Eric Schmidt and Sal Khan of Khan Academy | Talks at Google
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Eric Schmidt and Sal Khan of Khan Academy | Talks at Google


CHRIS: All right. Thanks everybody for coming. So I’m going to do a quick
intro, a few minutes. Then Sal and Erik are going to
chat up here for 30 minutes, and then we’ll take questions. If you’re joining from the
live stream, thanks very much. You can ask questions on
the Google+ events page. And then Eric and Sal
will take them live. So not often that I get
to introduce two people that don’t need introductions,
so this will be quite brief. Eric Schmidt is the
executive chairman of Google, and perhaps more
importantly for today, he’s on the board
of Khan Academy. Sal Khan is the
founder of Khan Academy and its executive director. And me, let’s talk about me. Actually, let’s talk
about google.org. Next slide. So google.org is the
philanthropic arm of Google. I work for it. My name is Chris. I’ve been with google.org
since the inception. Click, please. Thanks. We donate over $100
million a year. We are the major grant
giving arm of Google, investing in non-profits
around the world. Couple of clicks, please. And one more. Next slide. If we have a
clicker, I’ll use it. One more click. So Khan and google.org. Let me tell you about my
favorite product at Google. It’s the Time Machine. And before you get on
social media talking about how a Googler just
announced Google X’s latest project in a very
career limiting move, the time machine
is simply Gmail. Gmail, for me, is fun because
you can go back in your life and see when did you first
start talking about something, in this case, Khan Academy. No surprise. Next slide. In 2008, perfect, I was
having lunch with Herman. A friend of mine at Google. We eat lunch a lot at Google. And we were talking about
YouTube and how cool it would be if someone
would take advantage of it to disrupt education and put
videos online, and make them accessible to everybody
around the world, and in every language,
and every subject, how neat would that be, and
maybe we should just do it. Well, now I have a clicker
and it’s not my slides. So Herman emails me a few hours
later and he says, it exists. khanacademy.org, you
can see I’m not lying. 2008. It’s a long time ago. And I went to the
Khan Academy site and I said, yes, very cool. Let’s get together with Sal. I don’t think he’s seen this
because his eyes are wide open. Jaw’s dropped. And I pasted in his bio
on the Khan Academy page, which I got a chuckle
out of this morning because it said he’s
currently working at a hedge fund as
portfolio manager. Herman wrote back and in
typical Googler fashion he said, let’s get together. Let’s share ideas. See if we can help find
a way to work together. And the best part of it, expand
his idea and work even further. Very, very quite
arrogant of us, actually. So we didn’t do that, but we
did write Sal a big check. So what I do, in part,
at Google and google.org is do our education giving. We wrote Sal his first check
out of, not the garage, because he couldn’t afford to
work out of a garage like Larry and Sergey. He worked out of
his walk in closet. Wrote them a $2
million check in 2010 and became their
first major funder, which we’re very proud of. And we’ve gone on to support
other non-profits working education around the world,
Khan Academy, Raspberry Pi in the UK, one
of my favorites, Equal Opportunity Schools
working in Seattle and doing some great equity work
in our schools, and code.org. So without further
ado, Sal and Eric. [APPLAUSE] ERIC SCHMIDT: Thank
you very, very much. And the early decision to invest
in Khan, I think has really, really helped them a lot. I’ve enjoyed working
with Sal for a long time. And it’s easier if I just
say my bias right up front. I think that 50
years from now people will say you are the most
effective and greatest educator on the planet. If you don’t do that,
I’ll be disappointed. He has a special gift and
you’ll hear that today. But starting with
the news of the day, we have something to announce. Let’s talk about
what we’re doing. SAL KHAN: Yeah. And as was introduced,
and actually, it’s funny. Even this actual
physical location, we saw the email thread
that eventually– and I didn’t view it
all arrogant for you guys to reach out to me
and ask if there were ways that you could help me get
out of my walk in closet. And it was actually
the conference room– we have some Khan Academy team
members with us right here and I was pointing out
that that conference right on the other
side of that wall was where I first walked with
my kind of my laminated slides with what we could do
with more resources. So it’s fun a be here. ERIC SCHMIDT: We use
digital tools now. SAL KHAN: We do,
but, yeah, there’s sort of a reliability
in, anyway, but the– stain resistance. But, yeah, the big
thing we’re doing. Very, very exciting. So Khan Academy, obviously we’re
been around for a little bit now. A lot of people associate
us with the videos. A lot of what we’ve
been investing in in the last four years is a
personalized exercise platform. Students can learn at their
own pace, grade levels aligned. And we’ve been
thinking, is there a way that we can get
students to use us as a, I guess you could say a
mindset altering tool. And a lot of this
is based on the work of Carol Dweck at Stanford. How many of you all are
familiar with the idea of growth mindset? A few? OK. It’s this idea, for those of you
all who didn’t raise your hand, is people tend to, if
you, broadly speaking, you can have a growth
mindset or a fixed mindset. Fixed mindset means that you
think you’re either born smart or not. You’re either born
good at math, or not. You’re either born good at
basketball or you’re not. While a growth mindset
believes, well, no. If I persist at something and if
I push myself out of my comfort zone, and I try, and I
fail, and I try again, I can actually get
good at anything. And that, by itself,
is interesting and they’ve shown that
disproportionately people who do well in life have
a growth mindset, but the exciting
thing is they’ve shown that you can
actually intervene. You could actually
change people’s mindsets. They call them growth
mindset interventions. So we started this campaign
about six, seven months ago called the You Can Learn
Anything campaign, which is we created some
even PSA spots, which were about promoting
people’s growth mindsets. And we said, can
we create a program where people can apply
this growth mindset? ERIC SCHMIDT: By the
way, was this your idea or did this come out of
teachers and students who were using Khan or not? SAL KHAN: So the growth
mindset work, this actually, I mean, I remember
Angela Duckworth, who’s a researcher at University
of Pennsylvania, she kind of accosted me
at a conference once. And I didn’t know
about her work. And I didn’t who she was. I thought oh, she’s a professor
at University of Pennsylvania. And she’s like, no. There’s this work I do on grit,
and mindset, and perseverance. And [INAUDIBLE]. ERIC SCHMIDT: And there’s
a whole movement now. People understand
that a lot of success is related to actual
steadfastness, grit, whatever you want to say. And there’s a fair amount
of academic research that shows it as well. And that this stuff
can be taught. SAL KHAN: Exactly. So that was the first time
I had interacted with her. I think simultaneously
we discovered that some folks on
our analytics team we’re working with Carol
Dweck’s group at Stanford to actually run some
very large scale experiments on Khan Academy
around growth mindset interventions. So, yeah, there’s just,
I think there’s probably four or five
different directions that it just emerged
as something we started to really care about. And so what we’ve launched
in the last few weeks, and Google is the
primary sponsor for this, is we’re calling it LearnStorm. And it is a, I’ll call
it a math competition, but I’ll then give
a bunch of caveats because the intent is not
to be the traditional math competition that I’m
guessing a lot of the folks in this room used
to participate in, which is two or three kids in
the school represent and tackle a bunch of hard problems. We’re going to have that
aspect, so the kids who are racing ahead,
they’ll be recognized, but we’re also going to
recognize students around grit, and perseverance, and mindset. If you give someone
a test you can’t measure their grit
or perseverance, but on Khan Academy, we can. ERIC SCHMIDT: How
do you decide grit? SAL KHAN: So we’re keeping
the actual algorithm secret, so it does not get gamed, but
I can give you the broad brush strokes. You can imagine
someone with grit is someone who is
doing a lot of work, but not getting
everything right. ERIC SCHMIDT: OK. SAL KHAN: They’re
working on stuff where they are getting things wrong. They are right at
their learning edge. They’re working. They’re stepping out
of their comfort zone. So someone’s– ERIC SCHMIDT: And
then they keep trying. SAL KHAN: And they keep trying. So inputs into
the algorithm, you can imagine are how much time
you spend total, how much you progress, but also
some degree of, are you getting things wrong,
are you challenging yourself relative to your ability level? So we’re calling that our Hustle
leader board, grit or hustle. And so we’re starting a pilot
this year in year the Bay Area with y’all’s help. And we just this last– ERIC SCHMIDT: And
by the way, we have a huge number of schools have
already started and signed up. SAL KHAN: Yes. 50% of the schools
in the Bay Area already have at least one
student in LearnStorm. We already have
35,000 students total. So it’s actually
already, I think 2% of the kids in the Bay Area,
and we’re only a few weeks into it of three months. But yeah. ERIC SCHMIDT: And you
want more to sign up. You want everybody to sign up. SAL KHAN: We want
