The world's largest interactive classroom

Khan Academy
United States (Mountain View)

“Whoever you are, wherever you are, you only have to know one thing. You can learn anything.”

That’s the motto of nonprofit organisation, Khan Academy, which is changing the rules of education and now one of the world’s most popular online classrooms. The nonprofit mission is to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

Although this feels very timely, it was in 2008 that hedge fund analyst Salman Khan went from making YouTube maths videos for his cousin to providing social good on a much larger scale – delivering world-class, free education to anyone of any age, anywhere, any time. Over time, he built a database of over 10,000 interactive instructional tutorials (and counting) from physics to history, using step-by-step doodles, screen capture software and his personal ‘superstar teacher’ voiceover.

Khan academy

A quick delve offers up ‘Art of Africa’ and ‘Microeconomics’. On further exploration, a discussion on artist Damien Hirst and trigonometry tests. There’s even a module on the future.

Now employed in thousands of elementary schools, the Khan Academy provides the most famous example of ‘The Flipped Classroom’. Lessons can be done at home, and homework with teachers at school. Progress is tracked through new metrics like badges, leader boards and points to create a personalised ‘Learning Dashboard’.

As a mission-focused non-profit, Khan Academy wants to ensure students keep learning amidst the school closures in unforetold events such as the coronavirus pandemic, providing daily routines and going live daily on Facebook and YouTube for students, parents and teachers.

Having 18 million learners a month in 42 languages and more than 190 countries, Salman’s ultimate aim is to build one global classroom and unite schools in rural areas – to make education available to all. The system is already open to teachers and parents worldwide to build their own courses and track student progress, changing the very economics of education.

Watch ► From facing the fear of asking questions to taking a leadership role in her school, ‘Anjali’ is using Khan Academy to change her life. She says “People think that a girl can’t study; she has to do household work. I want to change the world, so I started with myself.”

AtlasAction: Donate to support free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (19 October 2020)

Project leader

Salman Khan, CEO

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Salman Khan

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