Sal Khan Creates Online Academy To Educate Anyone In World For Free

By Jill Tucker
San Francisco Chronicle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The mission of Khan Academy is a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. One of founder Sal Khan’s favorite success stories is about an Afghan girl who secretly studied for the SAT on Khan Academy and then sneaked into Pakistan to take it. The young woman is now in college in the United States.

San Francisco Chronicle

Sal Khan has interesting ideas about what constitutes riveting dinner conversation.

At the moment, he’s partial to “mind-blowing” similarities between Greek, Latin, Germanic languages and ancient Sanskrit as well as the fact that Iran and Ireland are the only countries with names that mean “land of the Aryans.”

“That’s still my favorite thing to share in conversations,” said the founder of Khan Academy, a free, online learning platform serving 15 million people a month. “The other thing is you can get hypothermia (and die) in 80-degree water.”

Khan smiled.

“I’m a nerd,” said Khan, who is a nominee for the 2018 Visionary of the Year award sponsored by The Chronicle.

The winner of the award will receive a $25,000 grant that can be applied to the cause of his or her choice.

In Silicon Valley, nerds like Khan — with companies whose users number in the many millions — are often billionaires. While Khan isn’t poor, he falls well short for any list featuring big-money moguls in tech.

He probably could have been rich off the idea, but when he came up with the vision for Khan Academy, he wanted it to be free.

The mission — a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.

That sole mission of the company, unchanged since he founded it in 2008, is plastered on the Khan Academy website as well as the walls of his Mountain View headquarters.

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