everyone to sign up. Our goal, which it seems
like we’re hitting right now, is at least 30% of
the students are from schools with a majority
free and reduced lunch. So we want to make sure
that it’s definitely reaching everyone,
especially the folks that they need it most. Yeah. But we just launched it. What we’re announcing today is
that we have our first preli– this is not the final results. We’re only one week into it. So what we’re going
to be doing is– ERIC SCHMIDT: This is Google. We do everything immediately. SAL KHAN: Yes. We have the finals, which we’re
co-hosting with y’all, is going to be in three months, but every
week we’re publishing these leader boards. And today we can
publish the first leader boards, which we actually have. ERIC SCHMIDT: And
what did it is say? SAL KHAN: Well, we could– ERIC SCHMIDT: Did I win? SAL KHAN: Are you in it? You have a secret alias
as a third grader in a– [LAUGHTER] SAL KHAN: So this is it. And this is neat because
this is the first time that anyone is seeing this. And we’re going to be emailing– ERIC SCHMIDT: By the way,
isn’t that a great phrase? You can learn anything. SAL KHAN: You can
learn anything. ERIC SCHMIDT: Isn’t
it a great motto? SAL KHAN: Yeah. It’s very– So right over
here is the individual. ERIC SCHMIDT: So Hustle is a
different place than Mastery. SAL KHAN: Yes. So Mastery is literally
a raw count of which– so this is the
individual leader boards. Mastery’s just raw count of
the mastery’s they’ve gotten. Hustle is that magic
curistic that we talked about that involves
how much grit and perseverance you’re putting in. You can see there’s
a student at– ERIC SCHMIDT: Oh, in Hustle
you’ve got Fairfield, you’ve Vallejo. SAL KHAN: Yeah. ERIC SCHMIDT: You got
some interesting results right there. SAL KHAN: Yep. And especially, if
we go to schools, start looking at
the schools, and so you can see there the top school
on the Hustle dimension right now is a school,
that’s 49ers Academy. That’s in East Paolo Alto. They’re 90% free
and reduced lunch. We see over there
Oakland Unity School, that’s another school in
Oakland that we’re actually familiar with. We actually hadn’t worked
formally with 49ers Academy before. So it’s super exciting
to see the schools. And this is Bay Area wide. There’s 244 cities
in the Bay Area. I didn’t realize there were that
many cities in the Bay Area. ERIC SCHMIDT: Just try
governance of the Bay Area. SAL KHAN: Yes. So this is a big deal
to even just even be in the top 10 of it. ERIC SCHMIDT: That’s phenomenal. SAL KHAN: We’re talking
about on the order of close to 1,000 schools. And then since we’re
in Mountain View we can look at the Mountain
View leader boards. We have the mayor of
Mountain View here, who also owns the Baskin Robbins
on the corner of El Camino and Miramonte, which– ERIC SCHMIDT: In
case the students wish to visit Baskin
Robbins after school. SAL KHAN: I just learned that. My daughter is, she’s
literally addicted. I can’t pass that Baskin Robbins
without it being a family crisis, so I was impressed
for both of his titles. But yes. So you see in Mountain View
there’s some neat things here. These are all the local
schools and this actually includes both the public and
the private schools there. And then maybe the most fun of
all is we can look at cities and we can see how the cities
are comparing to each other. And we actually have
two mayors here. We have Jan. She’s the mayor of Los Altos. And we see Los Altos Total
mastery doing quite good. It’s only week one though. Mountain View, I
think, will come back. And then Total
hustle, number seven. Once again, to even be in the
top 10 here is a very big deal. This is out of 244
cities in the Bay Area. So we’re hoping
that what this does is this kind of creates a
culture in the broader Bay Area around hey, let’s
city versus city, school versus school kind of
a very positive celebration of people’s growth mindsets. ERIC SCHMIDT: And
so what will happen is there is eventually
a final event here. What’s the final event
going to look like? SAL KHAN: So the students are
going to be working hopefully a lot over the next few weeks. We’re going to give these
weekly leader boards. We’re also going to be
giving monthly challenges to the different schools. And these are things
that they could be doing in the classroom. It could be hands on projects,
puzzles, whatever else. And then the students, schools
that are doing well– actually all of the schools will be
represented at the finals that reach a certain threshold,
but the students that have done well in both the
Hustle and the Mastery things will come here and then we’ll
have kind of a celebration together. There will be– ERIC SCHMIDT: It’s going
to be seriously wild. SAL KHAN: Yes. It will be. It’ll be a bunch of
crazy math students. ERIC SCHMIDT: So let’s
talk a little bit about sort of your arc. And I think people very well
know the story that you got into this sort of by accident. You were busy earning a proper
living in proper things. And after an opportunity
to educate a relative you sort of seized
upon this notion of using the world’s most
popular video distribution system, also known as
YouTube, to educate the world. And we, of course, participated
with helping you doing this and we’re happy
to have done that. You sort of begin
doing these videos. And they are short videos. And you are often in
these videos, right? You’ve learned every
conceivable high school topic SAL KHAN: Yes ERIC SCHMIDT: To
the point where you could teach every single
one of them, right? It’s a very sort of
extraordinary achievement on a human being. And so you’ve become sort of
the teacher of high school, if you will. You can sort of do
this in your sleep and you probably dream it. So you did that for a while. And you’ve gotten
now to the point where an enormous
number of people globally use these things to
supplement their knowledge. They’re in trouble
in some subject, whether it’s math,
science, physics, English, what have you. And they come to Khan Academy
for assistance, if you will. But then you started working
on programmatic things, right? A most recent
example is that Khan has been selected as
the preparatory tools and technology for
the 2016 SAT, which complicated and interesting. Turns out that Khan is
one of the best ways to prepare for the Common
Core testing and standards that are now in 43 states. Take us through this
sort of transformation from the videos,
which I think people are pretty familiar with,
to this other model. And what does it sort of
look like going forward? SAL KHAN: Yeah. And as you mentioned,
I mean, the videos are what, kind of
how we got started. It’s what got us on
people’s radar apparently back in 2007, 2008. And in 2010 when
folks like Google, literally in the conference room
on the other side of this wall, came and said, what would
you do with more resources? My pitch was, and I’d set it
up as a not for profit the year before, and when
the IRS asks you, there’s a part of
the form, it says, mission colon, and
in the line and half I filled out, a free world class
education for anyone anywhere. ERIC SCHMIDT: That’s a
Google level aspiration. SAL KHAN: There you go. Yes. ERIC SCHMIDT: Repeat it. A free first class edu– SAL KHAN: Free world class
education for anyone anywhere. ERIC SCHMIDT: For
anyone everywhere. SAL KHAN: Anyone anywhere. ERIC SCHMIDT: That includes
everyone in the entire world. SAL KHAN: Yes. ERIC SCHMIDT: You’re sure? SAL KHAN: That’s the goal. ERIC SCHMIDT: OK. And how many languages
do you support? SAL KHAN: We’re not there yet. ERIC SCHMIDT: It’s not enough. SAL KHAN: As I say, we’re
going to be working on it. We’re not going– ERIC SCHMIDT: One
of the things that I know is that we’ve had
phenomenal donors who have been helping fund the
translation of the videos and the non-video technology
into other languages, right, for obvious reasons. SAL KHAN: Yeah. Exactly. We already actually are
making pretty good headway. And Yin, who’s our head
of international is here. And she’s going to be
driving it even further, but we have a fully
Spanish Khan Academy. We have a fully Brazilian
Portuguese Khan Academy. We have partners in France. We have partners in Turkey. So the goal is
hopefully in the next 5, 10 years we have
significant presences in– ERIC SCHMIDT: And the good news
is that’s a scalable problem once the content is there. SAL KHAN: Yes. ERIC SCHMIDT: Coming back to
the focus though, at some point you decided to do
more than just videos. SAL KHAN: Yeah. ERIC SCHMIDT: What happened? SAL KHAN: So yeah. The pitch was,
well, look, in order to actually learn, to get
an education it can’t just be 5, 10 minute videos. It’s got to be
real interactivity. And there’s always
been this thesis, and this goes back to
when I was tutoring my cousins, which
was really kind of the start of Khan Academy. ERIC SCHMIDT: How is
your cousin doing now? She’s grown up. SAL KHAN: She’s grown up. I tell her there’s a lot
riding on her future. So she’s– actually the
first three cousins. They’re doing just fine. I’m obviously very
invested in their success, but Nadia, she just graduated
from Sarah Lawrence last year. And she’s working
as a researcher now. And I think she wants
to go to med school. ERIC SCHMIDT: So
she’s a proper adult. She managed to make it
through Khan Academy. SAL KHAN: She’s proper. ERIC SCHMIDT: And grow up. SAL KHAN: Yes. And she’s fulfilled all her
South Asian stereotypes just perfectly. And her younger brother,
he’s a sophomore at MIT. And his younger brother’s
going to be a freshman there next year, so
they’re doing good. ERIC SCHMIDT: So what happens
is you get through this, you’re seeing all these wins. And what was the decision
to do something different? SAL KHAN: Well,
it was that I saw that they all– even
the ones that they thought they were good students,
A minus, B plus students. They still ended
