Sal Khan's Academy

My friend Diana Rhoten wrote this about Waiting For Superman:

I don’t believe the solutions to today’s education crisis are going to come in the form of traditional policies alone. I believe we need to reframe the problem and the conversation, from one about re-forming schooling to one about re-thinking education and re-imagining learning.

This is a massive, radical design challenge.

The title of her post is We are not Waiting for Superman, We are Empowering Superheroes.

Certainly one of the Superheroes of Diana's "massive, radical design challenge" is Sal Khan. For those of you who are not familiar with the Khan Academy, please go visit it. It is the ugliest website this side of Craigslist, but don't get hung up with that. Behind an ugly front end lies something incredible.

Sal has pretty much single handedly created over 1800 videos on all sorts of subjects (but with a heavy bent on math and science). At this very moment there are >2500 people learning at the Khan Academy. The chartbeat for the Khan Academy is here.

This is a worldwide classroom. The >2500 people learning at Khan Academy right now live here:

Kahn snapshot

I am not suggesting that Sal Khan's Academy is "the solution" to education problem. But it is an awesome hack and one that I am certain will turn into a hugely valuable web service in time. It is entirely possible that Khan's Academy will be a kind of Wikipedia for education. In a way it already is.

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#hacking education#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. samrigby

    *Khan Academy

    1. fredwilson

      thanksi really do need a copy editori think i fixed it, except for the tweet that i can’t edit

      1. Douglas Crets

        You can outsource to me? :)Seeing this thread reminded me of the web site KHaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn! which has been up for years.

  2. Akshay Mishra

    It’s Khan – not Kahn!

    1. fredwilson

      yup, fixed it

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Spend 100 seconds watching this and you’ll never forget the spelling of “Khan” again:

  3. Brennan Knotts

    Diana and company at Startl are killing it right now. They’re a modern day embodiment of the Mark Twain quote, “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

  4. Guest

    It’s Salman Khan’s Academy.

    1. fredwilson

      i believe he abbreviates his first name to Sal, no?

      1. thisisananth

        Yes .I have watched his finance and investing videos and lot of times he calls himself Sal.

      2. Guest

        But it was Sal Kahn’s Academy. Kahn was not correct at all.

        1. fredwilson

          Yup. Thanks for pointing it outI fixed it

  5. thisisananth

    You are very much right Fred. Its not just a wikipedia for education, but Khan is trying to make it tailor made to the learning ability of the child. It can be self paced with metrics available all over.If the user does exercises and he fails many times, the teacher who is seeing the report can understand that he requires intervention of the teacher.…In the first fifteen minutes of this video, he explains how the metrics can enable a completely different way of education.

  6. LIAD

    The sheer scale and breadth of his knowledge, even if he just learns the stuff for his videos and regurgitates it, is staggering.There’s a photo somewhere of his ‘studio’ aka his wifes walk-in closet. Really shows that from tiny acorns….

  7. Carl Levinson

    Agreed.I am one of the founders of the software industry, and have studied deeply all my life – Waiting for Superman is NOT the answer.This in spite of Steve Case’s foolish push for it. He’s old school, old corporate and does not understand crowdsourcing.In the future, there will simply be NO schools – at any level.NO elementary schools, NO colleges, — not Harvard, not schools.Harvard, Sorbonne, Beijing University – ALL gone.NOTE – I have an advanced Harvard degree in Education, and read/speak Chinese, Japanese.What you’re seeing with Twitter revealing the ACTUAL source of knowledge – directly reading the author her/himself – is the future of education – organized by one semantical, singularity dataset.Professors will all be “adjuncts” to the global school.Their sphere of publishing – will be their mirror.Infinite dovetailed knowledge sets – similar to scholarly journals now, but crowdsourced online – will come to define learning. Homework will also be crowdsourced, a team effort.Indeed, nearly ALL industry will disappear – banks, insurance, stores, IRS, credit cards, PayPal – as data converges onto one global white piece of paper for all of us – and a global data singularity takes hold.Everyone who’s anyone in the Silicon Valley works on convergence.People, places, products, and organizations – the four main tables in a singularity.It’s much like electricity 100 years ago – we do not need a “standalone’ electrical plant for each little factory. The world easily recognizes the global electrical grid as a fact of life. More quickly than electricity evolved – we will have an information singularity, and we will as equally comfortable with it as we are with electricity – perhaps more so if the we insist the information grid is non-commercial.ADDENDUM:(Fred Wilson added Khan Academy is based on one man – and may not be scalable.)Indeed, Fred – one man’s effort will rarely scale – however, think crowdsourcing.Think lots of Khan’s – in an properly built singularity.I have spent part of the day researching articles and watching videos about Sal Khan and the excellent Khan Academy – sincere thanks to Fred Wilson.More important than Khan getting an MBA at Harvard — he’s president of his class at MIT.I sincerely believe MIT is the best university in my beloved Cambridge, better than Harvard.John Doerr and his wife have now given $120,000 – Bill Gates Foundation is ramping up (Bill’s kids use it, and it’s Bill Gates’ favorite online education site) – Google has just recently given $2 million.Khan Academy BEFORE any funding had already passed MIT to become the largest online (video) learning site in the world. Still, it may not scale – why?It’s not the entire knowledge of the world – ontologically organized – voted on (think E-Bay reputation) by all of us – for all of us. Harvard cannot scale either – Harvard faces the same disruptive future as the NY Times – very soon.Global data singularity – all knowledge data and all industry data – provides a genuine citizen dataset to share and get our arms around.Citizen collaboration and grassroots definition of a single global dataset is making history in our lifetime.Convergence and open data basically keeps winning.Whenever a Google falls behind Facebook, they “go more open source”, to compete.Nearly everyone in the Silicon Valley is working on convergence – see Matt Cutts – How to Find New Start-up Ideas (simply put, cloud wins) Academy will scale properly when he’s included in a cloud singularity – and his reputation is the highest in many domain knowledge areas.For more on domain knowledge – see: (Stephen Wolfram recently re-joined Twitter) Wolfram Alpha alone may create the singularity.

    1. ShanaC

      while twitter is helpful, and so is the internet, I think there is something to be said for the classical method that comes out of the socratic method- and that one is really hard to get on the internet. People learn from one another, and creating community learning is difficult- it’s one of the reasons I think games will play a bigger role in education over time- since they build in communities already.Classroom environments are better for engaging students this way- though I think they will diffuse out…

      1. Noname

        Socratic method can be achieved with live video chat….

