side, it’s already quite comprehensive. The videos actually go into even
the financial crisis or the Greek credit crisis,
things like that. I want to do a full
MBA curriculum. We actually have a gentleman
who’s a– ERIC SCHMIDT: Did
you hear that? OK. How long will it take you to
do a full MBA curriculum? I think you have an MBA. SALMAN KHAN: Yes. Yes, so I have a sense. ERIC SCHMIDT: So you spent
two years doing an MBA. How long will it take
you to do– SALMAN KHAN: And I’ll be fair. I mean the informational part
of an MBA curriculum. There won’t be the pub crawls
and all of that. No, I’m kidding. What actually is really good–
and I cite that in the book, about what’s really good about
business school is that is actually isn’t about information
delivery. It’s actually about you show
up to class to engage. And you have these
conversations. And so yes. You do learn a little bit of
accounting and finance. But the more important thing is
you get all this experience from your class and from
the professors. But yeah, when I say that, I’m
saying Capital Markets, Corporate Finance,
Basic Accounting. The tools that an MBA would
have, I think would take about a semester. ERIC SCHMIDT: So what’s the
sort of event horizon? Are you going to teach
literature? Are you going to teach
fine arts? Where’s the limit
of your model? SALMAN KHAN: So I’m probably not
going to be the person to teach these things. I might make a cameo,
every now and then. We actually have two art
historians who are already making videos. They’ve made 300 videos. And I actually was speaking
at the Crest Foundation. They’re very big sponsors
of art history. And actually, I think we might
be as influential on the museum side of things. The Google Art Project, our two
art historians were two of the primary voices on that. And they have more credible
credentials than I do. One was a senior person in
art history at the Pratt. And one was at the MoMA. And so they’ve made some
incredible art history videos. I’ve done a few history
videos. We’re thinking about how could
we do more things in the humanities. And a really interesting thing
is how do we do the interactive portion
in the humanities? It’s one thing to do videos. But we really want
to do interactive content, across the board. And I think our computer
science, ironically, is kind of the direction that
we would go in. Our computer science
platform– you can go code. You get feedback. But you save a portfolio
of your work, just like any artist. You would create a portfolio
of you work. You get feedback from
everyone else. Eventually, people would be
able to rate your stuff. And so we imagine doing the
same thing for writing assignments or for poetry. Or you can even compose
music on the site. And then, other people can rate
how good that music is and give you feedback. ERIC SCHMIDT: Your computer
science app is an example where you actually have little
JavaScript programming activities. So that’s a variation of
your model already. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, exactly. I mean, we’re not just
about videos. We’re not just about those
original interactive exercise, which we continue to build. Computer science was to show
we’re serious about really deepening the level
of learning that you can have here. And it’s not just lectures
on computer science. It’s actually a project-y
environment, where you can fiddle around and play
with things. ERIC SCHMIDT: For everybody’s
benefit, I think many people don’t understand how much a role
Google has played in a lot of this movement. And I’d let everybody know. Because I’m very, very proud. In the typical sort of Google,
bottom-up kind of way, without a lot of coordination, the
following things occurred. Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun
catalyzed the entire large educational thing, with a
series of AI classes and so forth, down at Stanford, at
the university level. We’ve been working with Coursera
and helped her and that whole team get going,
at Stanford. Of course, we helped
you, financially. And you were going to
do well without us. But we helped maybe
a little bit. We’ve done a bunch of these
open courses on search and developer things, for our kind
of technical audiences. And we’re getting some
experience with all of these. We, of course, are quite
horizontal, in terms of infrastructure and so forth,
for our kinds of things. What do you think that
the sum of you– you and the five other
very, in my view, courageous groups– how would you rate
where you are? It’s only been a couple
of years. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, and actually,
the MOOC world, these Massively Open Online
Courses, this is very new. I think those first courses
were last year. ERIC SCHMIDT: 150,000
students, and universities go crazy. They’re not quite sure what
to do about this. People just love the
information. SALMAN KHAN: And I think
there’s some really exciting stuff. And actually, it should probably
rewind back to– I guess you’d call it web
1.0, in the late ’90s. people were thinking about
online ed from then. MIT, I think, was the first
to step out and do OpenCourseWare. And to large degree, that
inspired Khan Academy. Khan Academy came out and said,
look, there’s a lot of traction here, if the form
factor is right, if it’s digestible chunks, if there’s
interactivity to it. And that’s been cited as
inspiring some of this next wave, Coursera, Udacity. And also edX, MIT and Harvard
are doing, and Berkeley. ERIC SCHMIDT: Do you think that,
