khan academy is most knownfor its collection of videos, so before i go any further, let me show you a little bit of a montage. (video) salman khan: so the hypotenuseis now going to be five. this animal's fossils are only foundin this area of south america --
sex education video series, a nice clean band here -- and this part of africa. we can integrate over the surface, and the notationusually is a capital sigma.
national assembly: they createthe committee of public safety, which sounds like a very nice committee. notice, this is an aldehyde,and it's an alcohol. start differentiatinginto effector and memory cells. a galaxy. hey! there's another galaxy.oh, look! there's another galaxy. and for dollars, is their 30 million, plus the 20 million dollarsfrom the american manufacturer. if this does not blow your mind, then you have no emotion.
(laughter) (applause) (live) sk: we now haveon the order of 2,200 videos, covering everything from basic arithmetic,all the way to vector calculus, and some of the stuffthat you saw up there. we have a million studentsa month using the site, watching on the orderof 100 to 200,000 videos a day. but what we're going to talk about in thisis how we're going to the next level. but before i do that,
i want to talk a little bitabout really just how i got started. and some of you all might know, about five years ago,i was an analyst at a hedge fund, and i was in boston, and i was tutoring my cousinsin new orleans, remotely. and i started puttingthe first youtube videos up, really just as a kind of nice-to-have, just kind of a supplement for my cousins, something that might give thema refresher or something.
and as soon as i put thosefirst youtube videos up, something interesting happened. actually, a bunch of interestingthings happened. the first was the feedbackfrom my cousins. they told me that they preferredme on youtube than in person. and once you get overthe backhanded nature of that, there was actually somethingvery profound there. they were saying that they preferredthe automated version of their cousin to their cousin.
at first it's very unintuitive, but when you think about it from theirpoint of view, it makes a ton of sense. you have this situation where nowthey can pause and repeat their cousin, without feelinglike they're wasting my time. if they have to review something that they should have learneda couple of weeks ago, or maybe a couple of years ago, they don't have to be embarrassedand ask their cousin. they can just watch those videos;if they're bored, they can go ahead.
they can watch at their own time and pace. probably the least-appreciated aspectof this is the notion that the very first time that you're trying to getyour brain around a new concept, the very last thing you need is another human being saying,"do you understand this?" and that's what was happening with the interactionwith my cousins before, and now they can just do itin the intimacy of their own room.
the other thing that happened is -- i put them on youtube just -- i saw no reason to make it private, so i let other people watch it, and then people started stumbling on it, and i started gettingsome comments and some letters and all sorts of feedback from random people around the world. these are just a few.
this is actually from oneof the original calculus videos. someone wrote it on youtube,it was a youtube comment: "first time i smiled doing a derivative." let's pause here. this person did a derivative, and then they smiled. in response to that same comment -- this is on the thread, you can goon youtube and look at the comments -- someone else wrote: "same thing here.
i actually got a natural highand a good mood for the entire day, since i remember seeingall of this matrix text in class, and here i'm all like, 'i know kung fu.'" we get a lot of feedbackalong those lines. this clearly was helping people. but then, as the viewershipkept growing and kept growing, i started getting letters from people, and it was starting to become clear that it was more than just a nice-to-have.
this is just an excerptfrom one of those letters: "my 12 year-old son has autism, and has had a terrible time with math. we have tried everything, viewed everything, bought everything. we stumbled on your videoon decimals, and it got through. then we went on to the dreaded fractions. again, he got it. we could not believe it.