up hitting walls when they got into
algebra class, or trigonometry, or calculus. And they often thought it was
because I’m not good at math, or math is hard. But when I sat
down with them, it was pretty clear that they
were having trouble in calculus because they didn’t
master their algebra, or they’re having
trouble in algebra because they were a little foggy
on exponents, or whatever else. And so the first version of
Khan Academy, my background’s in software, it had
nothing to do with videos. This was in 2005 when
I got the domain name. It was just literally
an exercise platform that would allow my cousins
to fill in their gaps and then guide them ahead. And this was something that
I had hacked together on. And the videos
were just something to complement those things. And so when y’all reached out on
what we would do, I said, well, we’ll get a real team to work
on this software platform where students can go
remediate their gaps. It understands where they are,
and then it can guide them up to the appropriate skill level. And keep them in their kind of
one step out of their comfort zone. They’re kind of zone of
proximal development, kind of what we want for
the students who are winning the Hustle leader board. ERIC SCHMIDT: So I was struck. One of the things that you did
a couple of years ago is you started to look at the
problem of math problems. And everyone struggled
with math problems. And you actually back
correlated which problems would produce the quickest learning. And I thought that was the first
example of machine intelligence that everyone could relate
to, because nobody likes some of these hard and
impossible problems that nobody can actually answer. So what happened with that? Did that work? Is that now a part of my math
experience as a 12-year-old? SAL KHAN: Yeah. And we have members of
our analytics team here. And what they’re
constantly doing, I mean, this is the thing. I mean everyone here is familiar
with the notion of A/B testing. In a traditional world A/B
testing is literally just about how to get
more time on site, prevent the bounce rate, or– ERIC SCHMIDT: A/B testing
is taught in schools, but never applied to schools. SAL KHAN: Is it
taught in schools? ERIC SCHMIDT: Yeah. It’s called statistics. SAL KHAN: Oh, statistics. That’s right. ERIC SCHMIDT: You forgot. SAL KHAN: Yes. No, that’s right. ERIC SCHMIDT: They
actually teach. There are thousands of people
who teach testing A versus B, but no one in education
ever actually does that. SAL KHAN: That’s right. Yes. There’s a whole movement– ERIC SCHMIDT: That’s how the new
math became the old math, which became the new math again. You’re too young
to remember that. SAL KHAN: No, I’m
older than you think. So yeah. They’re constantly running
these experiments on if we give students questions
that are harder then what is the accuracy that
kind of optimizes students’ engagement, or their ability
to get to some learning stage further on. We’re measuring
correlations between what we call mission completion, you
mentioned– we literally have, and we’re working with the
authors of the Common Core on this, on making sure that our
collection of 200,000 exercises are actually representative of
what the Common Core should be. ERIC SCHMIDT: And
what is the alignment? I mean, are you now training
to the test as the critics say? SAL KHAN: So what
was good about it, I was actually skeptical of the
Common Core three years ago. And to a large
degree, regardless of the standard,
what matters more is how it’s actually
implemented. You could do a very bad
implementation of any standard. And you can also do a
very good implementation of most standards,
but when we actually started to look at what
the Common Core was saying, it really is just good math. I mean, I know it’s a
political hot potato, but it really is based off of
a lot of the good ideas that come out of Singapore. Have fewer concepts, but
teach them really well. And have really good conceptual
underpinning on them. So that’s just the basic
gist of the Common Core. I mean, there’s
some details, but we looked at it and obviously
that 43 states were adopting it and was like, this
is an opportunity. We are at least national,
if not international. Let us focus around this. So we did a very deep investment
starting almost three years ago on making sure that our
exercises, our videos also, but especially our exercises
aligned with the Common Core. But to your point,
then measuring that, hey, if you get to
what we would call full mastery of the eighth
grade mission on Khan Academy, what does that mean if you were
to go take a standardized test? And we now see that
you’re very likely to rock that standardized test. And that’s part of
the LearnStorm pitch that we make to
schools because schools have a million things to do. But we can say hey, this
is something you care about and it’s fun. ERIC SCHMIDT: A
couple more questions about this, then we’ll move
on to audience questions. But let’s talk a little
bit about the SAT. SAT is fighting ACT. There’s a new leader. You all did a deal
to do essentially, to be one of the
test prep, I guess for the– why did you do that? What is the relationship of the
Khan Academy mission and test prep to SATs? SAL KHAN: Yeah. Well, the College Board
reached out to us. They’re launching
a new SAT in 2016. And this new SAT
is being designed to be more aligned with
what students actually learn in school. And part of this thing,
and College Board’s been around for 100 years,
is for the first time with their new leadership
publicly calling out that this has been
unequal, that middle class, upper middle class kids have
access to Kaplan and Princeton Review, tutors, whatever else. And so they wanted
to do something to help level the playing field. And we didn’t know they had
been quietly looking at all of our work on the Common Core. And saying this
thing that was kind of this the startup-y
thing a couple years ago, they’re doing serious work
now based in real science. And so they reached
out, said, we would like you
guys to actually be the official exclusive
provider of free test prep for the new SAT. And the whole point
here is test prep– ERIC SCHMIDT: So it’s
important that it’s free for everyone who’s going
to take the SATs, which is presumably everyone in the US. SAL KHAN: It’s free
and best in class is the goal, because no one
else before had direct access to the College Board. We’re vetting items together. And this, once
again, it’s not going to be just your classic test
prep, where it’s like, hey, when in doubt, pick
C, or this is what you– test taking strategies. The SAT, the goal is to measure
college readiness and the best way to do well on that is
to just be college ready. And so we are a
big part of this. And this is why they
wanted to work with us, is that we actually
want to teach people the mathematics, or the
reading, or the writing, or whatever else. ERIC SCHMIDT: Now another thing
that you’ve been doing is, you’ve been doing this
with a number of educators, is you’ve been trying
to look at the totality of the educational experience. So a simple question is people
get so mad at the school system, they say, I want to
sort of homeschool my child and I want them just
to use Khan Academy. And there are some
things that you don’t learn by sitting in front
of a computer all day, right? As much as we would like to
not believe that as a child and growing up into
a proper citizen. So you’ve actually done some
partnerships in various states. You want to take through
some of your lab ideas. Give me a model of how
the ideal school will look like in 5 or 10 years. What will the teacher do? Because it’s pretty clear
that teachers matter is even more than they used to. And they’ve always mattered. And it’s pretty important
that Khan Academy matters a lot to them. SAL KHAN: Yeah. So if you take education as
kind of this full spectrum of things. At this end of
education you could say this is your history facts
and your multiplication tables. And as you get
further and further you get into more and
more open ended things. Out here might be
entrepreneurship, or your growth mindset,
or your ability to write a novel, whatever it might be. The traditional school
system has been very focused right around at this range. And because they’ve
been doing it in, for lack of a better word, this
Prussian factory model, where even if you have gaps
in a basic concept, we’re going to move you onto
the next more advanced one because the assembly line
is just moving at that pace. And we’re going to
grade you and when we identify gaps
we’ll keep pushing you along and at some
point you’re going to hit a wall like
my cousins did. So even on that it’s not really
personalizing and making sure that students learn it
as well as they could. And it’s the model more
than any individual’s fault. And so the view is if
things like Khan Academy can tackle a lot of this, but
do it in a personalized way so students can build
their foundations, progress at their own pace,
and actually even a little bit of this stuff. We have a programming
platform where students can create things, have
peer review, make games, very creative. It’s not to replace
what was going on here. It allows the teachers
to move up here. And so now the teachers
can spend a lot of time mentoring students,
intervening in their lives, having that one on one
time, being their coach. Frankly, the type of thing
that I was doing with Nadia, and Armon and Ali was
taking interest in what they were doing and motivating them. ERIC SCHMIDT: But we forget
that schools are also where an awful lot of
social issues get resolved. And the people bring problems
from home to school and on and on and on. You talked a lot about it in
your first book, the notion of inverting the classroom. So are we still on an
inverting the classroom model? And how would one look like? SAL KHAN: The inverting