10 years from now, this will all be old hat? How much does it change,
over the next decade? This is version one. Presumably version two, version
three, version four, of your work and their work,
is quite different. SALMAN KHAN: I think there’s
going to be elements of what we’re already seeing 10 years
from now, but I think it will be dramatically different. I think what’s going to be
really exciting about 10 years from now is that all of these
things are going to– right now, all of them are
on the learning side. Education is this
mix of things. It’s not just learning. It’s the main focus
of education. But it’s also socialization. And it’s credentialing. And right now, all of them are
tackling the learning side. Some of these MOOCs are giving
these certificates. But they’re not mainstream
credentials that have economic value or they’re
authenticated. This MOOC stuff has
been great for us. Because we’re like, OK, we’re
doing this asynchronous model, where people can jump in. If they want a full narrative,
they can chain them together. There’s a community. And we’re able to reach– we’re at close to 7 million
uniques right now per month. But they’re doing something
slightly different. They’re doing a synchronous
model, which is around a classroom. It creates these
cohort effects. ERIC SCHMIDT: It’s a much more
structured classroom model than using the virtual. SALMAN KHAN: But the 100,000, or
sometimes 20,000 to 30,000 who finish, they’re deeply,
deeply, deeply engaged. And they feel like they’re
part of something. And so we’re learning a
lot by observing them. I think it’s going back. We’re saying, how can we
get the best of that. And I think they’re saying,
well, how can we get the best of the asynchronous. I think you’re going to see
things like Khan Academy where you could take flights
together. Hey, there’s a trip on
algebra at this pace. I think the different pacing
is important because people have other stuff to
do in their life. Or they just learn
differently. There’s a cohort of 100 people
leaving tomorrow. You want to join? If there’s enough people, there
could be a whole cohort with 10 minutes. ERIC SCHMIDT: To travel there. SALMAN KHAN: Exactly. And then you have that
cohort effect. ERIC SCHMIDT: I think the
biggest thing we haven’t talked about is your impact
internationally. Google, of course, funded
the localization work. And you’re busy expanding that
to many different languages. It must be very satisfying to
feel that people who literally have no textbooks are really
reliant on you. SALMAN KHAN: It’s
been incredible. We’ve been doing this
translation project for a while. And obviously, people have
been consuming it in English, as well. And there’s been these NGOs
who have been taking the content and at least just the
video content, putting it on DVDs and thumb drives and taking
it into villages and whatever else. But the translation, we’ve just
surfaced a lot of the videos that were done, primarily
funded with that initial Google grant. If you go to the bottom of any
of the Khan Academy pages on the footer, there’s a
little drop-down. It says English. You drop down. There is, I think, 900 videos
in Spanish, close to that in Portuguese. Arabic, Bengali, Hindi,
Urdu, Russian, French. And so we’re starting to get
the international side. And probably the best story that
we’ve heard, there’s a group from Cisco Systems who
have been going and installing computers with broadband in
orphanages throughout Asia. And they set up one in this
orphanage in Mongolia. And there’s this 16-year-old
girl, Zaya, who’s started using it on her own,
super brilliant. We’ve talked to them
about Zaya. And she’s now our prime
translator into the Mongolian language. ERIC SCHMIDT: My God, out
of the orphanage. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, this
is straight out of like Diamond Age. ERIC SCHMIDT: Wow. The book is The One
World Schoolhouse. And it’s coming out
in the next week? SALMAN KHAN: No, it
came out Tuesday. ERIC SCHMIDT: Tuesday, so
it’s just coming out. We have it in the back. And you’re going to do a Google
Hangout for us on the 17th, right? SALMAN KHAN: That’s right. ERIC SCHMIDT: To try
to promote this. I think it’d be interesting,
with this kind of an audience, to ask people for their
questions or comments on this or anything else. I hope you all understand why
I think this may be the most important person we meet,
over the next year or two, Sal Khan. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: By the way, just
let me say thank you. My daughter, actually, 3– 3 and 1/2 years ago, started
using some of your stuff, when she was in high school. And it was great. ERIC SCHMIDT: And is this
because it was supplements? AUDIENCE: Yeah. There were questions. She’d actually transferred
from England. I wasn’t happy. And she wasn’t happy with what
she’d learned in that school system coming into the
school system here. And she was able to catch up
on some things she didn’t understand by using
Khan Academy. It was marvelous. There wasn’t an alternative. But let me ask a
question here. So the whole flipped classroom
idea is a fascinating one. And I think it’s going to turn
out to be a very important, as we’ve already seen. But I wonder if there isn’t
another kind of flipping that we can do here, and a really
important one. The process that your system
enables, essentially allowing everybody to move at their own
pace and then with the various testing and monitoring systems,
essentially sort of getting us to the point where
