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Khan Academy: from Tutoring to Worldwide EdTech Startup 🧑🏽‍🏫📚

This is an educational project aimed at providing valuable knowledge for free in any countries, cities, and places with Internet access.

All lectures are initially placed in English and some of them are translated into other languages. In addition to videos, there are interactive tasks that help you better remember and comprehend the material.

Today, the majority of the platform’s users are Stanford’s students, as well as college teachers and learners from different countries who adopt experience and new knowledge.

Founder

The academy was founded by Salman Khan, an entrepreneur and teacher from the USA, who has been among the 100 most influential personalities in the world since 2012. Overall, he has 4 degrees: mathematics, business administration, engineering, and computer science.

History

Salman's sister Nadia began to have difficulties in studying mathematics. She failed an important exam, which could result in a poorly paid job in the future. Though Nadia had a chance to retake the subject and continue to study well, so she asked her brother for help. But the problem was they lived in different states and couldn’t study full-time.

Salman came up with the idea of recording short voice messages to Nadia and sending them to what we call messengers today. As a result, everything worked out — she retook the exam for a higher score.

Therefore, Salman took up tutoring and taught group lessons via Skype, while working as an analyst in the company. But group classes turned out to be not as effective as individual ones. Plus, there was no way to record conversations in order to relisten to them.

Then Salman decided to look for new methods of teaching and was inspired by 10-minute YouTube videos. He started to make video lessons about maths experimenting with formats and duration.

The project was developing very slowly for the next 4 years. The 2009 year became a turning point when Khan quitted his job to completely devote time to the academy. Since he had not previously thought out how to monetize the project, it didn’t bring nearly any income. Suddenly, Google’s and Bill Gates’s funds became interested in the academy.

The former invested $2 million in the startup and the latter started to intensively promote it. In 2012, Khan was considered the guru of the educational sphere, despite the indignation of other people who believed that a person without a pedagogical education could not teach.

In 2014, the academy already had 80 employees, most of whom helped with programming and other technical tasks. There were courses in history, finance, medicine, astrology, music and other sciences. In 2015, AT&T invested $2,2 million in developing the website and its mobile version. At this point, the lectures have already been translated into 60+ languages.

Nowadays

Today the project remains non-commercial. It was a conscious decision of Khan, otherwise the academy would have lost its original mission. The reason is what requires payment, inherently, cannot be available to everyone. But despite this, the project brings not only income, but also profit, and the photo of the founder was already on the cover of Forbes.
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