he is so excited." and so you can imagine, here i was, an analyst at a hedge fund -- it was very strange for me to dosomething of social value. but i was excited, so i kept going. and then a few other thingsstarted to dawn on me; that not only would ithelp my cousins right now, or these people who were sending letters, but that this content will never grow old,
that it could help their kidsor their grandkids. if isaac newton had doneyoutube videos on calculus, i wouldn't have to. assuming he was good. we don't know. the other thing that happened --and even at this point, i said, "ok, maybe it's a good supplement.it's good for motivated students. it's good for maybe home-schoolers." but i didn't think it would somehowpenetrate the classroom. then i started gettingletters from teachers,
and the teachers would write, saying, "we've used your videosto flip the classroom. you've given the lectures,so now what we do --" and this could happen in every classroomin america tomorrow -- "what i do is i assignthe lectures for homework, and what used to be homework, i now have the studentsdoing in the classroom." and i want to pause here -- i want to pause here, because there'sa couple of interesting things.
one, when those teachers are doing that, there's the obvious benefit -- the benefit that now their students can enjoy the videos in the waythat my cousins did, they can pause, repeat at theirown pace, at their own time. but the more interesting thing --and this is the unintuitive thing when you talk about technologyin the classroom -- by removing the one-size-fits-alllecture from the classroom, and letting students havea self-paced lecture at home,
then when you go to the classroom, letting them do work,having the teacher walk around, having the peers actually be ableto interact with each other, these teachers have used technologyto humanize the classroom. they took a fundamentallydehumanizing experience -- 30 kids with their fingers on their lips, not allowed to interact with each other. a teacher, no matter how good, has to give this one-size-fits-alllecture to 30 students --
blank faces, slightly antagonistic -- and now it's a human experience, now they're actuallyinteracting with each other. so once the khan academy -- i quit my job, and we turned into a real organization -- we're a not-for-profit -- the question is, how do we take thisto the next level? how do we take what those teacherswere doing to its natural conclusion?
and so, what i'm showing over here, these are actual exercises that i started writing for my cousins. the ones i startedwere much more primitive. this is a more competent version of it. but the paradigm here is, we'll generateas many questions as you need, until you get that concept,until you get 10 in a row. and the khan academy videos are there. you get hints, the actualsteps for that problem,
if you don't know how to do it. the paradigm here seemslike a very simple thing: 10 in a row, you move on. but it's fundamentally different than what's happeningin classrooms right now. in a traditional classroom, you have homework, lecture,homework, lecture, and then you have a snapshot exam. and that exam, whether you geta 70 percent, an 80 percent,
a 90 percent or a 95 percent, the class moves on to the next topic. and even that 95 percent student -- what was the five percentthey didn't know? maybe they didn't know what happens whenyou raise something to the zeroth power. then you build on thatin the next concept. that's analogous to --imagine learning to ride a bicycle. maybe i give you a lecture ahead of time, and i give you a bicycle for two weeks,then i come back after two weeks,
and say, "well, let's see.you're having trouble taking left turns. you can't quite stop.you're an 80 percent bicyclist." so i put a big "c" stampon your forehead -- and then i say, "here's a unicycle." but as ridiculous as that sounds, that's exactly what's happeningin our classrooms right now. and the idea is you fast forward and good students start failingalgebra all of the sudden, and start failingcalculus all of the sudden,
despite being smart,despite having good teachers, and it's usually because they havethese swiss cheese gaps that kept buildingthroughout their foundation. so our model is: learn maththe way you'd learn anything, like riding a bicycle. stay on that bicycle.fall off that bicycle. do it as long as necessary,until you have mastery. the traditional model, it penalizes youfor experimentation and failure,
but it does not expect mastery. we encourage you to experiment.we encourage you to fail. but we do expect mastery. this is just another one of the modules. this is trigonometry. this is shifting and reflecting functions. and they all fit together. we have about 90 of these right now. you can go to the site right now,
it's all free,not trying to sell anything. but the general idea is that they allfit into this knowledge map. that top node right there,that's literally single-digit addition, it's like one plus one is equal to two. the paradigm is, once you get10 in a row on that, it keeps forwarding youto more and more advanced modules. further down the knowledge map, we're getting into moreadvanced arithmetic. further down, you start gettinginto pre-algebra and early algebra.
