Blended Learning, Continuing Education, Domestic, Elementary / Primary / Junior, Flipped Classrooms, High school / Secondary 2, International, Not-for-Profit, Open Source Education, Required, School teachers, Startups, STEM / Science, Technology, Education, Math, Students, Technology, University & College - Written by on Friday, December 30, 2011 21:43 - 0 Comments

Hundreds of Fans Question Salman Khan: The Reddit Interview Gone Wild

Via Khan Academy

We came across a fascinating, crowd-sourced interview happening on Reddit between video impresario Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, and hundreds of his site users and fans. They ask salman_khan_academy myriad questions (2,000 or so) on myriad topics related to his uber-popular free online lessons. We’ve edited down the best questions & responses (cutting out clutter and immature comments). The interview shows new tidbits on Khan, a major player in digital learning and education innovation today and, guaranteed, into 2012. You learn more about his personal life here. The interview also reveals future strategies, including moves by Khan Academy to bring in other lecturers in addition to Sal Khan, including possibly celebrities. It reveals the next courses coming online Khan Academy: Micro and Macro Economics, Computer Science and Accounting. Link to the full, unedited interview and related video is at the bottom.

Q - As an aspiring teacher, do you have any tips for new teacher?

SK - All of my best teachers talked with the students rather than at them. They were also unscripted but had deep subject matter expertise. EDIT: just added this verbal answer to this and many of the other questions:

Q – Which subject did you enjoy teaching the most? 

SK - I know it might sound cheesy, but I get a kick out of all of them. I won’t make a video on a topic unless I think there is something interesting about it and I enjoy it. The reality is that most things are really interesting if you look at it the right way.

Q - Where has your site had the biggest impact? Are you seeing much use from developing nations? Can you share your best success story?

SK - We’ve gotten some pretty powerful testimonials. We’ve also been seeing good results in the schools using it in Los Altos. I’ll post some of my favorite stories below this comment:

Got this a few weeks ago from South Africa:

I home school our two daughters. One had an excellent maths experience at school – the other (now aged 10) had huge gaps in her understanding. The visual knowledge map is so incredibly helpful to her and I – she can see what the next step is and not lose sight of the big picture. I am working through the videos and exercises myself too, building up the sections on my knowledge map so that I can stay ahead of the game for my daughters. Sal is our tutor: polite, concise, friendly, and efficient in delivering knowledge. Most importantly, this work is given for free. For a family functioning on limited resources when we started our home education journey, this is invaluable. Thank you so much for your gift to humanity. I am deeply deeply grateful – you have changed our children’s lives.

Blocked name for privacy (although I think he is probably cool with sharing it):

Hi my name is ****** ** and I’m a second year student in the University of Western Australia (UWA) majoring in Physics and Maths. I was originally from Singapore where I spent the first 15 years of my life failing school, day after day I would not understand a word the teacher was saying as they said, “you must remember this or you won’t get a job in your future.” and every year I would fail school. When I was 14, I started failing pretty badly and fell into a world of drug addiction. When I was 15, my drug addiction got so intense that it affected my grades so badly that I had to be held back a grade in my high school in Singapore. Finally in January 2008 (the year I was 16), my parents decided to move to Perth in Western Australia. They had me enrolled in a private school where within 8 months I was expelled for fighting and drugs. At the end of that ordeal and closely evading arrest, my parents had me enrolled in a local public school where I was faced with the worst problem of my entire life. The final exam of high school that determines if you go to University or not was coming, and I had no idea what to do as I never listened in class since I was 13. All I could do was expand a bracket and that was it, no factorizing, solving an equation or doing trigonometry. I first met the Khan Academy in December 2009 where I stumbled on his videos on Complex Numbers on YouTube. I had a whole load of heavy weight subjects like Literature, Physics, Advanced Maths, Chemistry and Biology. Everyday when I came home from school, it would be a 4pm – 10pm study session driven by my own fears. With 5 years of work to catch up on and only Khan Academy helping me, it was a grueling experience. I failed every test and exam that year, thankfully none of those tests and exams contribute to your final University determination grade. I worked through the Khan Academy playlists on Basic Algebra, Trigonometry, Physics, Chemistry and Biology before moving on to the “higher level” things like Calculus and Differential Equations. Thanks to Salman Khan for quitting his day job as a Hedge-fund Analyst, he has allowed a drug addict whom the public would look down upon to persevere through his A levels and come out on the other side with a result good enough to get into Western Australia’s best University. I hope and pray that the Khan Academy will expand to do subjects like Modern Physics and Maths topics like Topology, Differential Geometry and so on. In any case, I thank you Salman Khan, and the effort you have put into the Khan Academy. You’ve opened doors for us that we would have never been able to unlock alone.

