Khan Academy

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Khan Academy
Khan Academy logo (2018).svg
FounderSal Khan
PurposeOnline tool to help educate students
Official language
English (primary)

Khan Academy is a non-profit[1] educational organization created in 2008 by Salman Khan with the goal of creating a set of online tools that help educate students.[2] The organization produces short lessons in the form of videos.[3] Its website also includes supplementary practice exercises and materials for educators. All resources are available for free to users of the website and app.

The website and its content are provided mainly in English, but is also available in other languages including Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, Georgian, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian and European), Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Urdu and Uzbek.


The organization started in 2008 when Salman Khan tutored one of his cousins in mathematics on the Internet using a service called Yahoo! Doodle Images.[4] After a while, Khan's other cousins began to use his tutoring service. Due to the demand, Khan decided to make his videos watchable on the Internet, so he published his content on YouTube.[5] Later, he used a drawing application called SmoothDraw, and now uses a Wacom tablet to draw using ArtRage. The video tutorials were recorded on his computer.[6]

The positive responses prompted Khan to quit his job in 2009, and focus on the tutorials (then released under the name Khan Academy) full-time.[7] Khan Lab School, a school founded by Sal Khan and associated with Khan Academy, opened on September 15, 2014 in Mountain View, California.[8] In June 2017, Khan Academy launched Financial Literacy Video Series for college graduates, job seekers and young professionals.


Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, mostly funded by donations coming from philanthropic organizations.[9] In 2010, Google donated $2 million for creating new courses and translating content into other languages, as part of their Project 10100 program.[10] In 2013, Carlos Slim from the Carlos Slim Foundation in Mexico, made a donation for creating Spanish versions of videos.[11] In 2015, AT&T contributed $2.25 million to Khan Academy for mobile versions of the content accessible through apps.[12] According to Khan Academy's filings with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Sal Khan's annual salary in 2015 was $800,000.[13] In 2013, former President and COO Shantanu Sinha also received over $375,000 in compensation.[14] In 2018, Sal Khan's annual salary was $824,000. COO Ginny Lee's salary was $700,000.[15]


Khan Academy's website aims to provide a personalized learning experience, mainly built on the videos which are hosted on YouTube. The website is meant to be used as a supplement to its videos, because it includes other features such as progress tracking, practice exercises,[16] and teaching tools.[17] The material can also be accessed through mobile applications.[18]

The videos display a recording of drawings on an electronic blackboard, which are similar to the style of a teacher giving a lecture. The narrator describes each drawing and how they relate to the material being taught.[19][20] Non-profit groups have distributed offline versions of the videos to rural areas in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.[21][22][23] Videos range from all subjects covered in school and for all grades from kindergarten up through high school. The Khan Academy website also hosts content from educational YouTube channels and organizations such as Crash Course and the Museum of Modern Art.[24] It also provides online courses for preparing for standardized tests, including the SAT and MCAT[25] and released LSAT preparation lessons in 2018.[26]

In July 2017, Khan Academy became the official practice partner for the College Board's Advanced Placement.[27]

Language availability

Khan Academy videos have been translated into several languages, with close to 20,000 subtitle translations available. These translations are mainly volunteer-driven with help from international partnerships.[28][29] The Khan Academy platform is fully available in English (en), Bangla (bn), Bulgarian (bg), Chinese (zh), French (fr), German (de), Georgian (ka), Norwegian (nb), Polish (pl) Portuguese (pt), Spanish (es), Serbian (sr), Turkish (tr) and Uzbek (uz), and partially[30] available in 28 other languages.[31]

Official SAT practicing

Since 2015, Khan Academy has been the official SAT practicing website. According to reports, studying for the SAT for 20 hours on Khan Academy is associated with a 115-point average score increase.[32] Many book exercises select questions from the Khan Academy site to be published.[citation needed]

Pixar in a Box

In 2015, Khan Academy teamed up with Pixar to create a new course called Pixar in a Box, which teaches how skills learned in school help the creators at Pixar.[33]

Khan Academy Kids

In 2018, Khan Academy created an application called Khan Academy Kids. It is for young two-year-old to six-year-old children to learn basic skills before progressing to grade school.