further down, you start gettinginto algebra one, algebra two, a little bit of precalculus. and the idea is, from this we canactually teach everything -- well, everything that can be taughtin this type of a framework. so you can imagine -- and thisis what we are working on -- from this knowledge map, you havelogic, you have computer programming, you have grammar, you have genetics, all based off of that core of,if you know this and that, now you're ready for this next concept.
now that can work wellfor an individual learner, and i encourage youto do it with your kids, but i also encourage everyonein the audience to do it yourself. it'll change what happensat the dinner table. but what we want to do is use the natural conclusionof the flipping of the classroom that those early teachershad emailed me about. and so what i'm showing you here, this is data from a pilotin the los altos school district,
where they took two fifth-grade classesand two seventh-grade classes, and completely guttedtheir old math curriculum. these kids aren't using textbooks,or getting one-size-fits-all lectures. they're doing khan academy, that software,for roughly half of their math class. i want to be clear: we don't view thisas a complete math education. what it does is -- this iswhat's happening in los altos -- it frees up time --it's the blocking and tackling, making sure you know how to movethrough a system of equations, and it frees up timefor the simulations, for the games,
for the mechanics, for the robot-building, for the estimating how highthat hill is based on its shadow. and so the paradigm isthe teacher walks in every day, every kid works at their own pace -- this is actually a live dashboardfrom the los altos school district -- and they look at this dashboard. every row is a student. every column is one of those concepts. green means the student'salready proficient.
blue means they're workingon it -- no need to worry. red means they're stuck. and what the teacher doesis literally just say, "let me intervene on the red kids." or even better, "let me getone of the green kids, who are already proficientin that concept, to be the first line of attack,and actually tutor their peer." now, i come from a verydata-centric reality, so we don't want that teacherto even go and intervene
and have to ask the kid awkward questions: "what don't you understand? what doyou understand?" and all the rest. so our paradigm is to arm teacherswith as much data as possible -- data that, in any otherfield, is expected, in finance, marketing, manufacturing -- so the teachers can diagnosewhat's wrong with the students so they can make their interactionas productive as possible. now teachers know exactlywhat the students have been up to, how long they've spent each day,what videos they've watched,
when did they pause the videos,what did they stop watching, what exercises are they using,what have they focused on? the outer circle showswhat exercises they were focused on. the inner circle showsthe videos they're focused on. the data gets pretty granular, so you can see the exact problemsthe student got right or wrong. red is wrong, blue is right. the leftmost question is the first onethe student attempted. they watched the video over there.
and you can see, eventuallythey were able to get 10 in a row. it's almost like you can see themlearning over those last 10 problems. they also got faster -- the heightis how long it took them. when you talk about self-paced learning,it makes sense for everyone -- in education-speak,"differentiated learning" -- but it's kind of crazy, what happenswhen you see it in a classroom. because every time we've done this,in every classroom we've done, over and over again,if you go five days into it, there's a group of kids who've raced ahead
and a group who are a little bit slower. in a traditional model,in a snapshot assessment, you say, "these are the gifted kids,these are the slow kids. maybe they should be tracked differently. maybe we should put themin different classes." but when you let studentswork at their own pace -- we see it over and over again -- you see students who tooka little bit extra time on one concept or the other,
but once they get through that concept, they just race ahead. and so the same kids that youthought were slow six weeks ago, you now would think are gifted. and we're seeing it over and over again. it makes you really wonder how much all of the labels maybea lot of us have benefited from were really just dueto a coincidence of time. now as valuable as something like this isin a district like los altos,
our goal is to use technology to humanize, not just in los altos,but on a global scale, what's happening in education. and that brings up an interesting point. a lot of the effortin humanizing the classroom is focused on student-to-teacher ratios. in our mind, the relevant metric is: student-to-valuable-human-time-with-the-teacher ratio. so in a traditional model,most of the teacher's time
