Khan Academy founder talks online education success
(CBS News) Could education one day be free - and perhaps be teacher-free? In a way, that's how Sal Khan sees it.
Six years ago, Khan - the man Bill Gates called "his favorite teacher" - created Khan Academy, an online non-profit school with more than 2,300 educational videos in 12 languages that are all completely free.
Khan said on "CBS This Morning" that his educational videos are all about taking the stress out of learning and making concepts approachable. He began the educational videos to help his family.
"(The videos) feel like I'm sitting next to you at the kitchen table and they're very conversational, off-the-cuff sometimes. And I think that's kind of caught on a little bit," he said. "People feel, when you learn something, it's a very stressful experience. I think people have under emphasized how important tone is and not being condescending and being very conversational. I think that and the breadth of the content that's there has gotten people engaged."
Watch below: "60 Minutes" Khan Academy: The future of education?The success of the online videos, Khan said, also demonstrate people's curiosity and capacity for learning. "All people, one of the biggest highs they can have is to learn something," he said. "When you see kids who are disengaged in math class or science class, it's because they're frustrated and they feel like things are going over them. In math class, kids point out, 'When am I going to need this later on in life?' But you never see a 5'9" Indian kid in P.E. class saying, 'When am I going to have to shoot a hoop?'... Because I'm engaged. If you engage people in math, it's at least as beautiful and interesting."
The success of the website Khan said has been "surreal." He said, "It started in 2006. I was making videos for cousins and it was a hobby. Even two years ago, I was just operating literally out of a closet. So now that we're at five, six million students using it every month, it's surreal. I try not to think about it too much."
For more with Khan on the future of the educational initiative, watch the video in the player above.
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