What began as a way to remotely tutor his young cousin and her classmates in algebra has given former hedge fund analyst Salman Khan ’98, MNG ’98 a new career: virtual teacher. Khan, who studied math and electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, starting posting short videos on YouTube as a way to be more efficient with the math help he was offering from Silicon Valley to his cousin in New Orleans, and they took on a life of their own. A little more than three years later, he’s launched the nonprofit Khan Academy virtual school/YouTube channel and created 1,000+ tutorials on everything from basic arithmetic to college-level calculus and physics as well as biology, chemistry, finance, statistics, probability, economics, SAT and GMAT prep, and more. More than 32,000 people subscribe to the YouTube channel, which boasts millions of views worldwide. A chemistry teacher in Uruguay translated one of his videos, and others have volunteered to translate the lessons into Arabic, Polish, Portuguese, and German.
For now, though, Khan is a one-man show, and the short videos, generally eight to 15 minutes long and each focusing on just one concept, take him about thirty minutes to produce and upload. Now that he’s turned his attention full time to the academy, Khan hopes to create some 200 new videos each year, like his recent lectures on Federal Reserve banking generated after he read the Federal Reserve Act following last year’s financial crisis.
Check out an interview from NPR’s All Things Considered and learn more about the Khan Academy, which received the 2009 Microsoft Tech Award in Education, in the video below.