the classroom idea, and this wasn’t my idea. This was other teachers had
emailed me back in as early as 2007. [INAUDIBLE] yeah, you’ve
given videos on some things. We don’t have to waste
class time giving lecture, information delivery anymore. We’ll use class time to
actually interact and do problem solving. And then kids can get
videos if they need it at their own time and pace. In my mind, that’s
been distilled further is that when
humans get together, the general principle
is leverage the humans. And so make them
interact with each other. Make them do projects. Make them have
Socratic dialogue. And then they can
do other things at their own time and own place. It might be watching videos. It might be doing exercises. And it might be even doing some
other projects or programming. But if they’re in
a room together, make them interact
with each other. So the school of the
future, and as you mentioned we’re working with a
bunch of schools in this area and around the country that are
moving in this direction, some of them very aggressively. Yeah. Students spend two,
three hours a day on core skills, the
kind of stuff that used to be eight
hours of the day, but they’re learning
in a personalized way, and hopefully much
more effectively. But then the rest of
the day is open ended. They’re working on projects. They’re having
Socratic dialogue. They’re doing peer to peer. ERIC SCHMIDT: So if
you’re wildly successful here in the Bay Area
and in other places you might get 0.5% or 1% of
the schools to start this. How do you get to scale given
the way in which education is run in America, heavily
unionized, heavily regulated, department and department of
policy, all sorts of rules, the textbooks take five years
to get approved, on and on. How do you break that? Is your strategy just
to be an insurgent and get these ideas in and
then hope for the best? SAL KHAN: There’s a
little bit of that. And I don’t have
the crystal ball. I don’t know the exact
right answer here. I think we have
several kind of angles of approaching this problem. One is continue to do what we’re
doing, have a lot of reach. Last year our estimates are that
20% to 30% of all US students at least used Khan
Academy once in the year. So the reach was there. And obviously we’re
working on ways to getting them to use it even more. So there’s one
model where, look, you just have a large
percentage of the students in a country and eventually
the world using this thing. That creates change. And we see that happening,
that a teacher might use it in their classroom because
a parent, or a student, or a lot of their
students are using it. That’s one way to approach it. The partnership with
the College Board is a big deal for us,
hopefully a big deal for them as well because it
completes a picture. To a large degree
there’s probably parents here who homeschool. And your child, the grades,
it’s from your mom or dad. The colleges aren’t going
to take it too seriously, but if your child does
well on the AP test, which are administered by the College
Board and does well on the SAT, and has a portfolio
of good projects that they worked on
and can write well, they can get into Harvard. ERIC SCHMIDT: You actually told
me the story about the AP tests are a relatively new idea. They were invented
roughly 50 years ago in some elite schools. And they became sort of a
new level of expectation across the [INAUDIBLE]. SAL KHAN: They’re actually
probably the best example of in the last 40 years actually
a transformation happening. 40 years ago Phillips Andover,
elite of the elite schools, they said, hey, our
seniors are taking calculus at the same level as
they would if they were at Yale or Harvard. Let’s talk to Yale or
Harvard because they could. And let’s make sure our
students get credit for it. And then Exeter, and
Choate, and Deerfield, and all these very elite schools
said, oh, we’re just as good. And because education is
an aspirational thing. It is kind of like, oh the movie
star’s wearing those jeans. I want to wear it, too. That it eventually,
the great majority of the schools in
the country say, I want to offer AP
classes as well. ERIC SCHMIDT: Final question
involving programming. About a year and a half ago you
brought out some initial tools for teaching programming. Obviously that’s
your own background and obviously ours
here in the room. How’s that going? What your vision of that? We care a lot about
producing great programmers. SAL KHAN: Yeah. No, that’s close to our heart. I even think of this
with my own children. I mean, there’s reading,
writing, arithmetic, and the fourth R is programming. ERIC SCHMIDT: OK. Can we just review that
high school mastery again? SAL KHAN: There’s an R in it. Yeah. So we take this very seriously. And the way we did
programming, if you take CS 101 at
almost any university they start with,
this is a variable. This is a loop. This is a conditional. And I was like that’s not
how we learned to program. Most of us learn programming–
I want to create a game. I want to create screensaver. I want to create something
I can show my friends. And so John Resig, who’s one
of the architects of jQuery on our team, we kind
of gave him some space to think of this in a
very open ended way. And we came up with a model. And we piloted it at
some schools in Los Altos with fifth graders, both
genders to make sure that it’s equally
appealing, and actually our CS platform is
50-50, male, female. And the whole point of
it is you create things. And so you have a coding
window, and then you’re doing it in JavaScript. And then you have your
canvas, but then you share it on your profile. You get peer to peer feedback. You can browse other
people’s games. You can spin off of games. So yeah. It’s something that we take
very seriously because we think it’s– yeah. I mean, it’s funny. We’ve actually already
hired two people based on what their portfolios
were on our programming platform. So it could be an interesting
recruitment strategy. ERIC SCHMIDT: Excellent. Let’s move to our
audience questions. We have some Dory questions,
which are our internal board. And let me just read the first
one while people– there’s a microphone coming. If you would come up here. From your perspective what
could or should Google be doing in education
that we currently are not? And before you
answer that question, make sure everybody
knows that we have a very successful program
around something called Chromebooks. Many, many students now
will get the Chromebook. They’ll check it
into their classroom. They log in. When they’re done they check
it back out into the school. It’s essentially a
Chrome 1 hardware. It’s the number one
most successful computer in education. We’ve also introduced in the
last year a product called Google Classroom, which the
customer of Google classroom is essentially a teacher
who’s doing lesson plans, wants to sort of work
digitally with the students and so forth and so on. Go ahead. SAL KHAN: Yeah. Well, as you mentioned, I mean,
Google’s already doing a lot. And even some of the things that
y’all aren’t explicitly doing for education, like things like
project Loon and whatever else, I think have huge implications. ERIC SCHMIDT: Well,
connectivity is huge. SAL KHAN: Connectivity is when
we think about the world in 10 years, we see ourselves. We’re going to create
a lot of content. And hopefully that
motivates more people and they’ll be hopefully
on mobile devices and whatever else. ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, they will
only be on mobile devices. SAL KHAN: Exactly. ERIC SCHMIDT: And in a
decade the vast majority of your global customers will be
on smartphones run by Android. SAL KHAN: We don’t disagree. And so that’s
actually a huge thing. And that’s the kind
of thing that Google can tackle that we would
never be able to tackle. And all of the other
things you mentioned. And I would say beyond that is a
lot of what we’ve done together and starting to do together is
figure out programmatic ways to build awareness, to build
energy around this very important direction, whether
it’s narrow, if we just think only about computer programming,
which both groups are interested in, but also broader
spectrum around education generally. ERIC SCHMIDT: Well,
I’ve always thought that education was sort of the
last industry to get automated. And now with digital
connectivity, everybody being connected, it should be
possible to get the like minded people to start building
these interesting and powerful platforms, which include machine
intelligence, various forms of testing, and A/B testing. Yes, ma’am? AUDIENCE: Hi, I’m Lizzie. Before I came to
Google I was a teacher. ERIC SCHMIDT: Who did you teach? AUDIENCE: I taught middle
school math, so eighth and ninth graders in Boston. And one of the
things that I noticed was that despite
access to resources, so many of these
kids had smartphones. So I just wanted to
follow up on something that you just started
talking about, but specific to
LearnStorm, and the sort of mobile accessibility there,
and how soon students can start doing this on their phones. SAL KHAN: The simple answer
is hopefully within the year. Matt, who’s driving a lot of
our mobile stuff is there. So you all can talk
to him, but yes. We have big plans. The writing’s on
the wall, obviously. And so we have big plans in
this upcoming year to, yeah. ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, and there’s
an iPad product already. SAL KHAN: Yeah.
we just launched– ERIC SCHMIDT: We’re working
on the smartphone technologies in the more popular of
the operating systems. SAL KHAN: That is right. But I encourage
you all to sample the one that is out there. So we had an old iPad
app that was just enriched video viewing,
but we just launched one a few weeks ago where students