    2. Aviah Laor

      The universities survived for centuries. Don’t count on the electricity model.To quote Woodroo Wilson: “As compared with the college politician, the real article seems like an amateur”. The universities know their staff 🙂

      1. Carl Levinson

        Newspapers survived for centuries.NY Times is to printing on dead trees — as — Harvard is to education.Obviously, just as Arthur Sulzberger (publisher/chairman, NY Times) recently said that printing on paper will eventually be gone at his paper – Harvard may survive in a reduced, adjunct electronic slice. Still, no single school, no matter how prestigious – can compete with a global singularity in knowledge. Think traditional media disruption by an ongoing singularity in publishing.

        1. Mark Essel

          How about specialties and filtering Carl. When you talk about singularities and convergence are you more excited about the lack of barriers or how much each individual can master? Consider how many people can understand the sum of human knowledge and master all fields? Zero. As soon as you begin breaking all the beautiful knowledge down into slices of specialties you can see the future of education isn’t one sized fits all, but thousands (millions?) of online video seminars, unconferences, and online learning like p2pu.

          1. Carl Levinson

            Hello Mark -I’m not advocating a large, clay-foot monolith.Each person will build unique data – and take unique footsteps.Filters will be the essence of the singularity itself.Indeed, FILTERS are what’s missing at ALL the major social sites.Twitter, Facebook, gBuzz, Quora, Foursquare, GoogleMapsKeep in mind ALL data is extant already – whether it’s organized or not.In other words – we have 1 billion petabytes of data, now, at this millisecond on Earth.Filters, ontologies, domain knowledge (Wolfram Alpha) – any form of convergence will gradually organize data into a singularity.A singularity in data – is as certain as cell phone adoption.I am neither advocating breaking down barriers, nor proselytizing data centralization.Data is SIMULTANEOUSLY and inexorably hurtling towards a single, organized knowledgebase – and millions of unique individual (private) slices.Think Wolfram Alpha – and, think Star Trek – quicker than anyone can imagine.In the years ahead, everyday people (常人) will understand it as easily as their Facebook or cell phone adoption.

          2. Mark Essel

            Unless you’re planning on Skynet, we humans can only use so much of that data at a time, we can master only fragments of the data. Search engines on their own don’t make smarter or more effective humans, they’re merely a tool. They organize information on the web with an advanced network scheme. The business earns attention and converts it to ad revenue which refines their services. Individuals use the sorted information to narrow their search. Then we follow our searches by spending time digging deeply into particular posts, papers and examples. But this alone is rarely enough for change to take place. Only by connecting asynchronously and in real time over topics we’re passionate about, and doing so on a regular basis over an extended period of time (years) can we make an impact. Even infinite available knowledge doesn’t help the individual know what it is they need to know, and how best to execute. Not to mention the priceless value of motivation, or the importance of personal relevancy. If individuals aren’t cognitive of what and why they are performing tasks, how can they know they got it right?

          3. Carl Levinson

            Mark – I respectfully say I cannot believe I’m having to defend this.While I agree that a singularity has the potential for a Terminator/Skynet scenario, it also holds a more-than-equal potential for a Star Trek scenario. I guess it matters whether one believes in the gradual benefit of technology, which I do.As to your more salient point of view (that man will not be able to filter and organize the tsunami of data) – actually, it’s the opposite. The tsunami is terribly overbloated and terribly disorganized – right now.Globally, say if all data in total is 1 billion petabytes – it will be 1000:1 less total data, properly organized.Something like 1 million petabytes, for all data, worldwide.Surely one million petabytes can describe the world.In other words, we are awash in redundant data globally right now – phone books are printed 1million-to:1 redundant, in my hometown, Indianapolis. In addition to that redundancy – online, thousands of other e-publications repeat the same phone numbers again, redundantly.Six billions rows in the PEOPLE table is less than ONE petabyte – even with nearly 200,000 bytes to describe my one little row, for me, Carl Levinson.In a singularity – my phone number fits easily in one row – ONLY one data instance, globally. That row is MY one row in the People table.Don’t you see how insane it is for every company or friend who I touch — stores my phone number, thousands of times, wildly redundant.3 billion cell phones worldwide hold nearly 150 billion phone/contacts inside them – that’s crazy, and franklly burdensome. It’s no wonder life is so difficult.90% of the labor on Earth is spent doing tasks like “typing a contact into their phone” – what a massive waste. Let’s work on solving world hunger instead of pushing pencils, reporting to the IRS, driving to the DMV. filling out forms at the doctor, accounting between banks, people, and government. We can’t – everyone’s too busy – awash in a world which is worse than 99% redundant. In other words, we’re all doing nothing, going nowhere, till we organize it better. We’re all literally picking cotton in the fields, before electricity.One white piece of paper – one dataset for the entire planet – means organization, not a Skynet overwhelming data tsumani.It’s a 1000:1 ratio DECREASE in global data.In addition to that – it’s ontologically organized, unlike the ridiculous data mess currently, worldwide.Indeed, there’s more chance of your Skynet scenario RIGHT NOW, because of this meaningless, vapid, over-printed, over-redundant, unorganized data worldwide.My only point is – it’s quite possible to organize this to be LESS data, more meaningful, and more available to people in a meaningful, beneficial way. I repeat – A data singularity is as certain as cell phone adoption.It’s coming – just as cell phones washed across the planet.And building meaningful, ontological, private, helpful data structures is perfectly practical.Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare are building the appropriate data schemas – albeit poorly engineered. However, the sum total of all the Silicon Valley honing convergence patiently will result in better structures gradually, witnessed and determined by the commonwealth of people.More than your concerns, Mark – it matters whether people digest and require that the coming data grid be open-source, designed for privacy, built for the public commonwealth, and preferably non-commercial – or, at least as beneficially designed as the electrical grid itself.

          4. Prokofy

            Do you have a job?Do you work?Who do you depend on?Is it Mom? Big IT? your university? Who is it that underwrites the impractical, untethered, UNHINGED ideas you spout? Have you ever tilled the earth?

          5. Carl Levinson

            Please compare the quality of the following two Twitter feeds:@Prokofy@TeaWithCarl

          6. Dave Pinsen

            Carl Levinson:Six billions rows in the PEOPLE table is less than ONE petabyte – even with nearly 200,000 bytes to describe my one little row, for me, Carl Levinson.Stephen Crane:Once there came a manWho said,”Range me all men of the world in rows.”And instantlyThere was terrific clamour among the peopleAgainst being ranged in rows.There was a loud quarrel, world-wide.It endured for ages;And blood was shedBy those who would not stand in rows,And by those who pined to stand in rows.Eventually, the man went to death, weeping.And those who staid in bloody scuffleKnew not the great simplicity.