we can pretty much be sure that if somebody goes in the
program and stays in the program, they will come out,
after some amount of time, knowing at least some minimum. We’ll be able just pretty
much say, here’s a goal. Everybody’s going to get
at least that far. Some may go farther. But everybody should at least
get so far, which is not the way the systems work today. But this introduces, I think, an
interesting opportunity to switch things. And that is switching
the grading or switching the measuring. Today, what we do is we focus
a lot on measuring the kids, the students, determining
whether or not they’re any good. But if we have a process that
pretty much says that if you follow the process, everybody
gets to the same point, unless there’s something fundamentally
wrong, it seems that we ought to be flipping the
grading and focusing more on testing and grading
the teaching system. Because we know what
the end result will be for the students. The students will all
know the stuff. The question now is, how
effective is the teaching system at getting them. How quickly can I
get them there? How pleasant can I
get them there? So can we see, in the future,
a flipping in the testing, away from testing the students
to testing the system? SALMAN KHAN: Well, I think
there will be interesting things there. Because you get a much richer
data narrative, Pierre, where it’s not even just snapshot
assessments of the students. You can actually see how
they’re progressing. You can statistically say, oh,
these are similar cohorts. This one seems to be
progressing faster. What are the variables
that are– or maybe, we haven’t identified
all the variables that are different. What are they? And how could we make other
cohorts perform the same? On assessing, we haven’t given
deep thought to that. But I guess it would
be possible. It brings up something that,
early on, one of my friends threw out, which at
first seems like a really crazy idea. But when we thought
about it, why not. He’s like, well, we should have
up outcome-based tuition, where instead of based on how
a year, if we can get you to this level of competency,
you’ll pay 18 years of tuition. And they’re all better
off because it only took three years. But it does lead to that
interesting thing. And to the first part of your
comment about the flipping, which in the book I talk
about, we could go even further than that. The flip is still kind of within
this Prussian model that we inherited from a country
that does not exist, this assembly line model. You literally put these students
in these age batches. It’s literally an
assembly line. We don’t think of it that
way, but they’re moving at a set pace. At every station, something is
applied to them, a little bit. It gets different grades. And at different points,
it’s like, oh, that’s a good cranberry. That’s a bad cranberry. And that’s going to be for
Whole Foods or whatever. And that’s going to
go someplace else. And we’re saying
this is silly. Just get to that outcome where
everything is a good outcome. But yeah, I think that, in the
near term, what I’m most excited about, in terms of
real– and I think this is actually going to happen, when
we talk about five, 10 years. It’s the first sign that
the cracks are emerging in the old model. But everyone’s improving. I think everyone, across the
board, is fundamentally questioning should
they be giving a lecture anymore, finally. I was on a panel with John
Hennessy of Stanford. And we hadn’t talked about
it or anything. But he onstage said, look, we’re
seriously looking at whether we really need to give
any lectures anymore. It’s not that they’re
going to say people shouldn’t gather together. But when they gather together,
it shouldn’t just be like taking notes. And you don’t know the other
people in the room. It should be interacting
with each other. It should be getting help from
the professor in the TAs and everybody else. AUDIENCE: So teaching would no
longer be a performance art? ERIC SCHMIDT: Yeah. SALMAN KHAN: Unless you have
a YouTube channel. ERIC SCHMIDT: I would encourage
you to consult the leader of the Chicago Teachers
Union, as to timing. Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: It’s very impressive,
of course, what you’ve done. I had two questions. The first is, your point about
being able to look at remedial stuff is great. In your videos, do you have
pop-ups or overlays that show the topics that students might
want to read up on, during that topic? Like when you’re doing algebra
and adding fractions with unknowns, is there
a quick link to get to adding fractions? SALMAN KHAN: The problem
[INAUDIBLE]. And this is something that– so
the simple answer is yes. And then, the more complex
answer is, we think it’s not ideal, the way the site
is set up right now. The videos kind of took a life
of their– in the old days, actually the videos
were there to complement the problem sets. So the way I viewed it is,
this thing generates problems for you. It can give you hints,
if you need it. And if you really need it,
you might need a video. Because I used to say, hey, the
hints are probably good enough for you. That’s how I used to
tutor my cousins. Give them a problem, if they had
a little trouble, I’d give them a little intuition
or a little hint. And then later, the videos
took a life of their own. And then later, when we got
resources, we started investing again in the
problem generator. And so our problem has been the connections and the narrative. And where do people go? And we’re starting to do