can enter their answer with free hand and all that. ERIC SCHMIDT: Let’s
question him together until we get the right answer. AUDIENCE: All right. Get serious. ERIC SCHMIDT: Is there
something interesting that you can do on a smartphone
from an education perspective that you can’t do on a computer? SAL KHAN: Well,
from a smartphone there’s all sorts of
things that you know. Idea– they could take
a picture of a problem, and then they could
have an example. This is actually
screenshots the iPad app, which in the not too
long future will also be on the more popular platform. Yeah. I mean, you can imagine. I mean, you have a camera. You have a way that they
can interface on touch. So you know where
they are potentially. ERIC SCHMIDT: Right. You have location. And they can also
move it around. SAL KHAN: They can
also move it around. So we’re just
scratching the surface on what’s possible on mobile. And we’re just starting to
open our minds, frankly, to what it is. AUDIENCE: It would be
amazing if also just shifting some of the time that
those students are spending on their
mobile phone from less productive activities, too. ERIC SCHMIDT: What? Like texting? AUDIENCE: Like bullying. SAL KHAN: Oh. ERIC SCHMIDT: Oh. AUDIENCE: I’m leaving now. SAL KHAN: Yes. ERIC SCHMIDT: Thank you. Yes ma’am? Next question. AUDIENCE: Hi. I’m Toni from Android Test. My question is
around your platform that supports using Java
to code and basically show what they code on the right. I’m aware of a different
language called Scratch, which enables pretty much
similar things, but is more block based, and
potentially easier for younger kids to interact with it. I’m wondering what’s the
rationale behind choosing Java versus expanding on Scratch. SAL KHAN: Yeah. No, and we’re very close
to the Scratch folks. Mr. Resnick at
the MIT Media Lab. And when we did this, one,
Scratch already was there. And we’re like Scratch is
actually doing a great job at block based programming. But we kind of
introspected again, like when we all first
had learned to program, you actually don’t see a lot
of folks– a lot of folks, they will do they–
when I was a kid you had the– what was the one
with the turtle and the– Logo. You had things like that,
which were a very basic form of programming. But you don’t see
a lot of people make the jump from
that, or even the block base to for lack of word,
real syntactic programming. And so we thought
it was important, not that that isn’t important,
but that’s kind of step one, but to step two is to
really cross that gap where students are saying,
actually the syntactic one isn’t that bad. And that’s actually what most
of the programming that you will do in the world
today actually looks like. But with that said, we
actually have an overlay on the JavaScript
with using Blockly that it is also block
based, but our thesis was it is important for
the kids to actually get used to syntactic. ERIC SCHMIDT: So
a Google employee, in fact, did a lot of
the work to take Scratch and put it onto the
proper web platform. He’s a real hero
inside the company. And Google has been
funding a lot of these sort of Scratch programs in schools. And they target it at
10, 11, 12 year olds. And they really work. SAL KHAN: Yeah, absolutely. AUDIENCE: Oh, I was
wondering if you have data on how young of
an age could they start interacting
with actual Java and not be intimidated by it. SAL KHAN: Yeah. I don’t have any
formal data on it. I mean, it would be actually
be interesting for us to study. We kind of designed it
almost at the young age, for third, fourth graders. But we’ve seen even
younger students. And there’s some neat things. I mean, it seems like
you’re familiar with it, where if you change a color
it changes in real time. It’s based on some of the
work that Bret Victor did around kind of
instant, you don’t have to re-run your program. It just kind of
changes in real time. But yeah, those
are a good point. I mean, what’ s exciting is
that there’s kind of Cambrian explosion and new platforms
where kids can learn. So it’s pretty neat. AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. ERIC SCHMIDT: Let me ask
the next internal question. Some or much of Khan
Academy’s content is structured around a typical
American secondary school curriculum. Is the Academy analyzing this
curriculum’s effectiveness or experimenting with
different curricula? SAL KHAN: So at
Khan Academy proper, there’s two lines of
attack, so to speak. One is where is the market? And this is, hey, kids
are taking calculus. And we have statistics
as well, but we could debate on the utility
of calculus versus statistics versus something else, but
that is just what students are learning. And it’s a beautiful subject. And we like creating
that content. With that said, we
are also creating other content that is, I
guess, broader or maybe more cross domain. And the other thing that
we’re doing is we are, you mentioned kind of some
of these labs we’re doing and we’re piloting with schools. That is more open lens,
where we’re trying, when we’re working with
these physical schools, we’re trying to see, well, if
we could reboot everything, ERIC SCHMIDT: But you
have all these constraints on these schools. So you have to come
up with a school that has the ability to grant
a degree against a very different curriculum. Is that possible? SAL KHAN: Well, it’s
actually interesting is a lot of the constraints are–
if you’re a public or charter school, yes. There’s obviously
funding constraints. And then there’s a
lot of constraints on time in the classroom. But in terms of giving a
high school credential, it’s fairly open ended. I mean, homeschoolers,
once again, as long as your child
learns to write well, performs well on things
like the SAT, AP test, and has a portfolio of
interesting experiences, they can compete
or out compete some of the students who are
going to traditional schools. ERIC SCHMIDT: Yes, ma’am? AUDIENCE: This is
about content also. I’m a software engineer
and I studied math, so my kids are getting a lot
of math and coding at home. So we were interested
in, I think they’re not learning much about
writing and critical thinking. So I was like, well,
let’s go on Khan since you’re supposed to
be doing anyway for school, but never do. And we up anything
around the humanities. And we loved the
only thing we found, which was the crash course in
modern history, which probably isn’t for nine-year-olds,
but he loves it. It’s really funny. And you have to pause
it every 10 seconds and we talk about it. And think about fun
things to do around it, like invent your own cuneiform. But I just think
there’s this whole gap, and this is
important for kids up from all levels of
socioeconomic status, about reading something and
thinking about it and writing. I know writing is really hard
to do in the automated fashion, but I’m just curious
about any of your thoughts around humanities and how you
could extend some of this work to the humanities. SAL KHAN: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s in our mission
to eventually get to that. And for us it’s weighing
that and the importance of reading comprehension,
writing, and humanities broadly to what we’re capable
to do using existing tools. But, yeah. I imagine even
something like writing could actually be very similar
to our computer science. There’s a lot more
commonality between something like programming and writing
than most people normally associate. You’re creating
something from scratch. There’s kind of a subjective
open ended aspect to it. So you can imagine something
like that, peer review. You’re right. On the video side right
now we’re very limited. We have a little bit of history. ERIC SCHMIDT: I mean,
eventually machine intelligence can read the paragraphs and
sort of make recommendations. SAL KHAN: Yeah. I mean, there’s definitely–
I know the folks at edX are– I haven’t tested it to
see how good it is, but– ERIC SCHMIDT: But you
would start with review by other humans. And eventually
review by computer. SAL KHAN: I actually think the
peer review’s a double benefit because I think critically
reviewing other people’s work is actually probably even
more valuable than having your [INAUDIBLE]– ERIC SCHMIDT: But we
talked some time ago that you were interested in
history and also religion, right? SAL KHAN: That was your idea. ERIC SCHMIDT: Because
those are vast subjects and their relatively
structure-able. SAL KHAN: And there’s a market. ERIC SCHMIDT: Right. SAL KHAN: Yeah. Well, and history, we’ve
already started a lot. And actually we have a
partnership with the Aspen Institute, where we’re starting
to get– I mean, we literally, Justice Kennedy has made a
few videos for us already. So that’s just
kind of ramping up. And we hope to have
a lot more of that. We actually have a fairly
large art history collection. And this was just kind of one
of these random opportunistic things that we did. These two art
historians were doing this incredible
collection of videos. And then we reached
out to them and we did what we call a
not for profit merger. We gave them jobs. But Beth and Steven
have been incredible and actually they are
two of the primary voices behind the Google
Art Project, as well. So that’s another point of
intersection between us. So, yes. The good thing is we
now feel that we’re getting pretty close
to– in K through 12, I would say even K through
14 math and science. In the next year or
two we’re getting, it’s pretty filled out now. So we’re just starting
to kind of start thinking about, well, we can
start to invest significantly in some of these other domains. AUDIENCE: Thanks. ERIC SCHMIDT: Another question. Many people coming online
today for the first time are doing so through smartphones
on slow cellular networks. What are you doing
to bring your content and learning tools to
these internet users? SAL KHAN: Yeah. And we’ve been having a lot