          7. Carl Levinson

            Dave Pinson – Excellent quote, sincerely.I’m honored to talk with you.People are already arranged in database rows – millions of times, globally. Databases do this (poorly) every day – I’m talking about organizing it better. And yes, you can point out (correctly) it’s dangerous work.I simply believe it’s worth it – same as cleaning out your garage each spring.It should be added that I believe in open source, VRM (Doc Searles), privacy (which there is none now), and grassroots democracy.A single, global data system is coming – for no other reason that all the engineers in the Silicon Valley are (unconscious to a singularity) — working on convergence.What matters is how it’s organized – as an open public utilty, or a HItler machine.I personally believe a permanent, open public utility can be established long-term – or, at least as long as 200 years the US Constitution has persisted as friend to mankind.The downside of total data transparency is easy to “hawk-huckster-selll” – Skynet (Terminator movie), Hitler, lack of privacyrich man’s network – there are lots of canards.Doing the hard work of making data transparency about freedom, privacy, and grassroots democracy – requires more effort than a few buzzwords in the press.Fred Wilson is a great man, a great thinker – I read him in trust. However, he’s mostly pushing “more of the same education policy” – by posting an article of a woman who’s spent much of her life inside at HGSE and Stanford GSE. While her ideas are entrepreneurial in those settings, I do not believe they will “change the educational world” like Google changed the Internet – that is, she will not genuinely disrupt, as Fred claims.I believe conversely, that a data singularity, properly built around democracy and freedom, will disrupt – and change the educational world forever.

          8. Prokofy

            What you are advocating is a techocommunist fake paradise that is a totalitarian system accelerating the totalitarianism of the Singularity, with YOURSELVES as a CLASS of geeks prominently in charge.All your “noble” theories forget the elephant in the room: that they are empowering your class, you, your culture, your ethics-free hacker religion.Non pasarant.

        2. Prokofy

          I hope fervently and ardently that YOU will be disrupted, Carl Levinson. That a young 17 year old kid in Egypt in an Internet cafe will learn programming, Blender, clouds whatever he needs to learn and EAT YOUR GODDMAN LUNCH and let YOU feel for once what “disruptive technology” does to the rest of us in murdering the news, music, publishing and other industries through the invasive and destructive Internet created with a deliberate model of techocommunism and not one where people can make their livlihoods.

          1. CJ

            Technocommunism? Sounds like capitalism to me. Or should we allow the buggy whip manufacturers to decide when we move to cars?

    3. Prokofy

      I loathe your ideas more than words can tell.You’re a parasite, sucking off the institutions you undermine and dining out on the degree it gave you for the rest of your life.The Singularity is a totalitarianism of geeks, and I for one will fight it with every fiber of my being.The subject of Superman makes me very angry, because it’s yet another example of white liberals and Silicon Valley run tekkies imposing their liberal failed ideologies on those forced to send their kids to school with the minority underclass. As I always say: raise your hand, people in this thread, if YOU send your kids to the inner city schools in New York *like I do*. Honestly, the anger is unlimited on this subject and I will express it every time.Open data is a closed system run by arrogant Bolsheviks like Carl, fueled and paid for by Fred. It truly enrages me.The hysterical wired state that Carl is in with his spouting like a religious nut about convergence and clouds — he might as well be a nutter in Florida calling to burn the Koran. *Same difference*.Got an extra $100 million you paper millionaires from Silly Valley??!!! Use it to provide jobs and decent health care for the parents, and then they can buy their kids laptops and raise them properly. Focusing only on the cute children is the same error that world relief makes in focusing on cute children in refugee camps and not on their parents who need jobs and business.

      1. Carl Levinson

        Please compare the quality of the following two Twitter feeds:@Prokofy@TeaWithCarl

        1. Prokofy

          It doesn’t matter if my twitter feeds has “quality”; what matters is that you are obviously ducking my questions! You seem untethered to reality.

  8. Albert Wenger

    It is great that Sal is getting the recognition and support that he deserves. Google just awarded Khan Academy $2 million as part of their http://www.project10tothe10

  9. ShanaC

    He really does have a great website for reviewing math. I know that one of the commentators here also has a number of videos about physics.The humanities in some ways are harder to teach via video, though I think it can be done- how do you get someone to engage a text and search for a truth? By presenting them the logic and the rhetoric of these texts, and divining the deeper wisdom from it (thanks college). It won’t be the socratic method, but…. In science and in math, at least, there is the truth until disproved otherwise, at least for most learners not p[publishing in journals…

  10. Tom Labus

    I was most encouraged by comment at the end an interview that he wants to expand to history and other arts areas. The world needs a history lesson on a continuous basis. The lack of a basic historical record in many parts of the world allows for much disinformation and distorted views of the US.

    1. fredwilson

      yes, he started with math and science but he won’t stop there

      1. Douglas Crets

        I also like that he asks others to add their own videos on different subjects and in different languages.

  11. Gary Sharma

    Check out his talk by Sal at GEL conf back in May where he talks about how it all began and lessons learnt along the way. Very inspiring. Now if only 1% of other hedge fund analysts follow his lead and put their quant learnings to better use 😉…I really like how passionate he is about the subject matter and has a very friendly, accessible style. That probably plays as important a role in the success of his videos as the access to free content itself. I wonder how one scales that.

    1. fredwilson

      it may not scale

      1. Carl Levinson

        Indeed – any one man’s effort – may not scale enough.I have spent part of the day researching articles and watching videos about Sal Khan and the excellent Khan Academy – sincere thanks to Fred Wilson.More important than Khan’s MBA at Harvard – He’s president of his class at MIT – I have sincerely always believed MIT is the best university in my beloved Cambridge.John Doerr and his wife have now given $120,000 – Bill Gates Foundation is ramping up (Bill’s kids use it, and it’s Bill Gates’ favorite online education site) – Google has just recently given $2 million.Khan Academy had already without funding passed even MIT to become the biggest online (video) learning site in the world.Still, it may not scale – why?It’s not the entire knowledge of the world – ontologically organized – voted on (think E-Bay reputation) by all of us – for all of us.Harvard cannot scale either – Harvard faces the same disruptive future as the NY Times – very soon.A global data singularity is in the cards – all knowledge data, as well as all industry data.Convergence and open data keeps winning.Google falls behind Facebook, so they “go more open source”, to compete.Nearly everyone in the Silicon Valley is working on convergence – see Matt Cutts – How to Find New Start-up Ideas (simply put, cloud wins)…Khan Academy will scale properly when he’s included in a cloud singularity – and his reputation is the highest in many domain knowledge areas.For more on domain knowledge – see: (Stephen Wolfram recently re-joined Twitter)Wolfram Alpha alone may create the singularity.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          “Harvard cannot scale either”The signaling value of a Harvard degree is driven by Harvard’s selectivity and exclusivity. If Harvard scaled, it wouldn’t be Harvard — it would be the University of Phoenix. And you wouldn’t have bothered to mention in your previous comment that you had gone there.

