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Salman Khan is here he is a founder of Khan Academy the online learning tool that has reached and taught millions Forbes magazine calls it the largest school in the world Bill Gates calls him a true pioneer Khan Academy's goal is to provide a free world-class education for anyone anywhere Salman Khan has written a book describing how such a vision might be achieved it is called the one world schoolhouse education reimagined I am pleased to have him back on this program welcome great to be here well you were here we talked about how this whole thing started for you and the development with your niece I think who was down in Louisiana and you were teaching her a new use YouTube and and all of that where is it now yeah you know it's it's since I think when we last spoke as I think is about 18 months ago I think we were reaching on the order of about a million students every month we're now at six million students every month the team is growing I think when I we last talked about it as a five person team we're now we're approaching 40 people and it's really about not just the videos although the videos are still a big part of what we do I'm not the only person making videos anymore we were not translating the videos into every major language in the world our software platform is being used in classrooms and outside of classrooms around the world yeah so it's kind of uh it's it's just where it was before but just said of you know maybe 10 times bigger I think you were born to teach uh I enjoy it I wasn't born to play basketball this but I'm in fact it you did have passion for it you had a technique for it I mean and you found more love for it than you did being obviously because you let being you know way in them you in a hedge fund world yeah no I mean the one although you know it's most people don't realize the commonality between what I was doing before and what I what I hope I'm doing now even at the hedge fund world it was actually an intellectually intriguing job in some ways it wasn't that different what you're doing now is what you you have to context switch from one space to another you're constantly learning you're you get to talk to a lot of people to learn from them and so for me a big fun part of that jobs I always get to learn stuff yeah I couldn't communicate it as much as I might have wanted to and now I get to get the chance to do both and where can you take this you know a couple of things that we're working on mentioned we're translating the videos but we're also internationalizing the entire site and we already have partners of the Carlos Slim foundation in Latin America the lemon foundation in Brazil we recently took a trip down to Brazil and there was national interest the president had asked what are we going to be able to do together so Brazil in Brazil in Brazil so I think in the next year you're gonna see Khan Academy going global in a much more significant way I think you're going to see you know it started with videos we've had an online component exercises we can give people feedback on where they are but we're going to make that much much more serious you've had this you know the 48 states have adopted the common core standards there aren't any assessments out there are some groups out there that are going to be developing assessments and through this whole transition you're gonna have teachers and parents and students wondering about how do they navigate the switch and what we hope to do is have really take our exercises and turn them into really rigorous assessments so that you can go to the site get a really strong diagnostic of what you know what you don't know so we can narrow you in on hey here's what you need to work on we can kind of coach you through that process the tools for the teachers will get better and and we also want to figure out a way for you to get credit for for what you know right far away are you from that we've had a lot of interesting conversations you know it's the resistance you know they're surprisingly you know maybe we're just not seeing the resistance because we're not that far along yet but you know especially if you talk about some of the core college courses or the late high school courses the things you know right now you have 75 70 percent of students who go to Community College have to take remedial math and they usually don't find that out until they show up and start paying tuition and this is something that no one wants to happen they want these and it's the biggest predictor of whether they're going to be able to finish or not and so if we can address that so ahead of time someone can say look I know my algebra I know my pre-algebra I know my trigonometry I'm ready to engage if someone can prove that even at the professional level hey I can program a computer you know I might not have the four-year degree but I'm employable we think that could have huge implications for one someone who doesn't have a chance to go to traditional university or even kind of some of the structural unemployment issues we think it's structural unemployment there is a skills gap but we think it's even more a signaling gap that signalling signaling gap that you have people who actually do have skills and there's no way for them to prove it right now where we have that problem where people are learning stuff on Khan Academy and they want to prove it to the world but there's no way for them to prove that they know something that they know something whether it's and then we have a County videos on Khan you learn accounting in a pretty decent level you know we have a lot more to do but there's no way for them to validate that and and so we imagine a world where of you know a few years out someone will be who would set the standard you know I think for any type of credential the key is who's going to be the consumer of the credential who does it matter to and so for someone wanting to prove that they know algebra I see well we have to we have to go to universities