of interesting conversations. I mean, Matt’s really
the expert here. And we have some
other folks who’ve been thinking deeply about it. There are high tech solutions. For any of y’all
who’ve seen the videos, we’ve even thought about
creating a new compression algorithm for these videos
because in a lot of ways just using a [? mpeg ?] or whatever,
if you just literally record where the mouse is and stuff,
you could probably compress our entire library
down to under a gig, in which case you could just
bundle them with the phone. And then the actual
data for, did you get a question
right or wrong, that’s very lightweight data. That could even be
batched or whatever else. So there’s stuff like that. The good thing is, well, y’all
are working on and other people are working on accessibility. ERIC SCHMIDT: Well,
as an example, you could just use an SD card. SAL KHAN: You could
use an SD card. Memory is getting to the point– ERIC SCHMIDT: Don’t have to
give you money for SD cards. Just hand them out. SAL KHAN: If in 5 or 10
years, the default phone has 16 gigabytes of memory, you
could just bundle the content. ERIC SCHMIDT: Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Hi, I’m
Vincent [? Chug ?]. I work on Chrome. I’m also a parent. I’m just taking
some young children and getting them
started on Khan Academy and it makes me
wonder about children who are in a daily curriculum
that isn’t planning for Khan Academy, who then have children
at home who are enthused about it, and kind of racing
ahead on all the subject material. I’m already seeing
a divergence, right? And I’m already seeing
that in the classroom they’re saying,
well, I’ve sort of covered this material already. Do you know what is happening
with the population that’s out there in this kind
of an environment? And what to expect, or what to
do what to do with that, right? SAL KHAN: Well, I
think that goes– look, to some degree we don’t know
exactly what’s going to happen, but hopefully it creates
some of these pressures in a very healthy way. That if the children
are racing ahead, and then the teacher thinks,
well, what other ways can I cater to this student
without– hopefully and whoa, there’s other students who are
actually behind where I am. There’s actually studies that
the average teacher is teaching to the 23rd percentile. And you might say,
oh, that’s great. Well, it actually
tells you it’s only catering to 1% of the
students because 22% are going to be lost. And then the remainder
are going to be bored. And it’s only 1% are
going to be like, wow, the teacher
knows exactly what– ERIC SCHMIDT: Is
it really that bad? SAL KHAN: That’s the 23rd. That’s the research I’ve read. ERIC SCHMIDT: Not
even to the midpoint? SAL KHAN: It’s to
the 23rd percentile, which kind of makes sense. ERIC SCHMIDT: It
supports your point. SAL KHAN: I mean, if you see
the students who are struggling, no one wants to leave
behind students. And so there’s obviously more
kind of emotional empathy with those students. ERIC SCHMIDT: So it’s
the Prussian model again. SAL KHAN: It’s the
Prussian model. And so if you have students
at either end of the spectrum, and we’ve even seen it that
the student that you think is at this end of the spectrum,
if you let them remediate their gaps and move
at their own pace, a few months later, they might
be at this end of the spectrum. ERIC SCHMIDT: You
actually had a result that was quite interesting
where Khan Academy was pretty good for well-to-do,
and average sort of kids. But the gains were
phenomenal for students who had been lost, right? The ones that had been told
they were no good at it. And when they would
hit these blocks, and then you, in fact, gave
a speech at Google some years ago on the subject, that
when they would get blocked, if you unblocked
them you had data that showed that they
would eventually catch up and perhaps surpass the
median and upper student. SAL KHAN: Yeah. I saw it frankly with Nadia. She went from being
a remedial student to a student who a year
later was taking literally university courses at
University of New Orleans. The first year that we
worked with Los Altos, the first pilot, some of them
were kind of normal fifth grade classes, but we
worked with a couple of, for lack of better word,
remedial seventh grade classes. And we were afraid of
what might happen there, but we actually saw– and they
had never seen this before. One of the students actually
jumped into an advanced math class. Usually the remedial class is
your intellectual graveyard. You’re kind of behind. And you’ll stay behind. But because that student
was able to fill their gaps and move ahead. ERIC SCHMIDT: And
you can combine that with your work on persistence,
grit sort of learning, SAL KHAN: The mindset study. ERIC SCHMIDT: You could
actually completely change the mindset of people who
have been quote “written off.” SAL KHAN: I mean,
a lot of what we’re trying to think about as
a team is in our product, in everything we do, can
we do little interventions. Even now if you use our
website, or the mobile app, you get these little, your brain
is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it
gets, and these are literally statements that were
engineered by folks like Carol Dweck,
which have shown, and we’ve even seen it
on our own platform, that actually move the dial. People engage more. AUDIENCE: Thank you. ERIC SCHMIDT: Hi, Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Hey, my name’s Adrian. I don’t know much
about education, but I’ve been reading some of
the kind of Gates Foundation research on education. One of the things
that they’ve found, at least my
interpretation of it, was that in classroom technology
typically gets a lift of 10%, 20%, but really the
majority of the lift comes from either the home life
or ironically the back office technology. And this is why you see
startups, like AltSchool, or [? SAP ?] startup trying
to fully integrate the school. And I’m wondering when you
guys are seeing these effects on kids, are you
mostly seeing them in kind of the rich kids where
their families are pretty much already on top of it? They see some
problem and they’re going to go look for some
additional support for the kid? Or are you finding
this lift in the kids that honestly were lost and
don’t have a strong home life? SAL KHAN: I’d say both. Obviously, a lot
of the, especially even the early
adopters, these were the folks that read
the news stories that were writing about us. They had internet access and
broadband, and all of that. And so that might have been
some of the former groups, but a lot of what we see
in Oakland Unity, which is on one of those
leader boards, this was a school,
literally, I mean, if you visit it it doesn’t
feel like the Bay Area, much less the US. It really is a very
under-served school. But they have incredible
teachers there. And they literally went from the
22nd percentile four years ago to the 99.7th percentile. And it was just on a
very simple principle. Their teacher Peter Macintosh
saw that he had ninth graders, and this isn’t any judgment
on the kids’ intelligence, but they just didn’t know
their multiplication tables. And why should I
pretend to teach algebra to kids if they don’t know
their multiplication tables. Let me let them remediate
at their own time and pace. And those same students, let
them learn their multiplication tables. They can then race
ahead and more likely reach their potential. So I think we have
a lot of work to do and, in fact, to the
previous question, I think that’s something
that I would love to– and we’re already doing
it with this LearnStorm, work more with Google of how
do we make sure that we reach and have access to the
kids who need it most. ERIC SCHMIDT: In America
today there’s a growth boom and there are many,
many jobs that are unfulfilled because they
can’t get the people who are capable of doing it. If you talk to colleges, the
colleges talk about how many of the students are coming in
needing remedial work in order to operate in freshman
year in college. So we know we have a very,
very deep problem in the area that Adrien is talking about. AUDIENCE: Great. Thanks. ERIC SCHMIDT: Another question
from our virtual audience. Education quote “for free
for everyone forever. That’s a great mission. How do Khan Academy
employees get paid? Are all expenses covered
through donations? Do you believe that model
is infinitely sustainable?” SAL KHAN: Very good question. And other ways that
Google could help– [LAUGHTER] SAL KHAN: I’m actually
not kidding, but the– [LAUGHTER] SAL KHAN: Maybe it would
be round-off error. Anyway, no. The simple answer is yeah. I mean, we’re primarily
philanthropically funded. And the lucky thing is
we have a board that understands what it means
to hire great talent in a place like the Bay Area. And so we obviously
can’t give stock options. We joke everyone gets the same
stock option package I have. ERIC SCHMIDT: And in fact
you have some ex-Googlers who have come over to work for you. SAL KHAN: We do. We have a bunch. Most famously Craig, I
called him our Hari Seldon because he’s my oracle. ERIC SCHMIDT: Craig was
employee number three, I believe at Google. And retired to
work with Sal to do many of the algorithms
that [INAUDIBLE]. SAL KHAN: And make bread. ERIC SCHMIDT: Which is
how he started at Google. SAL KHAN: Yes. But yeah. We’re a not for
profit, but we are able to compensate
people competitively, which is, I think, which
we are finding is working. ERIC SCHMIDT: But the general
answer is you need fund raising and you need eventually
bigger and bigger amounts. And the question
cited our mission, or a synopsis of our mission,
we want to be free forever. But we think that
we’ve inadvertently found ourselves building a
brand in this very large space. So we think there might be way
through brand partnerships, or whatever else, I mean, some
