• Awarded: 2013
  • Issue Areas: Early Childhood to Primary Education · Education · Post-Secondary Education · Secondary Education
  • Region: Caribbean · Central America · Central and Southern Asia · Eastern and Southern Africa · Eastern Asia · Europe · Middle East and North Africa · North America · Oceania · South America · Southeast Asia · West and Central Africa
  • Web:
  • About the Organization

    Khan Academy is a non‐profit with a mission of providing a free world‐class education for anyone, anywhere. Their free online educational resources include practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empowers learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.

    Their lessons tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Khan Academy’s math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps.

    They’ve also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.

    Millions of students from all over the world, each with their own unique story, learn at their own pace on Khan Academy every single day. Their resources are being translated into more than 36 languages in addition to the Spanish, French, and Brazilian Portuguese versions of the site.

    Although the United Nations and others have declared education to be a basic human right, it is a right denied to many.

    KA provides free, high quality education for anyone, anywhere – through online lessons and in schools.

    Salman Khan sees this work as an opportunity to fundamentally rethink the educational model.

    More than 10 million users globally subscribe to KA.

    Ambition for Change

    A free, world-class education is available to anyone, anywhere. Classrooms where students learn at their own pace and teachers play a supporting role become the norm; academia evolves continuously and adapts to the learning process of each and every student.

    Path to Scale

    Open Source Online Resources

    Any learner or teacher can have free access to courses, materials, and tools.

    Business Model

    Philanthropic support for program development and production augmented by the work of volunteers who produce content, translate, reach out to teachers and partners.

    Salman Khan was one of the few fortunate youth from his public school in a small town in Louisiana to land a spot at a world-class university. He earned three degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later attended Harvard Business School. He became a hedge fund manager, but found his true calling by tutoring his 12-year-old cousin Nadia in mathematics. His digital lesson plans and tutorials were popular with friends and family members, who kept requesting more. He uploaded a variety of lessons onto YouTube and soon had millions of followers studying with his free, easy-to-use lessons. He found this so rewarding that he quit his job in 2009 to dedicate himself to what became the Khan Academy. KA provides free, high quality education for anyone, anywhere – through online lessons available directly to independent learners, and through a “flipped classroom” model in schools (instead of lecturing, teachers are present in a classroom of independent learners to monitor progress and offer support). KA allows a student to learn at his or her own pace to truly master a subject, and concurrently collects massive datasets on student performance in order to structure learning models according to student outcomes. Sal Khan is recognized as a founder and champion of the digital education revolution. At the time of the Award, KA had grown to 5 million unique visitors per month, from almost every country in the world. Its 3,400 videos had been watched more than 190 million times, and students were completing more than 2 million exercises daily.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • As of January 2014, more than 10 million users globally are subscribed to KA.
    • Its library of resources includes 5,000 online courses.
    • Online teacher tools support more than 15,000 classrooms using the site.
    • KA is assessing indicators of educational outcomes, including the number of students in KA classrooms who achieve proficiency or score higher than comparison classrooms. Initial small scale results indicate improved outcomes for KA students. Deeper research into long-term student outcomes is planned.


    Minli VirdoneChief of Staff, Khan Academy
    Salman KhanFounder and Executive Director, Khan Academy
    Yin LuHead of International Market Development, Khan Academy

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