that curation process. You can do it already. Both already exist. And there are linkages. They’re not ideal right now. What we’re launching to kind
of get the best of the MOOC world and the asynchronous
world is we’re calling them tutorials. So a tutorial, in our mind, is
not a semester commitment. It’s a collection of things that
is roughly a one-hour to one-week commitment, that’s
around an idea, like photosynthesis or entropy
or whatever it might be. It’ll be video, video, exercise;
computer science simulation; video, video,
exercise; community or open-ended thing. And so yeah, the goal
is exactly that. But things like fractions
already are connected. If you do the fraction
exercises, the videos are there. The video is there with the
fraction exercises. ERIC SCHMIDT: Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: So thanks for
a great interview. To expand on one of the previous
questions, one of the biggest impacts a teacher can
have on students is not delivering information but to
inspire them, to actually make them interested in
the subject. How do you envision your work
helping them do that? SALMAN KHAN: There’s a couple
of dimensions here. On the simplest dimension, what
we saw a Los Altos even two years ago, is we did
it just by giving them the room to do it. You take that lecture
out of the room. And you actually take a lot of
the administration out of the room in terms of grading
homework. And you take that out of the
room, Now>all of the sudden, the teacher has what they want
to do with the classroom. And some of those teachers
that we worked with were incredible. They had a list of things that
they really wanted to do. They were doing these
really interesting projects that were inspiring. They were like, for the first
time, I’m able to spend some time with every student
in the classroom. Literally, just talking to
someone on a personal level is inspiring them, as opposed to
being distant from them. But on top of that,
we do realize– we’ve been saying, class
time should be used for interaction. It should be used
for projects. Projects are not a
trivial thing. It’s very easy to have bad
projects, cookbook projects. And so that’s why we wanted
to put resources into this computer science. Because it’s so general. It can be used in anything. I just made a video for– LeBron James literally reached
out and said, I want to help make math videos. ERIC SCHMIDT: This
never happens. SALMAN KHAN: This
never happens. ERIC SCHMIDT: It’s
like the fifth thing that never happens. SALMAN KHAN: This is the fifth
thing that never happens. ERIC SCHMIDT: Did he call you? Or did you call him? SALMAN KHAN: No, he called us. I mean, his people
called my people. [LAUGHTER] SALMAN KHAN: But he asked these
interesting questions related to math. One of them is, you have 30
seconds left, down by three. Is it better to shoot the three
or take the two, foul, hope for another possession? ERIC SCHMIDT: These are problems
that have occupied him for some time. SALMAN KHAN: Well, it
a core problem. And it’s funny. Because at first, I was
like, I’m going to make a video for it. And I started doing a decision
tree for it. And actually, there’s a second
scenario that gets quite complicated, based on the
did they make one free– how much time went off the
clock, and all that. I said, I have this great
computer science tool now. So I did a Monte Carlo
simulation, for LeBron James. ERIC SCHMIDT: This has
also never happened. SALMAN KHAN: This has
also never happened. But it’s exciting. Because then, we’ve gotten
all these letters from very young kids. A Monte Carlo simulation is a
very simple thing, actually. And immediately, it started
sparking their imagination about a million different
things. There’s so much sports
statistics out there. You could leverage those
sports statistics. And now that you have a pretty
easy-to-use coding platform to do some really, really
interesting kind decision analysis, and frankly, stuff
that I don’t think even some of the people in the head
offices of some of the sports teams have actually done. ERIC SCHMIDT: Go ahead. AUDIENCE: So you’ve done some
amazing things helping people actually learn stuff. And that’s mostly
what schools do. But they do one other thing
that’s important, which is they certify that this person
has a reasonable knowledge of this topic. I was wondering if you had
an thoughts on fixing or improving the system of
standardized testing. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah. Really, what you’re talking
about is credentialing. How do people prove to the world
that they’ve learned something now that there are all
these great resources to actually learn? And I think there’s a bunch of
interesting things here. I mean there’s a big movement. And a lot of these things have
always been out there. People have talked about it. But now, there seems to
be some traction. It’s generally called
competency-based learning, instead of it being based
literally on seat time. And then, you just
get promoted. Look, you can take as
long as you need. And when you feel you’re
ready, you go take a proctored exam. It should be a rich exam. It could be even an oral exam. And you prove that you
actually know it. And I frankly think that’s
going to be especially powerful at the higher
education level. And one thing that I’m
particularly excited about– and I’d be interested in
collaborating with any of you all that want to work on
something like this– I think computer sciences