of y’all might have seen some of these adds with Bank of
America and other folks, where we might be able to find
other sources of revenue that in no way make us compromise the
free of the non commerciality. ERIC SCHMIDT: Go ahead. Yes, sir? AUDIENCE: So you guys
are helping people learn at their own pace really well. Kids have the tools to do
that, but American schools, there’s a lot of social
and cultural reasons why people wouldn’t want
to move at their own pace. Like you were talking about
kind of the factory model. If a kid is behind in
the specific subject, they might get held back. If they’re doing
too well and they skip, then there with people
who they’re different ages with. What’s your vision
for how classrooms will look when people are
really given the ability to learn at their own pace? And how destigmatize
for kids, especially making them want to
learn at their own pace? SAL KHAN: Yeah. I mean, that hits
the crux of it. I think a lot of it, I mean
some of this mindset work that we’re working
on, there’s actually, if you look at
the ed literature, it’s amazing how much
actionable literature there is around the mindset
growth, mindset perseverance. So I think there’s a lot
of stuff around that. But the ideal is to
do a first principles reboot of what is possible. We have a little mini lab school
downstairs from our offices literally, where we’re trying
some of this stuff, where we’re doing mixed age. As soon as it’s mixed age, then
a lot of the stigma of going ahead or behind, and it’s OK if
you’re in math and you’re five, but you’re operating
at a third grade level, but you’re reading at
a kindergarten level. It’s completely
cool in that world. And then you get all the
benefit of the mentorship. One of the reasons why I think
a lot of, for lack of a word, a broken culture in
a lot schools is it is a very unnatural environment. It literally is setting up a
“Lord of the Flies” environment where you have a
bunch of 13-year-olds. And they define
all of the norms, while most of human evolution,
we were in our tribe. We were with our cousins. We were learning from
people slightly older and we were mentoring, even
when we were 9 or 10 years old, we were mentoring people who
were slightly younger than us. And I think that responsibility,
it gives you more agency. It gives you an outlet
for a lot of your energy. It makes you mature faster. And frankly we’ve
already started to see a little bit of that. AUDIENCE: Do you see
a path to get there? SAL KHAN: It’s a hard question. I think that the best
we can do is, ourselves and work with a
bunch of partners to create a lot of
examples of this. Use our soapbox to disseminate
it as much as possible. And I think we have a very real
shot that in the next 10 or 15 years some of what we’re talking
about, in fact, a lot of it has even changed in
the last 5, 10 years, but in the next 10 or 15 years
if you ask a random person on the street, what
is the best practice, just like right now if you say,
what’s a sign of a good school, they might say, oh,
they teach AP classes. But if in 5 or 10 years you
say, what is a best practice, people say, oh, class
is not lecture-based. Students are allowed to
learn at their own pace. It’s a mastery-based model. Significant amount of class
day is building your portfolio of [? created ?] projects. There’s peer to peer
learning and peer review. And it’s mixed age so that
you can mentor others. If that becomes people’s
mantra, and I think it will in the next 10 years. ERIC SCHMIDT: We have a few more
questions and we’ll finish up. Thank you. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: Hi. My name is Evan Rappaport. I’m a product
manager at Google X. And I’ve been really
lucky in my life to have some amazing mentors who
have helped me not necessarily with academic learning, but
with helping to guide me in my career so I could be
happy and work here at Google. So I give a lot of
mentoring advice to students and I try to give
back, but I don’t find that even students with
a really good academic history have any mentoring
on their career. So what could Khan Academy
do to sort of help people be happier in life and their
careers, not just in academics? SAL KHAN: Yeah. There’s some lightweight
things we could do, which I think actually
will have an impact. And then there’s some
more intense things. One is literally
interviews with people. One of the best things,
I had an older sister who kind of navigated
the system ahead of me. And if you have interviews
with folks like yourself, or with people at all
different age levels, like how did you
navigate it, what were your insecurities, and
people from every gender, ethnicity, race, income level. So you can find people
you identify with, but they’re kind of
virtually giving you ways that you can
navigate the system. We’ve already started
that a little bit. We started this whole
college access thing. It’s on Khan Academy. That was a start, but
I can imagine this across all kind of life things. Most people don’t even know
half of the careers that exist out there, especially
these high-growth careers. ERIC SCHMIDT: How did you? SAL KHAN: How did you? ERIC SCHMIDT: How did
you deal with this? SAL KHAN: And then
there’s other things that, once again, it’s
still pie in the sky, but the technology exists
where you can pair people up. You could have mentors
that you virtually find. I think there’s a project called
grandparents in the cloud, or something like that,
where it’s literally you get a grandparent on demand. [LAUGHTER] ERIC SCHMIDT: OK. Next question. Thank you very much. AUDIENCE: Thank you. ERIC SCHMIDT: And,
Jennifer, we’ll have you be the last question. AUDIENCE: Hi, Sal. I have a brief question. So I thought a little bit about
connectivity in rural areas, and how you can get a
[? connection ?] there. One of the things
I thought it was, have you considered
using broadcast medium to kind of publish the
content that you have? So when I thought about
this I was actually working a little bit in public
health care in those areas, and when I think of Khan Academy
a lot of the video content and also the HTML
content I think can actually just be
pushed on because it’s just push based information. It’s only the feedback
of interactiveness that’s actually
pull based, that has to be sent back to the Cloud. And have you considered using
broadcast medium because that just totally avoids the problem
of having internet connectivity in these places. AUDIENCE: Yeah. No, I think there are
some partners that have started doing that. And we’re very open to it. It’s still obviously
a sub optimal because even for
something like videos, we would want someone to
be able to pull and pause and, I already know
that, let me watch this, or let me review that. But, yeah. You’re right. I think that’s something
that could happen today. There’s one of
our ex-interns has started this thing
called KA Lite, which is a completely offline
Raspberry Pi based Khan Academy. So yeah. I think all of
these permutations, but my hope is that in
the next 10 or 15 years, and hopefully Google
plays a big role here, is that a lot of the
accessibility and device issues are actually going to be solved. ERIC SCHMIDT: And I hope
that people in the room know that Raspberry
Pi is a phenomenally inexpensive computer that isn’t
often used for early learning. And so forth Google has
been a big sponsor of that through google.org. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: Hi, name is Jennifer. And I manage our Ocean Program. I just had a question
about traditional– a lot of ocean information isn’t
covered in current curriculum standards. And do you ever kind of
push that the testing platforms include additional
information about the oceans, and climate, and coral reef– SAL KHAN: Oh, really oceans. I thought it was some
acronym for some– AUDIENCE: There is that,
but no, it’s different. Real ocean. ERIC SCHMIDT: 70% of
the earth is oceans. SAL KHAN: I know that,
but you guys are– ERIC SCHMIDT: The largest
amount of biodiversity is in the ocean. We are planning on connecting
the fish to the internet. SAL KHAN: There we go. ERIC SCHMIDT: This
here is Jennifer. Jennifer and her team have built
a number of things, including Google Ocean, and so
you can, for example, go visit shipwrecks
underneath visually. SAL KHAN: Really? ERIC SCHMIDT: They’re doing a
tremendous amount of mapping. They called up the Navy
and convinced the Navy to give us all the maps
of the ocean and so forth. SAL KHAN: Wow. So, OK. That’s exciting. ERIC SCHMIDT: So
the answer is, yes. You’re going to do a new module
based on this new knowledge. SAL KHAN: Yeah. Well, the simple answer
is we do have partners. And actually we have a little
bit of– we’ve already started. We have a partner–
Cal Academy of Sciences has started to do some
stuff around the oceans, and ecosystems, and
things like that. And I think we’re always
happy to partner with folks and see if we can put
more content out there. AUDIENCE: Thank you. ERIC SCHMIDT: I
think everybody sees why I like to work with him. SAL KHAN: I like
to work with you. ERIC SCHMIDT: That’s
not the point. If you think about
people who are going to have an impact
on the world, I would argue Larry and Sergey
will have had that impact, but I will argue that Sal
Khan will have it as well. The reach and the impact that he
and his vision, and the team he has assembled is a Google level
scale, world scale impact. I know of no other group that
has the kind of engineering possibilities and the
scale in front of it as your organization. It is a testament to you as
a computer scientist, failed hedge fund manager, now
educator to the world. SAL KHAN: I didn’t fail. ERIC SCHMIDT: You
just got bored. SAL KHAN: Well, fair enough. ERIC SCHMIDT: Thank you
very, very much for coming. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]