          1. Carl Levinson

            I graduated from Harvard – and paid the tuition from my own labor.The point is NOT what a scaled Harvard renders to – The point is no single institution can scale (not Khan, not Harvard) vis-a-vis what’s coming ontologically, as global data gradually converges into a smaller, well-organized single dataset.Just as language translation machines are advancing quickly, just as the machine chess champion is better than any single person – a humble, human-focused, grassroots ontological superset will someday surpass a Harvard education – and any discussion of education policy needs to ponder this.Indeed, it needs to catalyze it – and stop thinking like the newspaper industry.While Khan and Harvard are superlative, inspiring examples – neither compares to us all collaborating together, via a smaller better-structured, better-organized dataset.

          2. Douglas Crets

            I’d like to interview you for some stories I am writing for Can you email [email protected]

          3. Prokofy

            No.I don’t wish to be collectivized by you. Take your totalitarianism far, far away.Look out, as someday, the grasroots ontological superset will come and bite you in the ass — hard.

      2. Karim

        Salman Kahn has done an unbelievable thing with Kahn Academy, and kudos to him for offering it up to so many people. The guy is a hero, no doubt.But he’s not a teacher. Certainly vis a vis math, there’s a difference between “doing” math (which is what Sal does) and “teaching” it. Kahn Academy is a great resource for people looking for homework help, or who want some boning up on basic skills. But if you ask them to explain what slope is, or to apply it to a real-world context, I don’t think they’d be able to do it.The question, then, is: does Kahn Academy represent innovation in education, or a repackaging of the traditional process-based methods that many teachers have been using for years? Again, he’s providing a hugely important service, but let’s not be so quick to confuse C3PO with Socrates.

        1. Douglas Crets

          Don’t you think that Khan Academy represents the teacher as guide philosophy behind technological innovation of education? I feel like we will still have teachers, and maybe even more teachers, in the future and they will use classes like what Khan Academy hosts to accentuate their teaching.

      3. Prokofy

        It doesn’t have to. And shouldn’t. And Singularist transhumanist ecstasy about this of the type Carl is spotting is just *loony*.What’s important is that lots of independent experiments get started, that they are free of utopian hackerist culture but can keep an open mind about what works, that people can debate all kinds of models, that state and private, religious and secular take their stands and their places in the community, and that education is diverse and pluralistic and not monolithic, but that it has a basic universality and standards that the government enforces to make sure we just don’t turn out a lot of dope-smoking ignoramuses as we are now.When you use the power of the influencer and the power of the purse to tout one model, Fred, you should be aware of the skewing effect you have.

        1. fredwilson

          sal khan is the opposite of a “dope smoking ignoramus”he is a treasure

          1. Prokofy

            Er, I’m not referring to Khan, I’m referring to the current products of our public schools, knee-deep around every single high school and many elementary school in the city, Fred.Like I say — my kids go to these schools. Yours don’t. I love the private sector for schooling. But it’s expensive. So we need to fix the public schools for the rest of us. $100 million in faddish Facebook paper money, grafted on to old structures with new tekkie insanity not unlike the same discredited 1970s theories will get us nowhere.You’re smart, and motivated. I wish you would take a Sunday afternoon some day when you have time and actually draw a roadmap of what you envision as educational change, rather than just shouting “we need to smash everything”! and “We need disruption!” and “one laptop per child!” and other Bolshevik slogans.And don’t just take bloggy enthusiasms like this Khan fellow who you can’t just graft into the public schools either. No, think, Fred. Make a map. Make a list, like it was a hostile takeover. Then let us know your thinking so it can be critiqued. You know like:o the first thing, get rid of the unionso no, keep the unions so they don’t obstructo get rid of the community boardso get rid of the PTAso invite famous entrepreneurs in to give inspiring tech talko allow children to search the net three hours a dayor whatever your plan is. It’s not fleshed out.

      4. staticvars

        It’s already scaling more than if he was just tutoring his cousins in person or teaching one class of kids.Surely you can find *one* similarly talented lecturer in the subjects he can’t cover.

  12. KirstenWinkler

    I think Salman Khan is one of the true heroes in education today. The question is: how many people like him exist? He devoted about three years to this mission started by quitting his lucrative job without knowing what the future will bring. There is no business model behind it, just donations and the money he had on the bank when he started.So I think it will be hard, if not nearly impossible, to find anyone else with this kind of knowledge and dedication, willing to put all aside to change the world. This is, up to now, a very unique case.As much as I admire Sal and his work I don’t believe that this can be a solution, at least not in the society we are living today where teachers / educators don’t have the status of being one of the most important parts in society.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      If you have a system where everyone’s base needs are taken care of then you’ll have many many people like Khan.

      1. Avi Deitcher

        Necessity is the mother of invention. If everyone’s base needs are taken care of, then no one has any incentive to work and invent.Further, I think you would dehumanize people. People gain a true sense of pride from having successfully provided for themselves and their loved ones and, if successful, for others. Talk to any successful entrepreneur – growth like USV’s portfolio’s or lifestyle companies – and their real pride comes from having provided jobs for many people, having impacted society, and, yes, having been a self-made man/woman.Providing everyone’s basic needs would not work, would destroy the economy by removing incentives, and would dehumanize people by removing their very pride in their productive output.

