Monday, December 28, 2009

The Khan Academy – One guy making a difference

If someone pinned me into naming a personal hero for 2009, I’d probably pick Salman Khan, though I only heard of him in December. He is the creator of The Khan Academy.

I came to know of Salman’s work, while volunteering at NPTEL. This guy has single-handedly created more 1000 short educational videos, and made them all available for free on the net.

He first started out with a few videos intended for his nephews. They were so well received and satisfying to him that he just kept going and has never looked back.

What is particularly impressive to me is how he has taken the simplest of tools (MS Paint and free web-casting software) to do all of this. And, he’s managed all of this while holding a full time job! (In September of 2009 he quit his job to devote his full time to The Khan Academy.)

He has a great FAQ which is well worth reading. His reply about why he didn't try to make money from this venture really resonated with me:
I've been approached several times, but it just didn't feel right. When I'm 80, I want to feel that I helped give access to a world-class education to billions of students around the world. [...] I already have a beautiful wife, a hilarious son, two hondas and a decent house. What else does a man need?
Because of his background in banking and finance, he even has a few short videos on the government bailout and the Geithner Plan.

Do check out a video or two. Salman is an example of one person making a difference. Do pass on the link ( to any students and learners who you think might benefit.


Polyhedron said...

Wow... A truly amazing guy.

Ram said...
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