is actually the ripest fruit there. Because we hire on a much
smaller scale than you guys. But we are also looking
for incredible people. And when we look GPAs, great
universities, it’s a filter. And we probably have a lot
of false negatives. There’s a lot of great people. John Resig, he’s the world’s
most known JavaScript programmer, wrote jQuery. In his cover letter, he
literally wrote I started jQuery project or whatever. And I was like, I guess we
should interview him. But later, I asked him. I said, where did you
go to school? He said, Rochester. I said, oh, that’s
a good school. But what was your GPA? 1.9. ERIC SCHMIDT: He was too busy
programming in JavaScript. SALMAN KHAN: It might
have been 2.0. Don’t quote me. I think it was 1.9 or 2.0. It might have been a
little bit higher. But it was not a resume that
would typically make the cut at a Google or Khan Academy. But it pointed to me what’s
wrong with our process. He’s an off-the-charts brilliant
guy, fun to work with, everything. What happened? He said, well, I was
working on jQuery. And so we’re missing those
people, unless they do something really
off-the-charts, like what he did. And so I think there should
be independent processes. And then, when you go and
actually get an interview here, we all make you go to
the whiteboard and write bubble sort. Or how to do sort this? Or how do you find the edge of
this boundary or whatever. And it’s inconsistent. Some are hard. And some are easy. There might be some great people
who just having anxiety coding at a white board while
someone’s watching them. And so I think there is
something that could be done where people go take maybe
a proctored, or at least authenticated, series
of challenges. And that’s used as really a
credential or a filter, for people like us to see
where talent is. ERIC SCHMIDT: Did you
have a question? AUDIENCE: Hi, Sal. Thanks for everything you do. So at Google, we get to work
with a lot of great teachers who are forward-thinking and not
afraid of your model, not afraid of employing the flipped
classroom and being more of a guide on the side. But there are a ton of teachers
who are afraid of what you’re doing. They feel like if this happens,
they’re all going to take away our jobs. And they’re the gate keepers
to the kids. So how do you reach
those teachers? And how do you reach, by
extension, those kids? SALMAN KHAN: I think the main
point is kind of– actually, that was one of the main hopes
of this book, to make it clear that it’s not about– because, as was talked about
before, teaching was viewed as a performance art before. And so it was kind of ingrained
in people that’s where the value was. And to kind of, I think, get
more people thinking in this direction is for everyone
to realize that isn’t where the value is. And this isn’t just
lip service. The value really is on working
deeply with students, mentoring them, forming
connections with them. And I think when you phrase
it that way, most teachers really get it. And whenever I talk to people,
this isn’t an assault on you. I think, unfortunately, most
of the public debate is an assault on teachers. And they group them
all together. And they make all sorts of
sweeping statements. This is an assault on a
system that has been constraining you. It’s whenever people
get worried. The US is right behind Estonia
when it comes to factoring polynomials. All going to fall apart now. The reaction from government
is, let’s put more tests on it. And there is a rationale
to that. And it might de-risk some
of the worst performing situations. But it also completely handicaps
everyone else. And it makes our system,
frankly, more Prussian. It makes it more rigid,
more controlled. And everything that we’re trying
to promote– and this is what I tell every teacher. And I think when they understand
that, they get really excited about it. It’s about going back to the
teacher really being able to define the experience in really
interesting, creative ways but have tools that make
sure that the academic rigor is still being achieved. You know, when I was a tutoring
my cousins, this is what I wanted. There’s all sorts of fun stuff
I want to do with my cousins. I want to teach them about
a Monte Carlo simulation. But at the same time, I also
want to make sure that they’re reaching certain achievement
goals. And so I can keep track of
that asynchronously. I can manage the chaos
so to speak. ERIC SCHMIDT: Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: Thank you. This is inspiring. And it’s inspiring to the extent
that I’ve taken on a challenge to really change the
way that I do a little bit of my own teaching. I have taught a citizen
schools class, for some time now– since before I got to
Google, actually– trying to teach sixth graders
computer science and algebra at the same time, since the fundamentals are really together. SALMAN KHAN: There’s some good
tools for that now, too. AUDIENCE: Really very core– And in particular, to try to
motivate them with gaming context, creating video games. The challenge that I have,
that’s not so much like the normal classroom challenge, is
the kids have to be really motivated on their own. Because there’s no credit. There’s no nothing. This is an after school
activity. If they’re going to watch
anything at home, they have to do it because they want to. And two is I don’t know that
some of these kids from the Bronx have tools at home with
which to go and view videos, to go and play with the
computers, et cetera. One, I’d like to sort of ask