      2. PeterisP

        If I’d be really sure that my base needs (+wife’s/kids) would be taken care of in a reasonable manner, I would quit my productive job and quit my MBA program.I’d work on my web startup idea – but not on ‘entrepreneur-mode’, but in a relaxed 20h/week regime; I’d study on the internet – part of the same MBA subjects, (but not all since I wouldn’t need the paper degree in any way), but also much of physics, philosophy and theology; I’d spend many times more on my (quite lousy) music playing, spend a lot of time teaching my kids stuff.Even simpler, if I was the man I was 5 years ago, single, without commitments and didn’t have to work full-time to take care of the base needs – then I’d definitely spend a year or two hiking around Mediterranean instead of trying to juggle two jobs and studies at the same time.Most reasonable, smart, productive, well paid people that I know would do something similar. Most mediocre people work at jobs that are objectively not so nice, and would definitely do something similar.Would you spend as much time working if working was optional to have an okay life? Or are you thinking of ‘base needs’ in a rural Bangladesh sense of ‘base needs’ instead of what USA middle class would understand as ‘base needs’ ?In short, I can’t imagine such a system sustaining itself unless there is someone who’s not “everyone” that works hard provide these base needs – say, fairies, untermensch slaves or intelligent robots, and I don’t see any of this coming in the near future. However high are the productivity levels nowadays, any ‘system’ needs a way to force most people to actually work hard. Either with the stick or with the carrot.

    2. fredwilson

      it is disruptivethat’s the important partit points to a different way

      1. KirstenWinkler

        We already had this way in ancient Greece. Like Matthew says, we would need a system where the money issue is off the table but I am not sure if this is human nature.A first step would be a mind change like in Finland where teachers are also not earning much but are truly respected by the society. Therefore the brightest minds choose a career as educator over there.

        1. Avi Deitcher

          I don’t know, Kirsten. We have a society which rewards that which we consider “important” using both extrinsic (financial) and intrinsic (respect) rewards. Perhaps the greatest insight of our financial-reward society is that we recognize that people are good, but not angels, and will work towards their own benefit, be they entrepreneurs, VCs, teachers, doctors, civil servants or elected officials (especially elected officials?). We try and structure society to make them work towards their own benefit and on the way everyone else.If we take the money issue off the table, are we not, essentially fighting human nature? Don’t remember who it said that “talent follows the money,” but it is true here, too.

          1. KirstenWinkler

            To get the money out of this we would need to either create a society without money like in Gene Roddenberry’s vision which is quite implausible or we would need to pay everyone a minimum wage no matter if the person is working or not, something that was discussed in Germany every now and then. According to a couple of studies the “ideal” income is around $6000 USD per month as this is the sum where people don’t think about money anymore. Hence also not really plausible that this will happen.As I said, I am also not sure if humans can live without money, e.g. a materialistic sign of appreciation besides the respect of the community. The thing that is clear to me is that society needs to invest in their educators one way or the other.

          2. awaldstein

            Kirsten…I’m with Fred on this one, I think.Money is never going off the table as an issue.Even though I can’t define it, I believe in the absolute value of education.Even though I don’t know what the change should be, I believe it must change.If all above is true(and it is to me) then creative disruption and challenging the status quo to stir up the future seems to be the direction to support.

          3. KirstenWinkler

            My point is that Sal is a very unique case. Of course his Academy is massively disruptive and of course he and anyone like him deserves our support.But he is a very unique case and I am not sure if there are enough people like him to turn this into a movement. Platforms like Udemy, Sclipo or WiZiQ are offering great tools for educators to build something similar, in some cases even more advanced, to what Sal does.Where are the educators who dedicate their time building free, valuable courses without being paid in some way or the other? That’s why I believe we need a more pragmatic way of educhange but for sure taking aspects and learn from icons like Sal.

          4. awaldstein

            Kirsten…you’re point of view is well argued. And you are in the trenches of educational change so you have that perspective.And of course, no one knows. Let’s keep supporting what seems right and see where it goes.

          5. KirstenWinkler

            I am currently reflecting on the past three years for a panel discussion on education 2.0 etc, that might be one reason why I am a bit less enthusiastic at the moment, I guess. 😉

          6. Avi Deitcher

            Kirsten,It is not just that money is not ever going off the table, it is that we *always* will need a method of valuing material items. Is an ounce of gold worth more than 100lbs of newsprint? Is an hour of a carpenter’s time worth more than 10 mins of a doctor’s? As long as there are products and services, we will need to measure relative values, and money is the way to do that. Cash may go away – Fred must have an investment or two in cash-alternative systems – but some system of providing relative value for dissimilar items will always need to exist, and allows efficient allocation of scarce resources.We may be disagreeing here, but money is fundamentally a good thing for that very reason.BTW, I don’t think it was Roddenberry who came up with the vision. He really only did the first series, which had such memorable phrases as, “Scotty, you just earned your pay for the week.” The idea of a money-free society only appears in later series that came after Roddenberry’s death.

      2. Prokofy

        That’s right, Fred. Disruption for disruption’s sake, Bolshevik as ever was. Then figure out how to pick up the pieces later.

        1. fredwilson

          that’s not fair1) I pay a ton of taxes so that the NYC school system can do the best jobpossible. i don’t regret it one bit. i’d pay more if it meant betterteachers2) i am on the board of a non-profit that provides tens of millions ineducation supplies and equipment to public school teachers, most of them ininner city schools3) i run a campaign her every october that generates about $30k for publicschool teachers4) Khan is not blowing up schools at all. in fact many public school kidsuse Khan’s videos to supplement their public school educationwhat is disruptive is that outside of the public school system, we can trynew ideas out and see what works and what fails. thank god for that

        2. Eric

          As a former member of the communist youth, I must chime in here. In fairness, Bolsheviks did not disrupt for disruption’s sake. They had a very specific cleansing program in mind. The program was “successfully” implemented under Lenin and Stalin when millions of political prisoners died in the gulags and the country lost some of its smartest citizens.Here, we are talking about letting the smartest people contribute on the greatest possible scale, and making the best education available to everyone, proletariat including. So if that is Bolshevik, count me in!P.S. Spokoini Nochi, comrade Fred.

