Salman Khan teaching photo courtesy

We’ve written about Khan Academy before, and this time we are writing about it because Bill Gates has held up Salman Khan as an example of the future of teaching.

Khan Academy, with Khan as the only teacher, appears on YouTubeand elsewhere and is by any measure the most popular educational site on the web. Khan’s playlist of 1,630 tutorials (at last count) are now seen an average of 70,000 times a day — nearly double the student body at Harvard and Stanford combined. Since he began his tutorials in late 2006, Khan Academy has received 18 million page views worldwide, including from the Gates progeny. Most page views come from the U.S., followed by Canada, England, Australia, and India. In any given month, Khan says, he’s reached about 200,000 students. “There’s no reason it shouldn’t be 20 million.”

One of the things that needs to be said about the work that Khan and others are doing is that it’s really not like work. I think that our education system prepares people to work. They put you through an industrial process that expects you to be able to make widgets in a factory world. But we live in a knowledge economy now. The best future we can be preparing kids for is a future in which they are helping other people, by working with them, and doing what they believe is fun and worthwhile.


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