education | August 29, 2013

The National: How Education Speaker Salman Khan Revolutionized Learning

How can teachers wipe that bored and confused look off students' faces this coming school year? Salman Khan, an education speaker recently profiled on The National, has a big idea that's radicalizing education. His massively popular YouTube tutorials and successful Khan Academy approach education and teaching in a whole new way. Rather than explaining things to students so that they memorize the material, Khan ensures that viewers actually understand it after watching. Part of the reason he's so successful in filling in the "Swiss cheese gaps" in learning is thanks to his teaching style. "It's a blessing that these videos were originally made for my cousins, it allowed me to take a very easy-going, relaxed, conversational style," he tells The National. "I think everyone really appreciates the humanity in the content." That, and the student can watch, and re-watch, Khan's plain-English lessons until the concepts sink in.

With millions of views and thousands of online lessons, Khan has taken the Internet by storm. His teachings have even moved into the classroom as several schools have implemented his software into their curriculum. An elementary school teacher and principal were interviewed for the segment, excited about about the way that using Khan's software has "revolutionized" the learning process. And, how it is helping their students achieve success. The Khan Academy program isn't meant to replace teachers, but rather, to help teachers help their students.

One of the most exciting discoveries, Khan says, is the types of students his program is attracting. While he says he originally thought his lessons would spark the interest of kids who were already keen learners, it's actually been very successful with kids who are often described as "disengaged," or at risk of dropping out. Because he offers them a new style of learning, in an environment free from judgment, Khan is getting kids excited about learning again. "Hopefully it can spark that type of curiosity [with more kids]" he says. Considering the traction his work has already received, and the interest surrounding his new book, The One World School House, he's certainly on the right track.

In his book and his highly requested keynote speeches, Salman Khan shares his vision on the future of education. He encourages teachers and policy makers alike to "flip the classroom." If you are interested in how Khan is revolutionizing the learning process, book him as a speaker by contacting The Lavin Agency.

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