Published on Oct 30, 2013
The Skoll Foundation presents the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship each year to a select few social entrepreneurs whose proven innovations have demonstrated impact on some of the world's most pressing problems. The Skoll Award recognizes organizations with the potential to not only be individually successful, but also to catalyze large-scale, system-level change.
Skoll Entrepreneur: Sal Khan
Focus Area Addressed: Education and Economic Opportunity
Digital learning has the potential to transform the reach, nature and quality of education; however standards, training, infrastructure and impact evidence are still needed.
Technology can help make: (1) educational content freely accessible, (2) individualized instruction possible, and (3) subject mastery the measure of a quality education (vs. simply attendance)
Yet, barriers remain:
Schools have varied access to technology
K-12 systems can be slow moving in implementing new innovative systems
Transitioning to blended learning classrooms often requires training to help teachers fully leverage digital tools
Khan Academy strives to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere -- through online content delivered directly to independent learners worldwide or using a blended learning model in schools. It allows a student to learn at her own pace to truly master a subject.
Innovative educational model
Khan Academy is removing the 60 minute lecture and "humanizing the classroom". Students can now view short video lectures (~10 minutes) at home or in school when needed and the teacher can focus their time on facilitating small group instruction, one-on-one sessions, peer-to-peer tutoring, and project-based learning.
Massive content library
The Academy has amassed 3,600+ video tutorials, exercises, performance dashboards, incentive badges, and other interactive content.
Multi-partner distribution strategy
Direct to learners via the Internet
Partnerships with schools
Teacher toolkits that enable replication of the model without KA support, and
Internationalization efforts to translate core content into a dozen other languages
Massive dataset that enables rapid experimentation and adaptation: KA's dataset is over 10,000 times the size of an education researcher's traditional data pool, allowing them to rapidly experiment with learning models vs. outcomes and develop an adaptive assessment and recommendation engine.
IMPACT AS OF JAN. 2013:
In the past year, they've grown from 1 million users per month, to 6 million+ users per month
Khan Academy's videos have been viewed more than 200 million times, and 700+ million exercises have been completed
Schools are reporting educational improvements -- e.g., sample seventh-grade math classrooms using Khan Academy increased the number of proficient or advanced students from 23 percent to 41 percent, year over year
65% of users are in the U.S.; the remaining 35% come from nearly every other country in the world
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