Q - This is really interesting. I’m 19 years old and currently enrolled at my university as a dual degree in Math and Music, simply because I couldn’t choose between the two and I figured that even if I ended up flourishing more in music, math would still hold a more steady career path. Yet at the same time, music seems like it would yield a much more eventful and (probably) fun lifestyle. Is there any advice you can give to me from your experiences with both? This is also somewhat of a study break for me, since I want to get a head start on learning Differential Equations and Linear Algebra for next semester.

SK -

Q - I passed statistics and chemistry thanks to your videos. I appreciate you so much! So, here’s a question. On average, how long does it take for you to create one of your tutorial videos?
SK –  Depends on the video. If I do an example problem in, say, algebra, I don’t do any prep so it takes me about 10 minutes. If I am thinking about introducing a complex topic that I already know well, I think about it on my walk to work so it may be 30 mins -1 hour total. If it is a topic that I need to brush up on, it might be half a day. When I did organic chemistry, I spent 2 weeks immersing myself in the subject before making the first video.

Q - Good to know that o chem is hard for you too.

SK - Yeah, it took some time to get the intuition for it. It would have been easy just to list reactions for people to memorize, but it only becomes interesting when you see the underlying themes.

Q - I’m kind of envious. You get paid to learn new subjects. It has been my goal in life to find a job like that.

SK - I agree. I consider myself the luckiest guy on the planet : )
Q - How do I get my kids to enjoy learning about math and science? My husband and I always struggled with these subjects so we have no interest in them and are not proficient in them at all. We don’t want our kids to have that same struggle. Advice?
SK - You and your husband should rediscover math and science for yourselves (and I know a good website for this :) ). If you both do it, it will change the conversation at the dinner table!
Q - When do you plan on making more advanced videos like quantum mechanics, general relativity and more advanced mathematics. Thanks and i love everything you do.

SK - We do want to do those topics eventually. It might be me or it might be a traditional expert in the field. I will definitely do much more advanced mathematics in the next year than what we have now.

Q – from mnielsen23 - I’d be interested in helping out with quantum computing. I co-authored the standard text on the subject. (Note from WA editors on Michael Nielson’s web site:

SK - We are very open to it. Email me. I really want to learn more about quantum computing myself! Have you tried to make any videos? (The two traded info and agreed to chat more about this).

Comment from: [–]vretavonni 625 points  ago - Are you really “the” Michael Nielsen? AMA request: Michael Nielsen!

Comment from: [–]crznmnm 282 points  ago - this is what I love about reddit: casually mention quantum computing? Michael nielsen offers to make a series of educational videos for you.

Q - What or who inspired you most to take so much time to do something so significant?

SK - For me, it started very incrementally. I always hoped that it would be “significant” to many people, but what convinced me to keep going was the positive feedback from cousins and the early people who bumped into the videos on YouTube. Figured it was worth doing even if it just helped out a handful of people. Everything else is gravy : )

Q - Your accounting videos saved my grades. How do you decide which topics to cover?

SK - Some combination of need and my personal interest. Need could come from a really popular subject that a lot of people have trouble with (like organic chemistry) or a narrower subject where there aren’t good explanations out there (like credit default swaps)

Q - Hi, My name is Abhinav and I am 8 years old. I am doing this with permission of my Dad. I like khan academy and use it a lot. My question is – Why do you have questions and test for only math and not other subjects.