About James Carlton

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31 thoughts on “Eric Schmidt and Sal Khan of Khan Academy | Talks at Google

  1. I started programming in basic at age 6, completely self taught, I don't think programming is difficult for young kids, I think it's difficult for parents and teachers and for those parents and teachers to imagine kids can do something they don't understand, or didn't understand till they were older but still found difficult.

    I wasn't programming games at age 6, my first program was text that would scroll repeatedly in a kind of hypnotic pattern. I didn't make my first game till I was 13, not for lack of trying. But I learned a lot about math and logic in the interim. Programming requires very exact thinking which is the REAL benefit. People have often asked me why someone would learn programming since not everyone is going to be a programmer. Not everyone will be a COMPUTER programmer, everyone has the opportunity to use programming skills in daily life and jobs. Programming is breaking problems into their simplest components, and finding the most effective and efficient route to the answer, everything else is just syntax. I think this is why so many programmers lead super successful companies.

  2. Now that we're rethinking learning with free learning for all .. can someone PLEASE figure out how to improve our current hiring system so that people who love to learn and are good at something can be identified and paired with the right jobs.

  3. A lot of good technical questions but eventually good, practical, easy, ethical, free, accessible education will better people of the world.

  4. My only hope for Khan Academy and religion is that they STRICTLY teach about many different religions, the history and culture they arose in, and the theology and to teach that comparatively. I really really really hope they never end up in the business of teaching scripture in a way that could be construed as presenting any of it as reality.

    Teach about religion, teach about all religions (or as much as possible) don't do the classic failure of teaching the theology as factual.

    54:30 great answer. I've very grateful to Sal and the team, and Google. Oh an Eric, 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean. Significantly less of the Earth by mass is water.

  5. Seriously, Kahn academy has been of almost no use to me. The problems given are far too elementary to be helpful. Also, the topic he touches on do not seem to be taught the same way in class; sometimes the topic is listed as the same but what he's saying can't even be connected to what I heard in class.

  6. Leader Boards are BS.
    Highlighting someone as superior to others makes one person feel good at the expense of the self esteem of everybody else.
    We should encourage collaboration not competition, e.g. if a student who is neurologically gifted(no we are not all equal) helps a student who isn't as gifted they both should be acknowledged for the academic excellence they achieve TOGETHER!!

  7. Watching this just makes me depressed because that is what school left me feeling. Still becoming an engineer though so I played the game well enough.

  8. I wish Khan Academy would collaborate with the ministry of education in Romania to bring all the material from Khan Academy translated into Romanian, it's a country with a lot of potential, member of EU, CERN etc. but there is no education culture. And from personal experience I strongly believe Khan A. is the future of education.
    Kids having profiles like they have on facebook, interacting with each other, with gamification elements and all that. That is the start of building an education culture, there are things I feel Khan A. would benefit from, which I feel is the next step in it's advancement, that is implementing elements from social media. Socialization is a very important thing for young people, obviously.

  9. As a learner I can say broadcast wouldn't work for me, I need to pause sometimes, or re watch a part. Say what you wish but this is how I learn best.

  10. This man is great person that just wants quality education for everyone for free and I hope he revolutionises education around the world.

  11. Eric! Sal! How can get a brick and mortar Khan Academy going in my area? I live in Oregon and want to create an environment where working parents of struggling students can utilize Khan academy and tutors/teachers to catch up to or race ahead of their peers.

  12. A great conversation about how to really educate learners and to do so with or without traditional educational institutions, colleges and schools. The Khan Academy is great!

  13. So weird….the audience laughs when nothing is really funny. I think the audience is Eric Schmidt's sheeple.

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