is spent doing lecturesand grading and whatnot. maybe five percent of their timeis sitting next to students and working with them. now, 100 percent of their time is. so once again, using technology,not just flipping the classroom, you're humanizingthe classroom, i'd argue, by a factor of five or 10. as valuable as that is in los altos, imagine what it does to the adult learner,
who's embarrassed to go backand learn stuff they should have knownbefore going back to college. imagine what it doesto a street kid in calcutta, who has to help his family during the day, and that's the reasonhe or she can't go to school. now they can spend two hoursa day and remediate, or get up to speedand not feel embarrassed about what they do or don't know. now imagine what happens where --
we talked about the peersteaching each other inside of a classroom. but this is all one system. there's no reason why you can'thave that peer-to-peer tutoring beyond that one classroom. imagine what happensif that student in calcutta all of the sudden can tutor your son, or your son can tutorthat kid in calcutta. and i think what you'll see emerging
is this notion of a globalone-world classroom. and that's essentiallywhat we're trying to build. thank you. bill gates: i'll ask about twoor three questions. salman khan: oh, ok. (applause continues) (applause ends) bg: i've seen some thingsyou're doing in the system, that have to do with motivationand feedback --
energy points, merit badges. tell me what you're thinking there. sk: oh yeah. no, we havean awesome team working on it. i have to be clear,it's not just me anymore. i'm still doing all the videos, but we have a rock-star teamdoing the software. we've put a bunch of game mechanicsin there, where you get badges, we're going to start having leader boardsby area, you get points. it's actually been pretty interesting.
just the wording of the badging, or how many points you getfor doing something, we see on a system-wide basis, like tens of thousandsof fifth-graders or sixth-graders going one direction or another,depending what badge you give them. bg: and the collaborationyou're doing with los altos, how did that come about? sk: los altos, it was kind of crazy. once again, i didn't expect itto be used in classrooms.
someone from their board came and said, "what would you do if you hadcarte blanche in a classroom?" i said, "well, every studentwould work at their own pace, on something like this,we'd give a dashboard." they said, "this is kind of radical.we have to think about it." me and the rest of the team were like,"they're never going to want to do this." but literally the next day they were like,"can you start in two weeks?" bg: so fifth-grade mathis where that's going on right now? sk: it's two fifth-grade classesand two seventh-grade classes.
they're doing it at the district level. i think what they're excited aboutis they can follow these kids, not only in school; on christmas,we saw some of the kids were doing it. we can track everything, track themas they go through the entire district. through the summers, as they gofrom one teacher to the next, you have this continuity of data thateven at the district level, they can see. bg: so some of those views we sawwere for the teacher to go in and track actuallywhat's going on with those kids. so you're getting feedbackon those teacher views
to see what they think they need? sk: oh yeah. most of thosewere specs by the teachers. we made some of those for studentsso they could see their data, but we have a very tight design loopwith the teachers themselves. and they're saying,"hey, this is nice, but --" like that focus graph,a lot of the teachers said, "i have a feeling a lot of the kidsare jumping around and not focusing on one topic." so we made that focus diagram.
so it's all been teacher-driven.it's been pretty crazy. bg: is this ready for prime time? do you think a lot of classes next schoolyear should try this thing out? sk: yeah, it's ready. we've got a million peopleon the site already, so we can handle a few more. no, no reason why it really can't happen in every classroom in america tomorrow. bg: and the vision of the tutoring thing.
the idea there is,if i'm confused about a topic, somehow right in the user interface, i'd find people who are volunteering, maybe see their reputation, and i could schedule and connect upwith those people? sk: absolutely. and this is somethingi recommend everyone in this audience do. those dashboards the teachers have,you can go log in right now and you can essentially become a coach for your kids, your nephews, your cousins,
or maybe some kidsat the boys and girls club. and yeah, you can startbecoming a mentor, a tutor, really immediately. but yeah, it's all there. bg: well, it's amazing. i think you just got a glimpseof the future of education. bg: thank you.sk: thank you.