SK –  Hi Abhinav, We started with math because it is the core for so many other topics. Expect to see questions on topics beyond math in the next year. things like physics, chemistry, finance, computer science, logic, and grammar.

Q – Hi there Sal, I’m a student in a terribly bureaucratic city school system. One of the biggest problems I see is that many inner city students simply don’t care or are apathetic. Do you have any suggestions on how we can motivate them to learn (and enjoy it too) so that they can ‘make the curve’?

SK - Hard question and I don’t claim to know the answer. We are trying to experiment with some inner city charter schools and the results seem to be good (to early to make any definitive statement). I think giving the student ownership of their learning and not forcing them through content that frustrates them is a first step, but, by no means, is a complete solution.

Q - When recording your lectures do you have a particular student you’ve made in your mind that you are talking to? Does that student change depending on the videos difficulty or message? (I know it used to be your family but has it changed now that you have a much larger audience?

SK – I try to think of myself before I knew the topic. I try to think of what confused me.

Q – How much preparation goes into the lecture in terms of research? Do you have notes with you as you lecture? Do you consult people for certain subjects?

SK – Depends on the video. Some require no research, some I spend a few hours on. I do, every now and then, ping a friend to get clarification on some edge-case.

Q – If you had the opportunity to talk to the president about the education system what would be the one thing you wish he would understand most?

SK – That high school and college degrees are not ends by themselves. They are supposed to be means to an end and that end is a happy and productive life.

Q – Could you cite examples of foreign education systems which you think the U.S. should mimic?

SK – No. I actually think the U.S. is no worse than any comparable country (think about any similarly diverse and large country). The US does have major problems with the education system, but at least the culture of the country is one that promotes creativity and entrepreneurship better than any place that I know of. I would make the US Education system more American (promoting creativity, ownership of learning, and independence) and less Prussian (moving together in an assembly line).

Q – Who are a few people who you respect greatly in terms or character or achievement?

SK – Mark Twain. Muhammad Yunus. Bill Cosby. Richard Feynman. Bill Gates (regardless of how you feel about Microsoft, he has redefined philanthropy and is directly saving a ridiculous number of lives. He’s also amazingly smart and down to earth) .

Q – Would you ever seek a government position involved in education such as Secretary of Education?

SK – No. I would feel helpless sitting on top of a bureaucracy. Would want to make videos or work with team on the software rather than sit in meeting or pass legislation.

Q – In the future where you would like video lectures to be the primary source of receiving the information who would you like to see making certain videos? Who would you like making the videos on quantum mechanics for example? Do you think the videos could benefit from having teams write them?

SK – Definitely never want teams writing or scripting videos. Would ruin the connection with the student. I’ve spoken to a few interesting people about quantum physics. I think Bill Cosby would be an amazing teacher.

Q – You’ve shown the world how the teaching of math, science, and a little bit of history can be changed for the better. Do you have ideas on how the teaching of english (or the native tongue of where ever these videos are watched) and foreign language could be altered in a similar manner?

SK - We’ll experiment with language. Not sure what approach will work best.

Q - How would you compare the value of in person lectures to that of online learning?

SK - In person conversations can be hugely valuable. I was a big fan of the case method in business school. A one-way lecture in a large hall can sometimes be appropriate for the shared experience, especially if it is more focused on inspiration and big ideas rather than dense material. I, personally, like to get my head around a subject (through books, videos, websites, etc.) before I engage in real-time with people. I never asked questions in class for fear of looking silly or holding everyone else up. Always figured I should try to get my question answered offline with the book or by asking a friend.

Q - What do you think of MIT’s new online course system, especially given that you’re the commencement speaker there?
SK –  Depending on how they execute on the vision,MITx is a much bigger deal than most people realize. Signals that MIT is moving away from large lectures and towards even more self-paced, project-based learning. The fact that anyone will be able to get an MITx credential for very little could send a shockwave through higher education. It sounds like it will be at a very rigorous standard so it probably won’t be for everyone. I see our role at the KA as getting as many people as possible to the point that they can benefit from something like MITx. Between OpenCourseWare and MITx, very proud to be an alumnus.