your advice on those kinds of challenges. But also I’d like to ask your
advice really on just how to prepare videos that are
that engaging for a sixth grade audience. What are the things I should
be paying attention to? SALMAN KHAN: I’ll
take the first. In terms of access issues,
that’s a real issue. There has even been a few
charter schools where the school was able to get
laptops or computing devices to the students. But then, they get beat up on
the way home and someone takes it from them. And so the near-term solution
seems to be keep the school open a little bit longer, have
a computer lab, partner with the Boys & Girls Club,
someplace where they can access it. I mean, which is essentially
saying it’s actually hard for them to be able to access
it at home. But that’s OK. They’re accessing it. And actually, that serves
a double purpose. And I write a lot about that. It’s crazy that school
ends two hours before parents come home. It actually fills in that gap,
especially where both parents are working. And so it also solves
that need. In terms of the motivation,
I think you’re right. One thing I write about is
getting rid of summer– summer vacation, not summer. I like the season. But getting rid of
summer vacation. And immediately, the people’s
rational, that’s when I did my most like creative stuff, really
self-directed things. Those are my best memories
from childhood. And when I point out those best
memories, and a lot of people just waste
their summer. But if you’re lucky enough to
have those experiences, that’s actually what your full school
day should look like. It should be much more– you set your goals. But you have mentors who are
restructuring them– really how a lot
of environments like this might work– who are pushing you forward. So there’s not a simple
solution, while there’s this hybrid. While there’s this separate
thing, where it’s like, if you don’t pass this test tomorrow,
you’re going to fail. And there’s all these
repercussions. And you’re trying to do
something interesting. And it gets squeezed out, even
though the students are probably more motivated to
do what your working on. It’s probably more important
for them in the long term, too. But it’s hard. In terms of the videos
themselves, this is the thing I famously have gotten in a
little trouble on a couple of networks where I say– well, I
sometimes don’t know what I’m going to say before
I make a video. They say, oh, my God,
how irresponsible. That video is going to reach
millions of people. And I think what I was saying
is that the video itself should really be coming
from you. It should be really you
thinking out loud. It should be very
conversational. It shouldn’t be scripted. There are people actually who
do good scripted videos. They’re able to read it very
naturally, in a quirky way. But my style is more
conversational, down-to-earth, thinking it through out loud. But I do put a lot of time on
the preparation, in terms of thinking it through, just
doing it in my mind. ERIC SCHMIDT: Let’s try
to sort of speed this up a little bit. Yes, ma’am. SALMAN KHAN: Just as one minor
point, if there are a couple of people who want to join
us, it would be awesome. We need one or two more. ERIC SCHMIDT: Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Hi. So we had a chuckle about the
Chicago teachers’ union reference, but between the
teachers’ unions and the educational institutions,
there are some serious roadblocks in the system. You’re a small team of folks. So I’m wondering how we, as
parents and good community citizens, can help further the
cause of education reform. SALMAN KHAN: I think we
have been a grassroots word-of-mouth story, like
Eric introduced. And so I think the more of
that we get, the better. I mean nothing is more powerful
than one parent telling another parent, or one
student telling another student, and one teacher telling
another teacher, or one parent telling a teacher. So I actually think we are
going to be a teacher and parent-led grassroots thing. So for us, I would just
say more awareness. ERIC SCHMIDT: Systems
never self-reform. It’s a bad lesson of life. They don’t self-reform. It requires external pressure. So my blunt answer is the
educational system is run for the benefit of the adults
and not the children, in aggregate. And that it’s our responsibility
as parents to get that fixed, somehow. Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: I just want
to say first thanks so much for coming. You’re a huge inspiration
to me. And it’s great to have people
like you here at Google. Before I started at Google, I
was an educational consultant. And one of things we really
promoted was the use of Chromebooks with Khan Academy
as a cheap, effective way to have an effective
learning suite. And the teachers were
really into it. Where we ran into problems was
the actual institution itself because schools get money from
government, based on test score results, et cetera. What are the reforms that you
think need to happen? What do you think
is the timeline? Just help please. SALMAN KHAN: I’m not an expert
on the structural architecture of what might keep– there’s weird things
about things being blocked or laptop carts. And there’s a lot times
where we’re like, look, this is obvious. You don’t even need one laptop, necessarily, per child. Because they’re not using
them the whole day. So there’s some way that
maybe two or three could share one laptop. But there’s a lot of weird
structural things about how it’s organized. I’m not an expert here. I think the best way is to
