new speaker | March 05, 2012

Salman Khan: Changing Education, One Online Video at a Time

Lavin’s newest speaker is Salman Khan—a man Fast Company says is "on a path to become a central figure in national education-policy debates.” Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, a non-profit that provides free, high-quality education to "anyone, anywhere" in the world through its library of over 3,000 online videos. The videos are used by over four million students a month.

In new keynotes, Salman Khan explains how learning through video (coupled with more traditional means) can reshape the way we teach, share information, and organize classroom time. One of Khan’s breakthrough moments was his TED talk last year, after which he was interviewed onstage by Bill Gates. The two discussed something close to their hearts: the future of education—and the role of new technologies in shaping it.

Here, Khan explains the intrinsic advantages of using videos to teach students:

They told me that they preferred me on YouTube than in person. And once you get over the backhanded nature of that, there was actually something very profound there. They were saying that they preferred the automated version of their cousin to their cousin. At first it's very unintuitive but if you look at it from their view, it makes a ton of sense. You have this situation where now they can pause and repeat their cousin, without feeling like they're wasting my time. If they have to review something they should've learned a couple of weeks ago, or maybe a couple of years ago, they don't have to be embarrassed and ask their cousin; they can just watch those videos. If they're bored, they can go ahead. They can watch it at their own time, at their own pace.

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