Tutoring Cousins at Scale, Khan Academy Educates the World

From tutoring his cousin in algebra to creating an on-demand learning community that reaches millions across the globe, you could say that Salman Khan has put his Harvard MBA to good use.


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From tutoring his cousin in algebra to creating an on-demand learning community that reaches millions across the globe, you could say that Salman Khan has put his Harvard MBA to good use. Khan is the creator of Khan Academy, the educational organization and website that aims to provide "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere" operating on the inspiring premise that "you can learn anything."

When Khan sat down with Big Think, he told the personal story behind the business, which Forbes called "a $1 trillion opportunity." But what appears in hindsight as an overnight success began slowly, with Khan tutoring an extended group of cousins, helping them achieve small degrees of academic success and then building that success to scale.

"I started building software for [my cousins] to make sure that they had strong foundations in things like basic arithmetic, fractions, decimals, exponents. And that software that I was making for them that gave them as much practice as they needed and solutions and a way for me as their tutor to keep track of what they were doing, that was the first incarnation of Khan Academy."

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