really show exemplars that are doing it really, really well. ERIC SCHMIDT: And I want to
thank the Chrome team for the donation that you and the
other members made. It actually made a nice,
big difference for the Chromebooks. And obviously, we’ll be
doing more of that. AUDIENCE: I’m not
on Chrome, but– ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, thank you. SALMAN KHAN: Thank you
for what you do. ERIC SCHMIDT: Let’s run
a little quickly. Go ahead. Yes, ma’am. AUDIENCE: I’m from a rural town
in South Carolina, and I’ve been trying to find
ways to improve the school system there. And I’ve looked into things like
KIPP, but they require just a complete overhaul. And I was wondering– they do have sort of a training
process for how to do this in places. And I was wondering if, in
implementing Khan within the school, are you looking at
having a training program for how that this can be
done and spread? SALMAN KHAN: Yeah. So we do have a team that is
interfacing with schools, learning from schools. Their feedback comes back
to our product. But then, on top of that, they
document what is working. If you go to
khanacademy.org/toolkit, that’s where it’s kind of the
place for teachers or anyone who’s going to be
a coach really. You run an after school program,
or anything, how they could use it. ERIC SCHMIDT: She’s
exactly right. You need to have a little
subsection which is how to implement this if you’re
the school. SALMAN KHAN: No, that’s right. ERIC SCHMIDT: It needs
to have that as its title, just do this. SALMAN KHAN: Exactly,
step one, step two– so we’re trying to do as much
as possible self-service. And then, they also
do run workshops. ERIC SCHMIDT: Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: Our education system,
on all levels, is full of really good teachers and
also really bad teachers. Have you considered reaching
out to those exceptional teachers, who actually reach out
to students, who say, oh wow, I love learning
this stuff. This guy makes it make
sense to me? Have you considered reaching out
to these teachers saying, OK, this is the guy who should
teach biochemistry? This is the guy who should teach
maybe some subject that you’re not an expert in,
something like that? SALMAN KHAN: Are there any? No. There are many, most. The simple answer is
yes, absolutely. So there’s been a couple
of short term things that we’re doing. One, we do have this contest. The close was October 2. And we’re in the process of kind
of reviewing this Next EDU Guru, with YouTube,
which is to find– I think it’s gotten several
hundreds of applicants. So hopefully, we find some
interesting people there. And on our side, on our
platform, one of the goals is this platform has been built
around my content and now a few other people– Vi Hart, and we have our
art historians– but it can be a generalized
platform. And so we want to allow,
hopefully in the next six months, anyone to
start creating tutorials on our site. And then, maybe we can start
to recognize the tutorials that are resonating with people
and maybe bring them into the fold. ERIC SCHMIDT: Let’s have these
be the last two questions. Yes, sir. AUDIENCE: First, thank you. Khan Academy is the reason that
my wife passed physics. SALMAN KHAN: Oh, tell her to
make a YouTube testimonial. I’ll put it in the slide deck. AUDIENCE: I actually will. SALMAN KHAN: No, I’m serious. ERIC SCHMIDT: By the way,
that’s wonderful. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, yeah. That’s incredible. ERIC SCHMIDT: That’s wonderful. Go ahead. SALMAN KHAN: When you talk about
the Prussian model, the assembly line model of education
and that the Khan Academy tools free up educators
to abstract away that portion of things so that
they can focus on interesting projects and so on, how would
you respond to the worry that, if all the education system is
interested in is that assembly line aspect, they could
replace the entire school system? You mentioned that there’s
a significant worry that educators have that the entire
teaching industry could– we’re all going to lose
our jobs and so forth. And completely divorced from any
intentions that you have, That by providing this really,
really useful and wonderful tool, this could be
a negative impact. How would you address that? SALMAN KHAN: I actually think
that’s a fascinating question. It’s something we’ve
thought about. It’s interesting because people
always say, what about this accrediting body. And this is what the
universities care about. And this is what the state
standards are, and all this. But if you really think openly
about the whole ecosystem, the end consumer of whatever the
system is are the Googles of the world, are the Facebooks of
the world, are the Goldman Sachs, are the hospitals of the
world, I mean the firms of the world are the ones
who are consuming it. And I think they’ve, if
anything, been screaming for– yes, we want people that have
shown competency in algebra and have good SAT scores. Yes, that’s one dimension. But I think all of you recognize
that we are looking for people who are capable of
actually creating things. And our current system– this is the biggest problem. We interview people with
straight A GPAs from the top universities. And we say, what
have you made? And they haven’t made anything
because they were too busy getting the really good GPA. They’re smart people. They’re capable, but
they didn’t do it. And so I think the fact if we
collectively, as an ecosystem, start demanding– and we
