Sal Khan is an American educator who is redefining the education industry with his mastery-based approach to learning. He founded the popular online resource Khan Academy, and created a school around his mastery-based learning philosophy known as Khan Lab School. Khan focuses on allowing learners gain a complete understanding of subjects, and delve deep in topics beyond the curriculum.
Some of Sal Khans achievements include:
Receiving the Microsoft Education Award in 2009
Khan Academy receiving the Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in 2019
Founding Khan Academy in 2007
Featuring on the cover of Forbes Magazine for a story on “disrupters” shaking up education
Founding Khan Lab School in 2014
The link to the next video will be located at the end each video. If you have any questions or comments please post them in the comment section below. Not in the YouTube comments.
Barnard, B. (2021, September 4). Vaccinating Education: An Interview with Sal Khan. Forbes. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/brennanbarnard/2021/08/31/vaccinating-education-an-interview-with-sal-khan/?sh=4ec007d518ed.
Beard, A. (2015, June 26). Life’s work: An interview with Salman Khan. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from https://hbr.org/2014/01/salman-khan.
The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (2012, November 13). Salman Khan timeline. Daily Bulletin. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from https://www.dailybulletin.com/2012/11/13/salman-khan-timeline/.
Khan, S. (2021, September). What is the history of Khan Academy? What is the History of Khan Academy. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from https://support.khanacademy.org/hc/en-us/articles/202483180-What-is-the-history-of-Khan-Academy-.
Attempting to get an interview for my Eminent Person project was a frustrating yet insightful experience. Even though I sent four emails, I received no replies. However, I still learned many valuable skills during the process of creating and sending my emails. First, I learned how to construct a well-worded, formal, and polite email by properly greeting and thanking my interviewee and explaining the project, the TALONS program, and my goals for the interview. I ensured that I kept the date and time flexible because it would increase the likelihood of my interviewee accepting since they are probably busy. This skill was valuable, not only for the Eminent Person project but also for my Digital Literacy assignment, where I was instructed to create another formal email. Also, in the future, I will need to compose formal emails on many occasions, such as for assignments and jobs. Another skill I learned while preparing for a possible interview was how to write questions. The questions should be specific, so they are simple for the interviewee to answer but open-ended enough to add details and interesting facts. Also, while practicing for my interview, I became confident at asking relevant follow-up questions on the spot, making my interview feel natural and allowing me to gain more information.
However, despite learning many new skills, I did not get the opportunity to test my interviewing skills. Not receiving this opportunity was frustrating because I spent a reasonable amount of time preparing by doing practice interviews, making questions, and constructing four different emails. One factor that played a role in not receiving an interview was that the contacts of the individuals I intended to interview were usually locked behind paywalls, so the sites I got them from were slightly questionable. Next year I might consider paying a few dollars to obtain more reliable contacts, or I could interview someone in a similar field like a university student as they are easier to contact. Unfortunately, someone in the same field will not answer more specific questions as they probably have not extensively researched my eminent person.
Although not receiving an interview was frustrating, the whole experience was incredibly beneficial because I became proficient in many new skills. I learned how to construct a formal email, a skill that will prove to be extremely useful for the remainder of my academic and professional career. Also, I honed my interviewing skills throughout the entire process, and I am confident that I will have more success in obtaining an interview next year.
My practice interview was a beneficial experience because it helped boost my confidence and made me feel more prepared for my actual interview. Practicing my interviewing skills with someone I know and who is my age will help me ease into conducting a proper, formal interview with my eminent person, instead of doing it with little previous experience. I asked clear and specific questions that were still open-ended enough to allow for follow-up questions that I developed during the interview. My follow-up questions helped me gain more detailed answers from my interviewee, leading to my next guiding question. I also stated with easy warm-up questions and maintained eye contact to make my interviewee feel comfortable before I got into the meat of the interview. Using these techniques made my interview flow nicely between questions, making it more conversation-like, allowing me to touch on various topics and ask more personal questions. For future interviews, I need to maintain appropriate body language that shows that I am engaged and interested in my interviewee’s responses. Also, during the practice interview, I asked follow-up questions very rapidly, partly because I was inexperienced and did not want to exceed the time frame. I need to add more time between questions to give my interviewee a chance to elaborate or add fascinating facts.
During the practice interviews, I also got the opportunity to be the interviewee and assess my peers. Being the interviewee aided me in understanding what I needed to do as an interviewer to make my interviewee feel comfortable. My partner’s technique started with a cordial greeting and some small talk to ease me into the interview, which helped lead me to questions that required more thought to answer. As the interviewee, I also understood what types of questions are difficult to answer or need clarifying. Understanding this will allow me to order my questions accordingly to make my interview easier for the interviewee. Observing my peers while they conducted their interviews was very insightful as it helped me recognize areas I need to improve on and some of my strengths as an interviewer. Recognizing my strengths will aid me in my interview because I can use them to my advantage. For example, I excel at developing follow-up questions that make my interview flow naturally, so when I conduct my actual interview, I will make my guiding questions very open-ended and use follow-ups to get detailed answers and transition into the next question.
