Salman Amin “Sal Khan” (Bengali: সালমান খান, born on October 11, 1976) is an American educator whose parents are of Bangladeshi and Indian descent. He is the founder of Khan Academy, a non-profit organization providing online access to a free educational platform. Khan has thus produced, first from his home office and later, with the help of volunteer educators, more than 6500 videos presenting a wide spectrum of academic subjects mainly centered on mathematics and science.
|Full Name||Salman Khan|
|Famous Name||Sal Khan|
|Birthdate||October 11, 1976|
|Birthplace||Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.|
|Wife||Umaima Marvi (2004–present)|
CEO and founder of Khan Academy
Sal Khan was born in New Orleans to a father from Barisal, Bangladesh, and a mother from Calcutta, India.
He holds four degrees:
In 2004, Nadia, a 13-year-old cousin, who lives on the other side of the country, asks her for help in math. He first gives her private lessons over the phone. To illustrate math concepts, they log into Yahoo Messenger, and Khan uses the program's drawing window to write equations while she watches from a distance. When they can't make a phone call, he just records a lesson as a video, speaking through the material while writing.
One day, her cousin tells her that she no longer wants to talk on the phone, wishing to favor the use of videos, allowing her to review an explanation as many times as she wishes and move quickly on the parts, they already master. Salman Khan also understands that it is less embarrassing for her to re-watch a video alone than to solicit him again on a subject already treated. Her cousin learns faster when she can steer her progress. "The worst time to learn anything," he says, "is when someone stands over your shoulder and asks you if you have understood". He then gives private lessons to other cousins (the information had spread within the family).
It develops a questioning on the concepts understood or not. If they are given ten questions in a row, the software takes them to the next level, which poses more difficult problems. He thus sets up "mastery-based learning", requiring his students to prove that they have acquired the understanding and knowledge necessary to progress in the concepts covered. Then he discovers that thousands of people are watching his videos on YouTube. Fan emails are pouring in.
In 2009, Salman Khan decided to turn his hobby into a full-time job. He created a non-profit association, the Khan Academy, and received a small donation from Ann Doerr, wife of John Doerr, a Silicon Valley investor. Tens of thousands of people now watch his videos every month. Then, in 2010, he received a message from John Doerr, who was attending a conference in Aspen: "Bill Gates talks about you on stage" indicates this message. Salman Khan watches the video online, filmed from Aspen, and sees Bill Gates, whom he has never met, singing his praises.
Bill Gates indicates in particular that his own children use the Khan Academy as a tool for academic improvement. He met Bill Gates soon after and received $1.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Google brings it an additional $2 million.
In November 2010, Salman Khan also designs, to facilitate the use of his videos by classes, a dashboard on the progress of each student, showing them and their teachers how many videos they have watched, at how many questions they answered, and on which they answered badly or well.
This can allow, in particular, a teacher to understand where things get stuck, for a student, and to have a specific contribution on the subject. His team also adds rewards similar to those of a video game to the software interface.
In 2012, the magazine Time Place Salman Khan on the Time 100, its annual list of 100 most influential people of the world. Personalities such as the basketball player LeBron James, also provide support and contribute to the notoriety of the Khan Academy in the 2010s. In 2020, the shutdown of schools in some countries, due to containment measures against the 2019-2020 coronavirus disease pandemic, further increases the audience of the Khan Academy.
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization with very little information on its worth. It relies on donations. For example, Bill Gates donated $1.5 million to the founder of the Khan Academy. Its founder Salman Khan has an estimated net worth of $2 million.