are demanding it– then these will be valued. And there’s two dimensions. One dimension is the academic
achievement that’s already there. And I think, even there, the
human component will always be super, super important. I mean, we can do one
thing maybe for very self-motivated student. Just purely with virtual,
they could do a lot. But having peers in your
classroom to bounce ideas off and work with and having
teachers that can mentor that will only supercharge
that even more. But the other two dimensions
which I think are equally or more important than that, that
are not measured today, are how good are you at mentoring
others and explaining to others and having empathy
for others. And we can actually start to
assess that, with peer-to-peer review, ratings, how much
time you’re putting it on behalf of others. And that, hopefully, will be
another kind of SAT score of the future. Another thing would be
dimensions like perseverance. Because now you have
a data narrative. It’s not just a snapshot
assessment. You had trouble. But did you persevere? To some degree, I might want the
kid who took two months to learn negative numbers because
he persevered, as opposed to the person who just
got it like that. And the last dimension is a
portfolio of creative works. ERIC SCHMIDT: Thank you. And our final question. AUDIENCE: So you briefly
mentioned internationalization and translation. I know it might be hard
to get numbers or information from here. But what have you seen in terms
of rural areas or areas in the developing world where
there might not be a classroom or there might not
be teachers? Are you getting good
usage there? How is that changing things
in those locations? SALMAN KHAN: Yeah, what’s hard
there is that’s obviously hard to measure because a lot
of those are offline. But anecdotally, there’s a lot
of NGOs who are going out there and taking the content. And they tell us. And they take pictures. And that’s all we
can tell now. What will be exciting, over the
next four or five years, as the broadband or at least
some level– it doesn’t have to be broadband. It could be very low but at
least enough to keep track of what’s going on. For the last 100 years, people
have wanted to set up schools in a village. And no one has any idea
of what’s happening. I think what’s exciting is, in
the next five years, people will start to know
what’s happening. How are people engaging
with the content? ERIC SCHMIDT: My final question
for you is– we have all of Google here and through
our video conference, as you know, around the company. And obviously, Google is a huge
supporter of what you’re doing for all the reasons that
you see from the questions. What is the list of things
that Google could do that would make you even
more successful? Obviously, continue the
success of YouTube. We’re wiring up Kansas City. Maybe even wire up some
other cities. SALMAN KHAN: We use
App Engine. ERIC SCHMIDT: You
use App Engine. Excellent, any complaints
about App Engine? SALMAN KHAN: No. So far, so good. ERIC SCHMIDT: So far, so good. What are some other things
Google could do to support you? SALMAN KHAN: I don’t know how
frank I should be on this. There’s a lot. But I think awareness
is a huge thing. That’s hopefully
an easy thing. I think feedback. I think there are ways that
we could work together. I think some of these things
like creating credentialing architecture. I think that’s a game changer,
if we could do it together. And obviously, if we have people
like Google, one, to help develop the credentials
themselves– ERIC SCHMIDT: And we have a
project called Course Builder, which is underlying
infrastructure. So you might argue that would
be an extension of a Course Builder-type project. SALMAN KHAN: And the course
builds on the learning. But this is really like, OK,
even if you didn’t get a CS degree from anywhere. This is something that– if you
get through this series of things, Google will take
a serious look at you. Other software companies will
take a serious look at you. If you do, the rest of the
ecosystem will as well. ERIC SCHMIDT: We could sort
of set that standard. And then, everybody
else would follow. SALMAN KHAN: Every other company
in the world would take it seriously. ERIC SCHMIDT: What do you want
the parents or future parents in this room to do to change
the school systems? Because most of these people in
front of you don’t really have a school choice. They have a public school. They may or may not have access
to a charter school. SALMAN KHAN: As before, I think
it’s parents telling parents, raising awareness. If you each of you went and told
100 people, it would be a pretty epic in terms of the
awareness that’s happening. On top of that, I think there
could be an element of, if you can, talk to teachers
that are in your child’s life about this. And tell them this isn’t
about replacing you. This is really, I think,
something you’re going enjoy. ERIC SCHMIDT: And address
their fears. SALMAN KHAN: Address
their fears. ERIC SCHMIDT: Their fears
are all obvious. And I think we’ve
discussed them. SALMAN KHAN: Yeah. And I think anything you
can do to kind of push people’s thinking. Show examples of what
can happen. Maybe you could self organize
and make your own little boutique school that really
pushes the envelope of things, but any of the above. ERIC SCHMIDT: So the book of
course is The One World Schoolhouse coming
out two days ago. Not only have I read it,
I’ve endorsed it. You should read it, too. Thank you very much, my
true hero, Sal Khan.