  13. Matt A. Myers

    Education is evolving around the world. Most government education systems are set to one-size-fits-all approach, which however obvious, is finally being realized as being wrong if the end goal is to give everyone an education. My mother was on some committees to research the issue here in Canada because of the latest education reformation had a huge increase in highschool dropouts, especially among the male population; The reform was essentially having students learn more difficult material at earlier ages, so by their final years they essentially were doing level 1 and 2 university course material.The problem really is the politics of it. You’ll have to spend a lot of money now to adjust, it will take ‘wasted’ money to find a model that works, to let it evolve – and you won’t see the long-term benefits strongly for at least a decade or more (depending on how quickly of a shift the drastic changes can occur). Might even take 40 years.I personally feel the education that really matters, to everyone, are basic survival methods – local, grow your own food, self-awareness know how to take care of yourself, let yourself be more productive no matter what you’re doing, etc.. They’re starting to do that in small ways but it needs to be done even more heavily.France who’s #1 in health (and many other positives) really seems to be farther ahead than everyone else – but their younger generations and society, many or most, still strive toward being apart of the ‘American Dream’ but they haven’t experienced the negative drawbacks of such a capitalistic system – they haven’t lived in America to experience the very different culture which isn’t optimal for health, and primarily that isn’t optimal to allow the poor to be healthy – which is where the focus needs to be – the base things in place to allow everyone to be healthy; Stress, mental illness/imbalances, crime rates, violence, etc. etc. etc. — they all go down. Productivity, happiness, social life, quality of life, and strikes (healthy and needed thing) – they all go up.The resources and knowledge and research is there, but the systems aren’t in sync (nor are people’s understandings or education of these things, so how can they vote for a politician who’s for this?), and no one’s taken a proper lead, yet – at least in Canada (and I imagine the US). This probably pretty true around most of the world.My own plans towards helping this are evolving, along with my business projects in hopes to make enough money so I can have a bigger impact, and let things happen faster.On that note, I shall add “Travie Mccoy (Ft. Bruno Mars) – Billionaire” to my Tumblr as a reminder (and I hope someone takes it out of context in the future). – please also enjoy “Kid Cudi – Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Dance Remix)” which is following song, if you’re going to enjoy some music. 🙂

  14. Aviah Laor

    An optimist post, as usual, but for once I disagree.”Education” is more about a system that is used by a part of the population to keep secure jobs and connection for it’s next generation. And no website can help with THAT. It can help you to learn, for sure, but this is it.Alas, nobody is going nuts to eliminate the entry barrier for the good and secure jobs: Private school, high college tuition and connections.Job seeking is hard. Starting a small business is hard (Dave Pinsen commented about the disadvantage of small biz in modern economies). So the “protection” trends may not improve soon.Superman and Batman are unemployed too, I think.The problem is social mobility (and if you are from the UK – your accent).

    1. Matt A. Myers

      This is very true, but the basics can still be taught to allow those not after the ‘good’ and secure jobs to survive, thrive, and be healthy – but the systems and resources need to be in place. There are working models or parts of working models that show this very well. There’s still more to be done, but it will be easier and easier with the tools the internet is giving everyone. I plan to harness them, primarily for education purposes, to bring people on the same page – or the page they need to be on anyway.P.S. I love the end of your post. 😉

      1. Aviah Laor

        Thanks.But let’s say that by magic the “system” doubles the skilled graduates who can take any job.Than what?The gatekeepers will still pick PLUs.The stories of the 5th kid who grew up with nothing and built a business after his 3rd grade came in an expansion era: 50-100 years ago. Growth, constant need for more hands, more people. It’s not the case anymore, and probably will not be for a long time, if ever. So this class has to keep it’s resources. We simply call it “education”.Having said that, the opportunity to learn, to know more, is essential as the freedom of speech. It’s the freedom to think.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Yup, so provide the resources to let “mass” group activities that usually have free spaces (or excess inventory) be accessible by those without money, and provide land and the resources so they can use their time to better feed themselves, and the places to be social and not be as solitary.The options should be “Do I want to just live and enjoy the basic parts to life?” or “Do I want to live and enjoy the basic parts of life but with some more opportunities by stressing myself out more?” There will still be competition, and having the base in place allows those to be able to be perfectly fine still. If education is free, all the way through, then it’s effort and intelligence and parental and community guidance that dictate a persons’ education success, and not as much on how much money the family has; I’m not saying this last part as clearly as I want, but I hope you understand what I’m meaning to say.And sure, there will still be familial pressure to maintain the same education level and salary – but there’s a lot more pressure on a child to succeed and go that route if the resources and infrastructure isn’t in place to fall back on or to decide to use, and even more so because if that child was raised in an advantaged environment they wouldn’t have as likely learned the skills to survive and be happy under the different conditions.

          1. Aviah Laor

            I agree with the cause, off course.However, important part of the success in education is motivation. You must tell a kid “If you learn, work etc …. then ….”. For all the (really) great educational initiatives, the “then” part is missing. “Mddle class” kids understand the “then” part from day one: their parents take them to soccer with nice cars, buy them nice toys and computers and take them to vacations. The kids know intuitively that all these goodies (the ” I want to just live and enjoy the basic parts to life”) are the reward for their parents’ “educational effort”. And the kids follow.Kahn academy starts from the bottom, but to boost education you have to free place in the top of the pyramid, which is much harder.PS. not sure the “free education” is an issue. You can get a lot of the staff for free, books etc. But what counts – the knowledge, skill or the certificate? The knowledge is free. You pay for the diploma.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            You can enjoy life without nice cars, vacations away, your own personal computers and gadgets. It’s hard to believe and I imagine most would see or feel a loss or think the lifestyle would be missing something, but isn’t that coming from a bias point of view then? Can’t you be poor and also be picked up in a nice car and be picked up with a bunch of other people? So much more fun and social! Can’t you share the nice toys with me Aviah? :)The only compromise then is time, and you have to learn to be social and to get along and tolerate those who you might otherwise just avoid in your own personal car. So there’s a societal pressure to be more mentally and emotionally healthy. But luckily those all of the tools to increase self-awareness could be in place!

          3. Aviah Laor

            Thanks for the thoughtful comment.Personally I agree with you 100%. I dare say that if you meet me, or even look at a picture of my car, it will prove it instantly :)Share things: absolutely. Environmentally speaking, nothing is priced right. If you add the real cost of shipping, polluting the oceans and the air which is required to ship the goods from China and then dispose it after a few months, everything would cost much more, and it will be wiser to share, pass things to one another and fix instead of buying new.Time: Absolutely. Faust sold his soul, we made a similar deal. We sold every bit of free time in return for this goodies which never ending advertising told us that it’s good for us. Not worth it. Have a used car and more time with your kids.The idea of my comments was exactly what you say here: that unless a more deep change happen, and life style changes, this educational initiatives will have little effect on the participants. I’m going back again to P.Drucker hopes from the then new corporate America. He thought this structure will provide capitalism with compassion and care, and realized he was wrong. CEOs fly a private plain and have no problem firing thousands of people in the same time. But large government will not help here either (except to the people who get the jobs/consulting for this projects). As JLM always says, in this world you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.