and make sure that you feel that this is a credible standard that someone has attained but if you're talking about if you're talking about to someone on a program or does someone have good critical thinking skills or does someone write well I think you go straight to the employers and say would you respect this type of a of a credential and you know the thing we point out is even today very expensive credentials have have limited information in them and that you know you could go to a fancy university and when you know a company like Google or Microsoft interviews you they still assume very little they make you go through a very you know the first interview is you know go right bubble sort on the whiteboard which is what you typically learn like the first three weeks of computer science class this is someone who's gone for four years and so to some degree if you could take that process and turn it into a credential until the rest of the world like you don't have to go to a fancy university but if you can get to this threshold you get to round three of the interview process at software company X or Bank X or fortune 500 company Y it could it could be a powerful this is not a silver bullet but there is some magic here I mean what is it that you understood about learning when you taught your nice way back when yeah and I'll emphasize this not it's not a silver bullet the biggest criticism we get is like this is not a silver buzzing I agree and and and you know and and well but other words what I mean by that civil but there there's there's no easy way here you're just helping people learn better right we're helping helping them learn themselves they teach themselves to learn and then that's the key and that's what we always want to point out is that for us and for me to really educate someone doesn't mean to try to pour information into their brain and hope that they can regurgitate it out it's to really allow them give them the tools so that they can take agency over their own learning and you know we all see that's the real skill yeah if you can factor a polynomial that's nice but if you can go out into the workforce and some new technology emerges or some new issue comes and you can take ownership of it and learn it that's that's what you want people to be at and and and so what I think what we tapped into and it initially was me with making stuff for my cousin's is put stuff out there that's that that respects the learner that's approachable that's conversational that really gives people the thinking behind something not just the formula and you let them access it at their own on their own terms and there's there was there's huge need for that can you monetize this so it's an interesting question I you know we're not-for-profit so that means you know no one owns Khan Academy but still we have to sustain ourselves in some way and not-for-profit doesn't mean that you can't generate revenue I mean universities do that quite well they're there III think but on top of being out for profit we have in our mission statement a free world-class education for anyone anywhere so we've kind of limited ourselves in terms of we're not going to charge we're committed to not charging for the learning part so so far we're philanthropically supported and hopefully I always make that case that there's no there's no it's hard to have a more scalable social ROI return on investment but we are discovering that we've been advertently built a brand and with that brand we are starting to license the content we're starting to do some brand partnerships people start hearing more about that in the next couple of months that are actually helping pay for a significant amount of our of our of our operating budget at corporate America a corporate world yeah and and that's I think there's a there's a few training workforce is a crucial ingredient opal yes yes and so there's two elements of that one is a lot of corporations feel that they're not able to find the talent that they need to fill certain slots and so we can either help the world ramp up with those skills and then help prove that they know those skills and then I think what you're alluding to is this idea of like look even in corporate training itself this whole self-paced model makes a lot more sense you're sitting at your desk you want to improve your skills in one ricky'll or another you do it at your own time and pace so it is something we have talked to some people about corporate training a lot of corporations are starting to realize that the the best thing they can do for their customers is educate their customers about the domain that they're in and so we're starting to do stuff there as well why'd you call this the one world schoolhouse you know it's funny because I this was the working title at first and the and it was working title because I was you'd say oh it's like well it's the irony here a lot of what we're talking about is going back to the one-room schoolhouse where you have multi age classrooms much more interactive kids taking agency responsibility for each other and there's like yeah but there's some neat things here we're like anyone any any kid in the world can access this we can connect any student in the world there's another element to it which I talked about you know it's I want to take the lecture off the table in a classroom so the classroom can engage with the world in a more relevant way so yeah it just sounded kind of a fun instead of one room schoolhouse one world okay but that goes to the core of Ian and I really am interested in in the experience from the learner's standpoint I mean obviously you the part of your notion is that what we understood you know as the classroom method of teaching is not preordained as the best way to teach absolutely I mean if you go back 400 years ago and you saw that the few people who are getting an education 400 years ago it was pretty much private tutor and private tutor was self-paced hey you master a concept now I mean Shepherd and masters crucial mastery