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How Khan Academy Started?

Khan Academy is a not-for-profit educational organization started by Salman Khan in 2008. Foundation mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.


Khan Academy was founded by Salman Khan. Sal was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. His mother was born in Calcutta, India; and his father was born in Barisal, Bangladesh. Sal is a former hedge fund analyst with degrees from MIT and Harvard.

Through Yahoo! Doodle Images, Salman "Sal" Khan began online teaching of his cousin in mathematics in 2004. Some time passed, and Khan's other relatives started taking use of his tutoring services. Khan saw the need to make his videos accessible online and ultimately settled on uploading them to YouTube to meet that demand. After that, he tried out SmoothDraw, and these days he utilises ArtRage and a Wacom tablet. He used his computer to create the video guides.

Thanks to the support he received, Khan decided to establish Khan Academy in 2008 and quit his day job in 2009 to devote his time entirely to developing educational videos (then released under the name Khan Academy). Founded by Sal Khan and affiliated with Khan Academy, Khan Lab School first welcomed students on September 15, 2014, in Mountain View, California. Financial Literacy Video Series, created by Khan Academy, was released in June 2017 to the general public.

Humble Beginning and Selfless Mission

In August 2004, Sal Khan began remotely tutoring his cousin, Nadia, who was struggling with unit conversion. This "Swiss-cheese" gap in her knowledge was not allowing her to be placed in the more advanced math track. Since Nadia was in New Orleans, and Sal was in Boston working at a hedge fund at the time, Sal started tutoring her through the phone and Yahoo Doodle after work. As Nadia improved in math class, word got around and Sal started tutoring a handful of his cousins and family members. Scheduling became a real issue, and he decided to begin recording videos and posting them on YouTube in 2006 so everyone could watch at their own pace. More and more people started watching, and Sal has been making videos ever since.

The organization was incorporated as a 501c(3) nonprofit in 2008. Sal continued to work on Khan Academy during his spare time until the fall of 2009, when he quit his hedge fund job and decided to pursue the endeavor full-time. He lived off of his savings for the first nine months, until he received his first significant donation from Ann Doerr. In September 2010, Khan Academy received large grants from Google ($2 million) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ($1.5 million) and began to build out an organization.

Sal called on Shantanu Sinha from McKinsey & Company to join as President & COO. They were former high school math competitors in New Orleans, freshman year roommates at MIT, and long-time friends. They immediately hired Ben Kamens and Jason Rosoff from Fog Creek Software to lead software development and design. In October 2010, the small team moved into their first office space.

What do they provide?

The goal of the Khan Academy website is to provide a free individualised learning experience based on YouTube videos. The website's additional features, such as tracking progress, practise exercises, and teaching tools, are meant to be used in conjunction with the videos. Applications for mobile devices provide another entry point to the content.

The films play like a lecture since they show a recording of an instructor scribbling on an electronic blackboard. A narration explains the significance of each illustration. In addition, as they progress through the lessons, users can earn badges and energy points that can be shown on their profiles. Offline copies of the videos have been disseminated by non-profit organisations to underserved communities in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Videos are available for students in grades K-12 on a wide variety of scholastic topics. The Khan Academy website features videos and articles from other educational YouTube channels and institutions, such as the Museum of Modern Art and Crash Course. It has released LSAT prep lessons for 2018 and offers online courses for preparing for the SAT, AP Chemistry, Praxis Core, and MCAT. Their "Meet the chemical professional" page also talks about their partnership with freelance chemists. Khan Academy has partnered with to offer coding tutorials in honour of the Hour of Code.

Khan Academy joined forces with the College Board's AP programme as an official practise partner in July of 2017.


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