  15. Avi Deitcher

    I will have to get to see this movie, waiting for it to be available overseas, or I will see it on the next US trip.First, The part that strikes me about the quote from Diana Rhoten, above, is that she says it is a “massive, radical design challenge.” As a VC who is constantly disrupting industries, not from the top down with a “massive, radical design,” but through tens/hundreds/thousands of startups, why does that model appeal to you? Why wouldn’t a radically competitive model, where there is no “one true design to rule them all”, but rather many competing designs, be more appealing to a VC? Forget for a moment the politics of charter vs voucher vs whatever, wouldn’t your mindset automatically go for radically competitive?Put in other terms, if there were no competition, we would all still be using punchcards and asking “operator, please connect us to MAN-3225,” as opposed to iPhones and VoIP. Why is education any different? Of course, I am assuming that the consumers (children and parents, in this case) actually *want* to learn, but that may be my inherent belief in human nature and its intellectual hunger.Second, the focus here appears to be on knowledge, which is only half of education; but we don’t just educate robots with knowledge, we educate thinkers (you live in Manhattan, check out the inscription over the entrance of Earl Hall on Columbia University’s campus) and leaders. How do we do that online? Can that come from anything other than first-hand interaction and role models?

    1. Avi Deitcher

      Ah, someone posted at around the same time the comment about institutions and someone else about Socratic method. Credit to them.

  16. Fernando Gutierrez

    Amazing guy. I had never heard of him before, but I’ll sure talk about him a lot, donate something and try that others do the same. I don’t think this website will be the solution to every problem in education, but it sure won’t harm.And finally I’ll be able to learn to multiply without the shame of doing it with six year old kids! 🙂

  17. Spencerjmaxwell

    It’s a great educational supplement. Not a replacement. (yet)

  18. raheeln

    education is to seed our position in the world and institutional reform of the type that encourages private sector participation in education is necessary. as fred said, this is one way.”I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.”-Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

  19. Jan Schultink

    I wonder when this movie will come to Israel, I would love to see it.Education is probably my biggest worry as my children are about to go to school for the first time.There are 2 components to the education system, and they are different:1) Transfer of knowledge and skills. The current education system worked for the past 2 centuries, but not anymore. There is no point to memorizing facts when information is searchable. Entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership is nowhere in the curriculum.2) Creating social skills by letting young people do things together in a group between ages 6 and 18 (possibly 25).As a parent, I am preparing for a situation where I might have to take on 80% responsibility for 1) in a world where it is impossible to fundamentally change a (government) system that we got used to over the past 100 years.

  20. Hemang Gadhia

    I read a extensively about Khan Academy a few weeks ago when Fortune did a nice profile ( on Sal and his work. The man has found his calling in life and he should be incredibly proud that he’s making a major difference in the world. Virtual education like Khan Academy will be crucial in helping the third world overcome many of the hurdles they face with providing quality education and helping their indigent populations attain educational levels previously unattainable by them. And obviously if it’s good enough to help Bill Gates do lessons with his kids, I think we all might benefit a little bit from what Mr. Khan has put together.Special kudos to benefactors like Gates and John & Ann Doerr for ensuring that Sal Khan’s work isn’t in vain. Fred, hopefully you’ve sent Sal a nice fat check also. =)

  21. Peter Fleckenstein

    I’ve just finished reading Diana’s post. Thank you Fred for that link. Startl is amazing and I emphatically agree that technology is an enabler not the answer. While “Waiting for Superman” is not in Phoenix yet, the awareness being created has given me a base understanding of what it’s about. Can’t wait to see it. I have to add that I have 2 daughters in our education system. One in high school and one in college.With that being said, here’s my 2 cents:We (as a society) are failing our children miserably. We’ve been failing them for decades now and we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Think about the U.S education system as a business for a moment. This business has failed for just over 30 years now.Imagine funding a proven failed business model that you know will fail every year no matter how much money you throw at it. Kinda crazy huh?We can talk all day about merit based pay, how teachers unions are the reason, teaching to the test vs knowledge thru learning and experience, etc. None of that matters until you understand what is the base catalyst for the radical change that is required.That base catalyst is the parents, both individually and collectively. Individually, parents need to understand that their complete involvement in their child’s education is the MOST important job they have. Collectively, parents must realize that they have a vested interest in every other child’s education and development. This is the first step and without this absolute commitment from every parent, it does not matter what radical change is developed. It will not sustain. Sal Khan realized this and thus created Khan Academy.Diana Rhoten and the team at Startl are doing incredible work as well. Startl wants to “Shock the System” by attacking it from the edges. Amen and Hell Yes!So, parents, what do we need to do? First, we need to understand the following:Parents, WE are the Board of Directors of EducationHow do we begin to live and breathe the above statement and help Startl and Khan Academy? We go THROUGH the system.1. Take a daily active involvement in your child’s education. this doesn’t mean you have to know Physics or Calculus, etc.2. Form a shadow “school board” at the local level. We need to actively shine the light on school boards in every facet – finances, curriculum, teachers, union negotiations, etc. Remember, we’re the Board of Directors and must always ask “Is this in the very best interest and advancement of our children?”3. Actively participate in the total abolishment of the Department of Education. Do any of us seriously want to continue funding a 30 year, proven to fail model?Now that’s a start but I believe it’s a good one. It’s going to take hard work. It’s going to take a lot of time. It’s going to require that we take radical, concerted, continuous action to destroy the failure and create success.Hey, I didn’t propose that this is going to be easy. Then again, just how important is your child? How important is your vested interest in the other children of your community, your city, your state, your nation, your world?I strongly urge everyone to click on the link Fred gave to Diana’s article. Thank you so much Fred for your part in bringing awareness to what I believe is the most single pervasive issue we face – The education of our children.Sorry for the rather long comment. I’m very passionate about this and I have a vested interest. ;-)I’ll close by providing a link that I found through Fred. It is invaluable. Read it. Now. How Will You Measure Your Life

    1. Dan Sweet

      Thanks for sharing the link at the end of your comment. Great stuff. I subscribe but somehow had missed this article.

      1. Peter Fleckenstein

        Thanks Dan. I’m grateful to Fred for providing that link. It’s such a great piece by Clayton Christensen.

  22. LIAD

    someone else doing great online tutorials is Paddy Hirsch from American Public Media. He does great financial videos and has a knack of explaining quite complex subjects very simply.Here is an example on derivatives – actually initially found Sal Khan’s stuff through a related You Tube video of one of Paddy’s

  23. LECHSAM group

    Fred, its funny you should mention this on your blog, I read about Khan in the Sept 6 issue of Fortune and thought it was interesting as a friend of mine have been working on a similar concept which focuses primarily on math education.I do think that going back to the drawing board is the best way to find a long term solution to the education system shortfalls. I had just this discussion over dinner last night where a friend visiting from the UK said, he feels schools started failing when it stopped preparing its pupils for asking the right question… and focused instead on their ability to provide answers to the questions of a biased and limited curriculum. Nonetheless, I do think Govt. has a role to play as well and penned a short blog post about it – – inspired by a McKinsey report on the most successful education system around the world.Now that this has gotten the attention of the masses, I do think things will move forward to finding a real solution!