Q – How do you think a MITx credential will compare to say a Bachelors degree in the same subject? Right when it goes live and in the future?

 SK - I would interview a job candidate who did well on the MITx exam for algorithms or software engineering, regardless of where (or if) they went to college and I think many employers would. In the end, you just want to find smart, hard-working, passionate people to work with. In fact, they would get bonus points for learning the material in a non-formal setting (shows that they are self-learners).
Q - What made you study for so many degrees? (Three from MIT and an MBA from Harvard!) Also, thanks a lot and much respect from me, a student from Hong Kong. You make learning truly enjoyable.
SK - MIT let you take as many courses as you wanted for the same tuition. I was the hungry kid at the all-you-can-eat buffet :) . My prime motivation for going back to Boston in 2001 to get an MBA was to find a wife (and it worked). Silicon Valley in the late 1990s was not a great place to be a young single guy. My secondary motivation was to broaden my experiences and allow me to think about what I really wanted to do longer term (I did end up changing careers).

Q - Just curious, how did you meet your wife in Boston? :)
SK - She was a freshman at MIT when I was a senior. I wanted to date her then, but nothing happened. I met her again after moving back to Boston (and pursued her with more determination). She was in med school in NYC at this point, but was back in Boston visiting friends.

Q – Mr. Khan, First of all, congratulations on the success of Khan Academy. I work in education and your site is usually mentioned very positively. How would you respond to the idea that some people believe your videos are a replacement or an improvement on traditional education? I’ve heard critics caution that people relying on the Academy to teach them are doing 20th Century Learning (memorization and drilling with formulas and ideas without real-world application) instead of 21st Century Learning (application of concepts to solve new problems and challenges). I can see both things being valuable, but I’ve always wanted to ask you: Where do you see Khan Academy fitting in the context of a person’s complete education?

SK – I try my best to make things about intuition and real understanding rather than pattern-matching or memorization. I see us as a tool to liberate class time to focus on more creative activities. In the ideal world, the Khan Academy will progress to the point that you can get a deep understanding of most topics independently and “school” will be a physical place and support network that helps you explore and apply what you know (build robots, start businesses, write a book)

Q - If you could reform public education, what would you do?
SK - Talk about some ideas at: http://youtube/CiKrFcgVSIU. I think it won’t be done with top-down government policies though. I believe that when a critical mass of parents and students see other students doing amazing things with their time, the change will happen from the ground up.
Q –  What was your dream job growing up as kid?

SK - I wanted to be a car designer or architect. Some part of me still wants to.

Q - Do you believe that Khan Academy could one day educate third world countries for free based on the rapid progression of technology and the broad expanse of Khan Academy?

SK - We think we might be able to help. I see no reason why, in 5 or 10 years, the technology and bandwidth wouldn’t be cheap enough to make this possible. The state of Sonora in Mexico is about to launch a very ambitious program to do just this.
Q - Do you ever think about what you’ve achieved with Khan Academy in the short amount of time its been around, and if so how does it make you feel, do you feel like you have a legacy?

SK - It has been strange in a good way. I try not to think about things like “legacies”. We’re still a young organization and I don’t want to be complacent. Most important thing is that we put our head down and keep making/improving things.
Q - How was presenting at TED? Who was the most interesting person you met?
SK - I actually was running a super-high fever the night before and almost canceled. My wife gave me a dose of Tylenol that only doctors should give. I was happy to just be standing : ). TED is a surreal event. A lot of interesting people there.
Q – How was it when bill gates said, “you’re taking a peek into the future of education!” I would’ve been peeing my pants man.
SK - I did that the first time we met : )
Comment: [–]iantupper posts Profile for those interested.
Q - I want you to know that if it wasn’t for you, I would have failed out of my AP Biology class. Thank you!
SA - Thank you. That means a lot to us!
Q – Recently watched your lesson on Fractional Reserve Banking. Do you find it difficult to remain apolitical while teaching topics that are so politically relevant 

SK – Yes, sometimes. The funny thing is that fractional reserve banking is not that politically charged because so few people understand it.