is crucial I mean if you don't if you don't master pre-algebra it's kind of nice to expect you to understand algebra or or or true but we do it we're right now you can you can barely pass algebra an they're gonna sink in algebra to stick in and and and and and and what happened is about 200 years I go into the history a bit in the book about a little over 200 years ago the Prussians you know now a part of or somewhat part of Germany we're the first to say well we want a large labor force and this is the beginning of the Industrial Revolution let's have universal public education it's actually a pretty profound thing that they did but then say how do we do it in a economical way they said well maybe we batch students together I mean you know we see how some of these factories are starting to get built how do they do things at scale we batch students together moving moving them aligned at a set pace we try to pour knowledge into their head some kids it'll stick some it won't at some point we start sit you know we we start sorting the oranges you know these kids are gonna be juiced and these kids are gonna go to Whole Foods but you know so and there was an element of even even the old Prussian model of some degree of indoctrination and then in the mid-1800s the u.s. you know famously said well we want to have universal publication it's no coincidence we base it on the Prussian model we base it on the Prussian model the Japanese - it's no coincidence these are the these are the industrial superpowers that emerged because they had a middle class that was educated but they fundamentally didn't rethink the model a lot of people you know I talked about in the book it was actually discovery to me when I was doing some of the research you yeah I was like why did I always teach physics in the 12th grade why do they teach chemistry in the 11th grade why did they have where did this come from and it came from literally a group of 10 men about 120 years ago you know before the internet or DNA or anything that said people should learn geometry in the 10th grade people should learn they should have 3 years of English they should have and it was just and it hasn't changed it's pretty much frozen there and so what we're saying is a lot of the ideas aren't new let's master a concept let's personalize the instruction to the student this is what would have been the the gold standard 300 years ago and even 50 years ago if you said what's the best well a personalized instruction now could you do that for every student no it's very expensive it's it would cost you you'd have to hire a teacher for every student and what's interesting about technology is now we can go through the same thought experiment and say well maybe we can do personalized instruction for every student if we rethink the role of the teacher if we move them up the value chain instead of them just being a lecturer we let them see data on where every student is every student is going at their own pace mastering concepts we leverage the fact that the students can teach each other this is where kind of the one-room schoolhouse comes in and that's another kind of metal level skill that I think is lost today it's nice to be able to factor a polynomial but the ability to take leadership and the ability to actually manage your peers if you're a 16 year old you're now leading some 12 year olds you're teaching them things can we start to leverage in that way and so everything we're writing here is like yeah I think we can I and we're not only can we but we're doing it we're seeing it and what you know Khan Academy is a part of it but we're able to work with schools today that are actually experimenting here you also say that FaceTime should be separate it's a separate thing from mastery of concepts yeah you know I mean right now FaceTime and seat time whatever you want to call it is it's there people said I mean at the university level so the point that your units are called they're literally seat time units three credit hours six credit hours it's how many how many hours you sat in a chair and what we're saying is what one should go to a competency model where it's not how about how long you set in the sat in the chair but did you learn the material at a level of mastery and whether it took you whether it took you five days to do it or five years to do it that's irrelevant you you got to that level the other is when you get human beings in together in a room you know a lot of people say hey well you know this video lecture stuff you know I enjoy it but I love my college lectures where I could ask a question and I'm like eh that's exactly the point instead of questions being 5% of the time it should be 100% of the time there should be none of the students just sitting passive and you know what I point whether you have ten students in the room twenty students in the room or 2,000 students in the room if you're having a passive lecture it doesn't matter there's no interactivity and we've all sat in a college lecture even in high school and we're all in the room together but we're not able to talk to each other it's actually incredibly dehumanizing that you're getting no interactivity and so what we're saying is a lot of your your exposure to the concepts and and once again humanities have been doing this for a long time go read the chapter and we're going to discuss it when we come to class we're gonna have an interactive thing so what's the difference or wash students feel more passionate about their sports coaches than they do about their math teachers yes and so this is something that I feel struck because I I saw it in high school you're in tenth grade algebra class the teacher asked the students to do like six problems like oh my god you know they're groaning and they're like how this is the meanest guy on the planet and then like three hours later we're in like wrestling practice and that and the teacher says I want you to do 50 pushups followed by running three miles followed by another 50 pushups and they're like