Teacher to the world | July 15, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - July 15, 2011

Teacher to the world

Local entrepreneur Sal Khan jumpstarts the emerging global classroom

by Chris Kenrick

Can a hedge-fund guy find fame, fortune and fulfillment as a social entrepreneur?

This story contains 1782 words.

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Staff Writer Chris Kenrick can be emailed at ckenrick@paweekly.com.


Posted by KB
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 15, 2011 at 9:45 am

I love watching Khan's videos, enjoy his spirit and feel honored he's a neighbor.

Posted by Jenny Redo
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

This guy is great! I first found him on youtube when trying to explain triangle angles to one of my children. Now, my children go there to learn regularly. My 9-year-old (who would rather have a play date than do math) calls is "fun." As an adult, I find it a great refresher, reminding me what certain terms are (e.g., prime factorization).

Great job Khan and keep it up!!!!!

Posted by David Schrom
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

Thank you, PAW! Thank you, Sal!

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:46 am

This is a great idea.

In the information age we see how cheap and easy it is or should be to reproduce information and transfer it yet someone taking it from a brain to a brain or a book to a brain is problematic, expensive and very political.

I've seem some of the Khan lectures, and they are OK ... but the production values are low, they move slow, and do one thing, one problems. I found it slightly annoying to have to watch every letter, or symbol, or operator being written in long-hand on the small screen. I'd rather see a person in front a white screen ... I think that would work better and be more readily absorbed by what our brains expect from communication. Sure there is a lot of room for improvement, but I have to give him credit, he gets the job done.

Why can't we develop a best practices for this have something like this that is a pattern for our schools so we can reduce cost and target individual attention to where it is needed instead of just sitting all the kids by age in the same room assuming that age makes them the same. Why not educate people by what they don't know yet, or have trouble understanding?

The one thing the whole world need to understand is that by looking at our accomplishments globally we are not performing well or learning much - given all we know, all we can do and all the power and wealth we have. There is a reason for this that we all put out of our minds because we have learned we cannot do anything about it. Maybe we need to re-evalutate that?

Posted by Gunn Class of '67
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Posted Khan Academy link on your 6.2.11 Simitian article - am thrilled with this story!!!

Sol's courses are extraordinary, as is the man so devoted to education.

Your story provides the perfect introductory link I've been looking for.

Thank You!!!

Posted by Hedgerow
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Perfect redemption for being a hedge fund scumsucker. Too bad the others haven't followed suit - those that aren't in jail, that is.

Posted by Tinyl
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

You mean he's not from Palo Alto? Amazing there is intelligence beyond the city border.

Posted by Hedgerow
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Agreed, Tinyl. I wonder why they didn't just make him the feature story for their MV paper? Amazing that PA allowed an MIT guy to live in a neighboring town.

Posted by MIT alum 2
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm

What Google competition was this, and are they running it again?!!!

Can't wait to try the lectures!

Posted by sunshine51
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Salman Khan is the reason why I got an A in chemistry at Berkeley last year. For that, I owe him my life.

Posted by R.M.
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 17, 2011 at 8:22 am

What a beautiful a human being you are to give something so precious to the world. When a person recognizes their ability to learn a concept they once struggled with, their self worth skyrockets, and that is another priceless gift that comes from your work. Our education system is broken, and schools are constantly forced to do more with less. There is an enormous need that you have embraced without greed, and I applaud you and your team.

Posted by You're the best!
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Thanks to the Weekly for publishing this piece and to Mr. Khan for his vision and generosity in sharing his gift for teaching with the world. I have forwarded the link to people in other parts of the world who are keen to learn these things and also working on their English. Funny, just last week (before the article appeared) someone mentioned the Kahn Academy to me and I had no idea what it was. I feel so blessed that the Weekly picked up the piece of educating me on this! We need more inspired people helping educate the world. Thanks again for a positive story!

Posted by Texas Student
a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm

This is like Wikipedia - it's not often a cool service such as this resolves to stay non-profit. Good for them!

Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Absolutely great stuff. Everyone should check it out, because there is something there for everyone. With all the slashing and burning of public education by the "no new taxes" people, Khan's model may just be our saving grace. Kudos!

Posted by LIEZ'HANN
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 12, 2014 at 1:08 am


Posted by PAUSD Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 12, 2014 at 8:34 am

I'm receiving emails from him. How did he get my address? Student directory? That's not right.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

Making good educational videos is not as easy as Kahn makes it look. Lots of people have tried to imitate his style of videos. His entire system of study and tracking are pretty good.

Posted by Dutch Uncle
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm

As more and more hedge fund managers end up in Club Fed for SEC violations, it is a good thing that Mr Khan saw the light and changed professions to so etching much more respectable.

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