Q – Who were your favorite teachers when you were growing up and why?

SK - Mrs. Roussell – elementary school GT/Art teacher. First teacher who expected us to be creative rather than just following directions. She was hilarious too. Mrs. Ellis – 5th grade social studies teacher – treated us 5th graders like we were grad students. Ran her class like a good college seminar. Really treated us as equals and listened to what we said. Mr. Hernandez – high school math teacher – Advisor for the math club. Once again, treated students as an equal and expected a lot from them. Mrs. Kennedy – high school journalism – Once again, more like a mentor or experienced adviser for those of us on the newspaper. Felt like we were on the same team. Really smart and witty too. I am sure that I am forgetting others…

Q - What does Khan Academy need the most right now? How can we help?
SK - 4 million students are using it, but there are 40 million just in the US. Help get the word out that it exists.
Q - First and foremost, thank you for doing this IAMA, and thank you for Khan Academy. When you are doing a lesson is it all in one take? And how do you plan each lesson out?

 SK – I’d say that 90% are in 1 take. 99% are 2 takes. I try to clarify my thinking about I don’t do any formal planning/scripting. I find that the best videos are ones where you have a very clear understanding of the topic and you have a big smile on your face and you just think it through with the viewer : ).

Q – How much time do you spend working on your videos a day ? How taxing is it ?
SK - I try to still spend at least 50% of my day making videos. My brain does kind of ache after making 4 or 5, especially if they’re in complex domains.
Q - What were YOUR grades like in high school?
SK – They were good.

Q - Sal, a lot of STEM students are overwhelmed by the challenges and pressures of an education in such a field. Many drop out (recent article in the NYT) as a result because they can’t handle the difficulty. You went to MIT and received 3 degrees. Did you ever have “trouble” with your classes? Any point where you wanted to quit and switch majors? How did you cope with the stress?

SK - Few people get through MIT without a little bit of stress (I once got 15/100 on an exam at MIT) : ) I was lucky, because I had taken a lot of courses at the University of New Orleans while in high school (and had some experience programming for a professor, Dr. Santanilla, there). So I was seeing many of the topics the second time at MIT (and I was ready to tackle them at a more sophisticated level). My best advice I can give you is try to expose yourself to the concepts BEFORE taking a class. You might be able to learn with the class, but there is often little margin of error once the term starts. If you do find yourself in a really stressful bind, take a breath and put everything in perspective. I know many, many people who have rebounded from a bad grade to do amazing things.

Q – Who’s your favorite intellectual historical figure?

SK - Mark Twain
Q – What is the academic subject you know the least about?
SK - Too many to list. Could start with French Lit.

Q - I’m a software engineer at Google. How can I help in my free time?

KA - Not Sal here, but I’m on the dev team — the framework we use to create exercises is entirely open sourced and available for contributions at … Some of our coolest and most interactive exercises have come from open source contributors. Check it out.

Q – How fast is Khan Academy catching on? Are there plans to expand / increase the developers of the program?

SK - We’ve had roughly 4 million unique users this past month. Was 1 million this time last year. Our team is now 22 people and we are hiring about 1 person per month. Most of the expansion is on the software engineering side, but we are also adding a few other video producers.

Q - Your favorite book? Movie?

SK - Books: Confederacy of Dunces, Catcher in the Rye, Dune, Ender’s Game (the entire series), Foundation Series, Lord of the Rings, Childhood’s End (Arthur C. Clarke), Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Twain), Tale of Two Cities, Pride and Prejudice.

Movies: Gandhi (try to watch it once a year), Star Wars.

Oh, I forgot Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Q - So..the Khanacademy website says “watch, practice. Learn almost anything for free”. Why don’t I see any videos on the subject of foreign languages? It is understandable that you can’t teach everything but why not bring in the experts on the field? You don’t have to be the one who does all the videos. P.S. You are pretty much my idol.

