Skoll Foundation


Khan Academy

Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Sal Khan
Award Year: 2013
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Education and Economic Opportunity

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Digital learning has the potential to transform the reach, nature and quality of education; however standards, training, infrastructure and impact evidence are still needed.

  • Technology can help make: (1) educational content freely accessible, (2) individualized instruction possible, and (3) subject mastery the measure of a quality education (vs. simply attendance)
  • Yet, barriers remain:
    • Schools have varied access to technology
    • K-12 systems can be slow moving in implementing new innovative systems
    • Transitioning to blended learning classrooms often requires training to help teachers fully leverage digital tools


Khan Academy strives to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere – through online content delivered directly to independent learners worldwide or using a blended learning model in schools. It allows a student to learn at her own pace to truly master a subject.

  • Innovative educational model
    • Khan Academy is removing the 60 minute lecture and “humanizing the classroom”. Students can now view short video lectures (~10 minutes) at home or in school when needed and the teacher can focus their time on facilitating small group instruction, one-on-one sessions, peer-to-peer tutoring, and project-based learning.
  • Massive content library
    • The Academy has amassed 3,600+ video tutorials, exercises, performance dashboards, incentive badges, and other interactive content.
  • Multi-partner distribution strategy
    • Direct to learners via the Internet
    • Partnerships with schools
    • Teacher toolkits that enable replication of the model without KA support, and
    • Internationalization efforts to translate core content into a dozen other languages
  • Massive dataset that enables rapid experimentation and adaptation: KA’s dataset is over 10,000 times the size of an education researcher’s traditional data pool, allowing them to rapidly experiment with learning models vs. outcomes and develop an adaptive assessment and recommendation engine.


  • In the past year, they’ve grown from 1 million users per month, to 6 million+ users per month
  • Khan Academy’s videos have been viewed more than 200 million times, and 700+ million exercises have been completed
  • Schools are reporting educational improvements – e.g., sample seventh-grade math classrooms using Khan Academy increased the number of proficient or advanced students from 23 percent to 41 percent, year over year
  • 65% of users are in the U.S.; the remaining 35% come from nearly every other country in the world



© 2015 Skoll Foundation.