education | November 22, 2012

Improve The System, Don't Demolish It: Education Speaker Salman Khan [VIDEO]

"I'm a big believer in more organic change," education speaker Salman Khan said in a keynote speech at Cal Poly Pomona this past week. Despite being a leader in the education sector thanks to his work with The Khan Academy and his book The One World Schoolhouse, Khan says he doesn't want to be seen as a "Czar" for education. Rather, he'd like to revamp the system from within and improve it rather than completely demolish it. "If you removed lectures from the classroom, is there a more valuable use of (teachers') time?" he asked in the speech, which led into his argument that instructional videos can help free up time for teachers to provide more innovative lessons. By using video instruction as a tool, students who need extra time with a certain subject don't have their learning glossed over in an effort to keep everyone moving at the same pace, and the teacher can focus on the individual needs of each student.

His ideas on rethinking the classroom have spurred a new worldwide conversation on how we educate. He recently appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine and has earned the support of Bill Gates for his video-centred tutorials and new ideas for education. While he says that his new way of learning is meant to supplement, not eliminate, the traditional educational system, the use of digital technologies has certainly opened up a world of possibilities for learning. "Education is at a turning point," he explains. "The new world is not about selling or having a gate to knowledge. It's about having a relationship with the user." Electronic textbooks and lectures delivered online are putting a focus on individualized learning, he argues, and the future of education will focus on using this technology effectively. Khan explains both the origins of The Khan Academy—and the future of his educational endeavor—in his inspiring keynotes. He envisions a world where children aren't rushed through the system, and anyone can attain a truly well-rounded and complete education. Thanks to the work Khan's doing, that vision is closer to reality than ever before.