Khan Academy has been criticized because its creator, Salman Khan, lacks a formal background or qualifications in pedagogy.[34][35] Statements made in several videos have been questioned for their technical accuracy, especially in the area of history.[36] In response to these criticisms, the organization has corrected errors in its videos, expanded its faculty and formed a network of over 200 content experts.[36]

In an interview from January 2016, Khan defended the value of Khan Academy online lectures while acknowledging their limitations: "I think they're valuable, but I'd never say they somehow constitute a complete education."[8] Khan Academy positions itself as a supplement to in-class learning, with the ability to improve the effectiveness of teachers by freeing them from traditional lectures and giving them more time to tend to individual students' needs.[37]


Khan Academy has gained recognition both nationally and internationally:

  • In April 2012, the founder and executive director of Khan Academy, Salman Khan, was listed among TIME's 100 Most Influential People for 2012.[38]
  • Khan was one of five winners of the 2014 Heinz Award. His award was in the area of "Human Condition."[39]
  • In 2016, Khan Academy won a Shorty Award for Best in Education.[40]

External links


  1. ^ "Nonprofit Explorer – ProPublica". ProPublica. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  2. ^ "One Man, One Computer, 10 Million Students: How Khan Academy Is Reinventing Education". Forbes. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  3. ^ Sampson, Demetrios G.; Ifenthaler, Dirk; Spector, J. Michael; Isaias, Pedro (July 17, 2014). Digital Systems for Open Access to Formal and Informal Learning. Springer. ISBN 9783319022642.
  4. ^ de Bertodano, Helena (September 28, 2012). "Khan Academy: The man who wants to teach the world". The Telegraph. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Dreifus, Claudia (January 27, 2014). "Salman Khan Turned Family Tutoring Into Khan Academy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  6. ^ Khan Academy: The future of education?. 60 Minutes. CBS News. March 11, 2012 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ Temple, James (December 14, 2009). "Salman Khan, math master of the Internet". SFgate. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Westervelt, Eric (January 5, 2016). "'A Bit of a Montessori 2.0': Khan Academy Opens A Lab School". Here & Now. WBUR and NPR. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  9. ^ "The Funders Pouring Money Into the Khan Academy – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy". Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  10. ^ "$10 million for Project 10^100 winners". The Official Google Blog. September 24, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  11. ^ "Mexico's Carlos Slim funds Khan academy in Spanish". Marketplace. Archived from the original on 2015-05-08. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
  12. ^ "AT&T Awards $2.25 Million for Mobile Learning Platform". Philanthropy News Digest (PND). Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "2015 Form 990 for Khan Academy" (PDF). Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  14. ^ "Nonprofit Explorer – KHAN ACADEMY INC – ProPublica'". ProPublica. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  15. ^ "Nonprofit Explorer – KHAN ACADEMY INC – ProPublica'". ProPublica. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  16. ^ "Khan Academy". PCMAG. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "How Are Teachers and Students Using Khan Academy?". MindShift. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  18. ^ "Khan Academy for ipad review". theappzine. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  19. ^ Kaplan, David A. (August 24, 2010). "Innovation in Education: Bill Gates' favorite teacher". CNN Money. Archived from the original on December 23, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  20. ^ "Need a tutor? YouTube videos await". USA Today. AP. December 12, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  21. ^ "A free world-class education for anyone anywhere". About (FAQ). Khan academy.
  22. ^ "Laureate: Salman Khan". Education Award. The Tech Awards. 2009. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  23. ^ "Salman Khan". CNBC. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  24. ^ Khan Academy – Partner Content
  25. ^ "Test prep | Khan Academy". Khan Academy. Archived from the original on April 20, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  26. ^ "Khan Academy launches free Official LSAT Prep". June 1, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  27. ^ "Khan Academy is the Official Practice Partner for AP". July 27, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  28. ^ "Volunteers | Khan Academy". Khan Academy. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  29. ^ "Supporters | Khan Academy". Khan Academy. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  30. ^ "Is Khan Academy available in other languages?". Khan Academy Help Center. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  31. ^ "Is Khan Academy available in other languages?". Khan Academy Help Center. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  32. ^ "Studying for the SAT for 20 hours on Khan Academy associated with 115-point average score increase". Khan Academy. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  33. ^ "Pixar in a Box | Partner content | Khan Academy". Khan Academy. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  34. ^ Christopher Danielson; Michael Paul Goldenberg (July 27, 2012). "How well does Khan Academy teach?". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  35. ^ Strauss, Valerie (July 27, 2012). "Does the Khan Academy know how to teach?". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  36. ^ a b Strauss, Valerie (October 22, 2013). "Khan Academy using contractors to check Web site's videos". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  37. ^ Khan, Sal, Let's use video to reinvent education, TED (conference), retrieved March 6, 2017
  38. ^ Special, Time.
  39. ^ "The Heinz Awards: Salman Khan". The Heinz Awards.
  40. ^ Shorty Awards: The Complete Winners List, - The Hollywood Reporter
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