Conducting the practice interviews was very useful as it helped me recognize areas of improvement and my strengths. Playing different roles in the practice interviews, such as the interviewer, interviewee, and evaluator, allowed me to observe the interviewing process from different angles, and this will help me conduct an effective interview with my eminent person. I will continue to practice my interviewing skills in my free time and during my Career Education 9 assignment, where I need to interview two individuals to prepare for my actual interview.
Looking at my peers’ blogs was a very insightful and enjoyable process. I gained much knowledge about eminent individuals from various fields of study, I received advice that will help make my future blogs more engaging, and I advised my peers on ways to improve their blogs. While reading others’ blogs, I learned about incredible sportsmen and women like Usain Bolt and Naomi Osaka and famous musicians and singers, including Doja Cat and Mike Shinoda. However, the post that interested me the most was Ah-Ra’s post about Dana Terrace, a prominent animator. Dana is a well-known openly LGBTQ+ individual, and she is spreading the message that everyone should be accepted for who they are. Even though she has received considerable backlash, Dana is promoting her message through her animation, and I find this very inspiring.
Along with reading my peers’ blogs, I also commented on them and received comments on my post. By commenting on others’ posts not only did it help them improve their future posts, but it will also help me improve my blog. Looking at my peer’s blogs with a critical eye allowed me to discover aspects of their posts that I could use to improve mine. Furthermore, considering and acting upon the feedback I received on my post will drastically improve my future ones. Overall, I had a great time reading my peers’ blogs, and this experience and the comments I received on my post will aid in improving my writing as a whole.
“I like to imagine a world where no matter where you are born, any village, any school, anywhere, you’re able to tap into your potential improvement.”
– Sal Khan
This quote exemplifies Sal’s goal to provide free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. He is achieving this goal through his nonprofit organization Khan Academy, which contains high-quality videos for various subjects.
The individual I chose for my Eminent Person Project is Sal Khan because he has profoundly affected the education system with his views about the learning process and access to information.
Sal’s eminence is displayed in the work he has done as an educator. He is the founder of the nonprofit organization Khan Academy, whose mission is to “provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.” Khan Academy is shaking up the education industry by using a learning model that encourages mistakes and reinforces mastery. Sal’s vision is to have students learn at their own pace, and his mastery-based approach to learning shows promising results. The traditional learning model is flawed because students are lectured and then tested on subjects, and even if some learners score poorly on tests, the entire class continues to the next subject. This method leaves gaps in learners’ understanding, which become apparent as they continue to increasingly complex subjects. In contrast, Sal’s mastery-based approach to learning helps learners master concepts before moving to the next, allowing them to learn at their own pace. This method also provides opportunities for learners to build deep understanding instead of surface perception. Sal also believes that access to learning is a human right, so he set Khan Academy as a nonprofit. He wants his content to be accessible to everyone for generations, and he does not think a for-profit would stay true to its mission. Sal’s mission and beliefs make him stand out as an innovative and forward-thinking educator. However, Sal’s success did not come without struggle. He forced himself to suppress his dream of developing Khan Academy because it was too risky to quit his hedge funds job when he did not own a house, had a baby on the way and still needed to pay his wife’s outstanding student loans. Due to his circumstances, when Sal started Khan Academy, he protected it by saying, “This is a hobby. This is a passion. This is fun.” as it developed. He became further demotivated when the dot-com bubble burst when he was a part of it, making him believe entrepreneurship was not for him. Luckily, Sal’s old boss thought it was valuable for employees to have their own lives, which allowed Khan Academy to blossom. When Sal finally quit his old job in 2009, he already had over 100 000 users, appeared on CNN, and talked to philanthropists, so he was at minimal risk.
Sal’s desire to gain a deep understanding and challenge himself, growth mindset and humbleness make him worth researching. I also possess some of these attributes. I try to emulate his humbleness and outstanding ability to receive and act upon criticism, and he motivates me to pursue my passion and take agency over my learning. In school I faced similar challenges to Sal. For example, as a gifted learner, Sal faced many of the same obstacles as me, such as not receiving opportunities to discover beyond the curriculum or study topics of our interest. Sal and I were extremely fond of our gifted classes because they allowed us to explore our passions and learn in ways that differed from traditional means of learning. As a TALON, I admire Sal because he wants schools to begin shifting towards allowing learners to become autonomous and self-directed. There is an increasing demand for autonomous individuals that take agency over their learning in the workplace, which the traditional schooling model does not produce. Another similarity that Sal and I share is we are both brown-skinned and have a heritage in India. Even though I am a Sikh and Sal is Muslim, we were still raised with similar values and exposed to Indian culture. Also, as a racial minority in North America, we are forced to battle against stereotyping and unfair opportunities. In summary, our similar upbringing allows me to empathize and connect with Sal’s challenges as he continues to revolutionize education. Sal Khan’s eminence is clearly displayed in his journey and achievements. His goals and experiences are closely related to my own, and his methodology for teaching will have a profound effect on learners for many generations.
For the next phase of my research, my goal is to continue researching Sal Khan’s life and acquire a deeper understanding of the inspiration behind the development of Khan Academy. I will also attempt to contact Sal for an interview.