  24. William Mougayar

    That’s an amazing site. They even have a section on VC’s & Startups.The democratization of learning and abundance of e-learning material are both unstoppable.

  25. Eric

    Kahn is awesome. It feels like the beginning of a revolution. One of the best courses I ever “attended” was Linear Algebra by Gilbert Strang via the MIT Open Courseware (Kahn’s version is also great). One of the worst courses was an in person graduate level statistics class at an Ivy League university, where the lecturer flashed pdf slides filled with terse mathematics at a rate that would have been perfect for Gauss and the Bernoulli brothers (did they have sisters?). It seems to me that replicating an in person experience is not the solution, but asynchronous learning alone (like MIT OC, Kahn, etc.) is probably not the complete answer either. But what if … a teacher delivers a synchronous online class to thousands of students around the world. Anonymous questions are flowing freely with a supervised machine learning algorithm running some sort of a priority system. And the questions are not just visible to the instructor. They are flowing to all attendees. Everyone can rank them, like them, rate them, answer them. Problems are being solved collaboratively and in real time. The instructor is the conductor. The magic is not lost. It is amplified. What a world.

  26. rich caccappolo

    For anyone who is really interested in this space, in finding “superheros” and thinking through new solutions, I recommend the Big Ideas Fest in early December in Half Moon Bay attended last year and was impressed by the attendees, the experience, the energy. I can’t make it this year, but I wish I could – it is really worthwhile as are the organizers, The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME).

  27. Imran Ali

    Interestingly Khan’s Academy was also namechecked in an NYT article by Kevin Kelly ( concerning home schooling.Kevin and his son use Khan’s to skill up on algebra, chemistry, history & economics as part of his home tuition.

  28. Somak Chattopadhyay

    Fred, thanks so much for writing about Khan Academy. Sal (he does go by Sal, an abbreviated version of Salman) was my college roommate at MIT and has remained one of my closest friends since my college days.I have enjoyed watching Sal’s project grow from a part-time project during his days as a hedge fund analyst to one of the most respected online education sites covering a multitude of subjects from math and science to finance and history.Every time I visit Sal and my other friends in Bay area, I am thrilled to see how much excitement there is within the tech community is that one of their own is now an innovator in such an important cause. The fact that this site has taken off virally in such a short period of time despite such a simple UI is testament to how much value kids and adults from around the world place on quality instruction from a very gifted teacher.I recall how perplexed people were when they heard Sal left his lucrative job in finance to pursue his true passion in education. Now several years later, Sal is a darling of the tech world – Doerr, Khosla, Gates are all huge fans (Forbes recently published an article called Bill Gates’ favorite teacher on Sal – Although it’s exciting to see how well received he is within our geeky, hypereducated world of tech, it’s even more exciting to see how kids from impoverished areas around the world view Khan as a savior – someone who has reignited their passion for learning.As a fellow NY VC (and a huge fan of your blog), I spend much of my time trying to find passionate entrepreneurs who have big ideas that, if successful, can change the world. Sal is a true entrepreneur who is paving the path for many others to disrupt legacy models of education.Having seen all that Sal has accomplished since we were roommates at MIT in the early 90’s, I can assure you that the best of Sal’s work in this field is yet to come. Stay tuned.Somak ChattopadhyayGreenhill [email protected]. You may have seen this just in case – Google announced a $2M investment in Khan Academy through its 10^100 competition last Friday. This new funding will allow Sal to expand from a one-man operation so you should see considerable enhancements to UI and content.

    1. fredwilson

      thanks for stopping by and commenting Somakyour friend Sal is truly a global treasurei should have mentioned the google award in my post. that was miss

  29. Rick Wingender

    Fred, this isn’t an ugly website. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen related to education in a long, long time.Secondly…Looking forward to “Superman”. One quick point though: The title is the problem in this country. It makes it sound like parents and kids are waiting for a “superteacher”. I’m sure we ALL agree that one of the biggest problems in this country is that most – Yeah, MOST – parents have abdicated their roles in their kids’ educations. A site like “Khan” can be a great help.Remember those RIF commercials we had as kids (Reading Is Fundamental). I wish someone would start an ad campaign aimed at parents with the simple message: READ TO YOUR KIDS. Nothing can possibly get them on the right track better than this simple activity.

  30. Jake is not an ugly website. yes it doesn’t look like the rest of USV’s web2.0 portfolio, but that’s the point. It is perfectly functional and simplistic – exactly what an education site of its kind should look like. more =/ better

  31. Douglas Crets

    I think Sal is part of the solution, and I love that on his About Us page, he says that he does not base his teaching on any core guide for curriculum. Instead, he focuses on smarts and intuitions, which is what education should

  32. William Mougayar

    There is so much change going on in the area of Education. I quickly put together this super-aggregator on the Future of Education, tracking daily news on that topic. If anyone is interested:Web site:… Twitter:… @future_eduAnd this from Sal Khan “I’m developing software to teach kids and get data on what happens before and after the video interaction because otherwise the videos just exist in a vacuum.”

  33. Mark Hurst

    Fred, you might also like to watch Sal Khan’s presentation at my Gel conference a few months back:

  34. Moses Osunde

    I first read about Sal’s academy some weeks back in Fortune’s piece on ‘Bill Gates favourite teacher’ after which i checked it out and have been raving about it since then.I think Sal’s ‘enterprise’ is such a beautiful one and would like him to know that people here in Nigeria have found his videos very helpful.So please, Fred, add Nigeria to that list of locations you’ve got up there (lol).

  35. David Gillespie

    Fred, I remember last year or the year before USV put on a “Hacking Education Day” which had, among others, Sir Ken Robinson in attendance who I think is a quiet genius. Education falls outside of USV’s stated investment thesis (as far as I can see), any plans to change this in the future or indeed tackle it with your next fund?

    1. fredwilson

      We’ve been looking for education related investments since hacking educationWe’ve seen a lot of interesting opportunities but haven’t yet found a greatinvestmentI am confident that we will

  36. Rwingender

    And now its available on Roku!

  37. performance improvement

    I am very happy with this effort of Sal Khans’ Academy. It is helping all the poor kids who can not afford the higher educations. We should encourage this.