yes sir yes or push me harder I want to I want to collapse I mean literally sometimes people would collapse they're working so they're willing to work so so different and the difference is that they feel that the coaches on their side that the coach is preparing them for or behind their interest to do what is their interests they're training me while the unfortunate thing is even though the math teacher cares just as much or more about the student the math teacher is viewed as an adversary okay this is the person who's gonna keep me from passing this is the person who's trying to flunk even though that's not what the motivations of the teacher are and so what we're advocating what we're seeing is working well and then the teachers we've worked with really loved it is look become that coach and and don't you don't have to become the both the assessor and and the lecture and the coach be that coach figure be that mentor you'll form a deeper connection with the students and you're preparing them for an outside world it's just it's a very subtle but powerful mindset you're a pathway to excellence exactly that's you know it's funny I had a dinner I happened to be sitting next to Wendy Kopp Teach for America and and I we just randomly started talking about you know what do you notice amongst the Teach for America teachers that are really able to to move the dial and she says you know it's actually surprising most people think would be about content delivery who can give the best lecture and who could it it was as magic as a teacher yeah and you know because movies try to and they do have magic but it's a different type of night is the teachers who can who can change the students mindsets who can be that older brother or that father or that mother figure and say look this is this is a do-or-die situation if you want to be able to survive in this world I'm here for you but it's your decision to make it's the same type of psychology that I think a good coach does and those are the ones that once you get the student once it clicks in their brain weight I have to take ownership here if you own a football team you got to learn the plays exactly you know and have to take ownership for yourself right look um it's not me it's you you're gonna make it or you're not and I'm just here to help you and that changes that I can't play the game for you have to play exactly exactly yeah so when you look at the next five years where might I see calm Khan Academy in five years I mean is it simply a multiplier effect of how many kids you can reach it's definitely that so in five years I mean I hope we're reaching you know 50 who knows what what might happen with internationalization I hope that you see especially even in places where they don't have access although I think the access issue is going to get solved to a large degree in the next five years with cheaper tablets and more internet but I out education throughout education throughout education but even outside of formal education systems be NGOs are gonna be able to give tablets to kids right um III think it'll be some of the ideas in the book that right now like hey we no more lectures and classrooms I think they're going to start being mainstream I think you're going to start seeing top institutions realize that it's in their best interest to not define themselves by hey I gave a good lecture that's passive but what's the the formal experience that I do on my campus and I think when you do that when people realize that it's not an either/or that these are tools that will help students take ownership but then it frees up the physical environment to go deeper I think I think that'll be a mainstream thing in five years where are we in terms of online education in the evolution because it didn't deliver what many people thought it would once they understood it could be a tool yes and I think yeah you had a first wave in like the late 90s early 2000s right it was kind of obvious the Internet's about disseminating information in education it came along with the development PCI soon that's well the PC I mean Steve Jobs famously originally thought that the personal computer was going to be a treadmill for the brain right he thought that was the killer app for the computer yeah ended up being for other things I didn't I mean obviously to help people learn as well but it didn't really hit the nail on the head there then with the Internet I mean even pre-computer the radio people thought was gonna be the killer out for education I thought TV you see are these are all hey but the light TV arts on demand now right we can I think what happened in kind of maybe about six five six years ago I mean you can't underestimate YouTube's power here where it really lowered the cost of streaming video of producing and streaming video close to zero to the point that a guy in his closet could start making it for his cousin's and it's that's you that was me and start getting traction and I think that helped kind of show people that look there's a demand here and not just for the videos but for the whole interactive immersion immersive experience and so this past year you've had these MOOCs emerge these massively open online courses Harvard and MIT EDX there's a group from Stanford other folks who have been doing it and and what really seems deaf credit right now for the most part they're issuing certificates although they are starting to partner with a few institutions for credit as well and so it's really different this time is it is it looks like all of the players including us are looking at how do we systemic lis become important to the system what are if we with a blank slate what is the whole point of education what is the whole point of a credential and how do we do that in the best possible way the either outside of the system or in partnership with it thank you it's great to see you great to be here the one world schoolhouse education reimagined Salman Khan been the Khan Academy thank you again thank you for joining us see you next time