SK - I can barely speak English : ) Seriously, we will try to eventually address this. Don’t know exactly how and there is a lot other stuff in the pipeline, but, I agree, it is important.
Q – Would you consider making videos that teach less purely academic topics, such as chess maneuvers/techniques or music theory?
SK – We’re looking into it. I’ve been talking to a guy who might be great at music theory (which I want to learn!).
Q - Do you have plans to expand the “Map of Knowledge” feature to all subjects?
SK - Over time, we will try to expand to as many areas as is suitable.
Q - I’ve heard that you want to be the only teacher for courses offered on Khan Academy, but with so much to cover, it’s not really possible– Have you watched videos from any of the YouTube personalities who teach subjects through videos? Are there any people whose methods you actually feel work well alongside yours?

PS – Without you, I don’t think I would have been able to pass my beginner courses and finish my engineering degree, so thanks a lot for your efforts.

SK - We are adding other teachers.

Q - How big a priority is remaking your older, lower quality videos compared to making new videos? Will they all be replaced eventually? What is the planned scope of the exercise portion of the site? Will it move beyond mathematics? Beyond science? Do you take an active role on this side of the Academy? Any chance for a whiteboard/chat feature, for remote tutoring with students? I’ve used KA for both my own use and for help tutoring someone else much younger than me remotely. It’s helped us both, especially her, a lot. Thank you.

SK - Yes, I have been remaking many of the older, low-res videos that had the bad handwriting. We [are] thinking we are just beginning. Hopefully, KA will have 10 times as much video and exercise content over the next 10 years.

Q - Are you planning to release videos as torrents?

SK – I believe this has already happened

Q - What subjects do you plan on teaching in the future. BTW I love your videos.

SK – Planning on doing micro/macroeconomics in January. Computer science and accounting are also in the pipeline.

Q - Thanks for doing what you do. In the beginning, how long did each video take to prepare and post. What about now? How many people does it take to produce and distribute your content? Where does the money come from? What awesome future plans are in the works?

SK – The first videos took almost no time to prepare for since I thought they were only for my cousins : ) It is probably obvious from the quality… The videos take very few people, but we have a team of 22 working on our site (and working with schools to improve the experience).

Q – Thank you very much for what you do. Does one person make all of the videos? I mostly watch Calculus vids, and it seems like they’re all the same voice. Is that you making them?

SK – I’ve made the bulk of the videos. We do now have 300 videos in art history that are made by Beth Harris and Stephen Zucker.

Q – What do you think it will take to fully disrupt the education space? And by fully disrupt, I mean make it so that alternative educational plans (such as Khan Academy) become acceptable and respected forms of education when it comes to employers looking at resumes.

A - I think this will happen sooner than later. MIT’s MITx project might provide those credentials.

Q - What made you switch from being a hedge fund analyst to, as you say, doing something of “social value”? Thanks for your videos, your work is truly revolutionary and exactly what the education system needs.

SK - I sometimes make fun of my old career, but it was very intellectually challenging and I worked with some very impressive/smart/nice people. Intellectually, it wasn’t so different than making videos (had to learn about and develop ideas about many, many different aspects of the world). In the end, the videos were just more satisfying (and I get to learn about even more things!). Whenever I am confronted with a major decision like this, I think “what would the protagonist in a sci-book do?”

Q - Do you have a process for vetting who teaches your courses? Could you go into the details of how you find teachers?

SK - Easy process when it is only me (although others have started doing art history videos). We are still trying to figure out a good vetting process to get others into the mix.

Q – I know that you worked at a hedge fund and quit to do this, I respect that and want to say thank you for really pushing the human race in a better direction. My question is, how do you make money now since Khan Academy is a non-profit organization? Was that a troubling decision to quit such a high paying job? Or did you see benefiting humanity to be more prosperous than a pay check?

SK – We have been fortunate to have some amazing supporters (including many, many people who have contributed via PayPal). We will always keep the content free, but there may be interesting ways to help sustain us in the future. I, and the rest of the team, currently take a salary for the organization (we aren’t going to become millionaires doing this, but we are paying market salaries for Silicon Valley and have attracted some amazing people to the team). I make less than at my old job, but am tremendously happy and that is what matters.

Q – What’s been the hardest subject for you to learn?

SK – Toss up between organic chemistry and the workings of the Federal Reserve

Q – Two things. First, how does it feel to have the same name as a famous Bollywood star who is a tool? Has that ever caused you any complications now that you are semi-famous yourself?

SK - I was at a beach in Goa, India in 2004 and he was about 200 ft away from me. He was swarmed by fans so I didn’t entertain introducing myself : ) I do think some of his fans have inadvertently learned some math after doing a google search ; )

Q – What is your favorite pizza topping?

SK – Pineapples

Q – If you could change one thing on Earth, what would it be?

SK - Universal literacy would be pretty nice. Being able to meaningfully communicate with dolphins would be nice as well (especially if they were literate).

Q – Hey Salman, thanks for everything you’ve done for the world! Could you tell me a bit about your heritage? As in, your experiences of living in the US as a Pakistani American? (I’m assuming you’re of Pakistani heritage). Hope i’m not being too intrusive!

SK – I was born and raised in New Orleans. My family is Bengali. My mother was born in Calcutta, India. Father was born in Barisal, Bangladesh. My wife is Pakistani (but grew up in New Jersey). So take your pick : )

Q – Any chance of you guys adding more econ-core videos? The finance stuff is heavy but there aren’t videos on Keynesian economics, AD-AS models, classical model etc.

SK – Should have what you are asking for by February.

Q – These are softball questions. Answer the criticisms that all you’re really doing is enabling already self motivated people . The people that seem to use your program are already people that probably would of found a way to learn anyways. or Your Los Altos school results could be explained by the kids knowing they are in a special program so already picking inspired kids, they are doing better just on this merit.

I admire what you’re doing but the heart of education is inspiring and motivating students. If people moved towards video education I think you hurt education more. The key is to find more inspired teachers like yourself. Not to sit kids in front of videos.

SK – My sense is that most students can be “self-motivated” if they are introduced to things the right way (I know a lot of kids who the system called unmotivated but would spend days trying to crack a hard puzzle or video game or musical technique).

Our best results in Los Altos were the 7th grade students in a remedial math class. Many of these students came from poor households where English is not spoken at home. The number of students performing at grade level doubled in 6 months (23% to 46%) and 6% were now labeled as “advanced”.

The key is to have more students INTERACT with inspired teachers. Videos (and online exercises) can free the teacher to do this (they may otherwise spend the bulk of their time lecturing or grading homework).

Q – Are you still mad at Captain Kirk?

SK – Yes.

Here is a LINK to the full Reddit interview:

EDIT: just added this verbal answer to this and many of the other questions:

Leave a Reply


Campus Buzz

We welcome Tips & Pitches

What you need to know weekly:
The WiredAcademic newsletter.

* = required field

Latest WA Original Features

  • Twitter feed loading

Paul Glader, Managing Editor

Eleni Glader, Policy Editor

Elbert Chu, Innovation Editor

Ravi Kumar, Reporter & Social Media Editor

Derek Reed, Reporter

Brock Buesing, Contributor

error : cannot receive stock quote information

Cost of Education, Domestic, Education Quality, Ethics, For-Profit, Regulatory, Required, Students, University & College - Mar 11, 2012 21:17 - 0 Comments

Heard: Senators On Warpath Against For-Profit College Military Push

More In For-Profit

Blended Learning, Domestic, Elementary / Primary / Junior, Flipped Classrooms, High school / Secondary 2, International, Open Source Education, Required, School teachers, Startups, Students, Technology - Mar 12, 2012 19:04 - 0 Comments

Big Weekend For Sal Khan; Appears On 60 Minutes & Launches Free iPad App

More In Technology

Domestic, Education Quality, For-Profit, Friend, Fraud, or Fishy, Required, University & College - Feb 10, 2012 16:36 - 0 Comments

Heard: NYC Warns Against For-Profit Adult Education Scams

More In Friend, Fraud, or Fishy