The Khan Academy: Learning on the Internet


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight, I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2 

And I’m Adam Navis. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

What would you like to learn? Do you want to learn about the history of art? Do you want to learn about mathematics like algebra or calculus? Or maybe you would like to learn about how the human body works. Maybe you would like to learn about how money works in the economy.

Voice 2 

To learn all of these things, you would have to go to many different schools. You would have to pay a lot of money. But, what if you could learn all of those things for free? What if you could learn them all in one single place? There is one place that a person can learn all of these things - and more. It is the Khan Academy on the internet. Some people think it is the future of education. Today’s Spotlight is on the Khan Academy.

Voice 1 

Khan Academy aims to provide a free, high quality, education for any person, in any place. The website includes more than 4,000 short videos, or tutorials. The tutorials teach about many different subjects. Each is about ten minutes long. Every month, over 7 million people go to the Khan Academy website to watch tutorials. Students and teachers from around the world use this learning tool at home and at school.

Voice 2 

Khan Academy began with one man named Salman Khan. Khan’s parents are from Bangladesh and India. But he grew up in the United States. As a young man, he was a good student. He went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, he earned degrees in mathematics, electrical engineering, and computer science. Then, he also earned a degree from Harvard Business School. He began to work in business.

Voice 1 

In 2006, Khan began helping his young cousins with their mathematics school work. He lived far away from his cousins. So they met over the internet. Khan used a website to draw numbers and pictures. This way his cousins could see and understand better. After a time, he put his tutorial videos onto the website YouTube. There, his cousins could see them any time they wanted. And they could watch them over and over. But Khan noticed that other people were also watching his tutorials on YouTube.

Voice 2 

By 2009, the number of people watching his tutorials on YouTube was getting very large. But Khan was working at his job. He did not have enough time to help all the people watching the tutorials. They were asking many questions. And they wanted more new tutorials. Khan wanted to help them. So he decided to make the tutorials as his job instead. Khan officially began Khan Academy on YouTube. He provided tutorials on mathematics and other school subjects.

Voice 1 

The tutorials often begin with a black, empty screen. Then you hear Khan’s voice. He explains what you will study in this tutorial. Then, he begins writing on the black screen. He uses different colors to write. And he explains what he is doing.

Voice 2 

People did not have to pay to watch the tutorials. But they could give him money if they wanted to support his work. Some people did give Khan small amounts of money, but he was still struggling. He told radio host Dianne Rehm about a woman who gave him $10,000. This was enough to support the Academy for several months. Khan said:

Voice 3 

“And then a few months later, I got a text message from the woman who gave me the money. She was at a conference where Bill Gates was speaking. She texted me saying ‘Bill Gates is on stage right now. He is telling everyone watching that he uses Khan Academy for his kids. He uses it himself’. That was an exciting and unbelievable event.”

Voice 1 

Bill Gates started the company Microsoft. He is extremely rich. After this talk, his organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, began giving money to the Khan Academy. In 2010 the search engine Google gave the Academy money too. They wanted Khan to translate his tutorials into the world’s most common languages. Today, people can see Khan’s tutorials in many different languages.

Voice 2 

The Khan Academy began as a simple way for Khan to help his cousins. But today, it employs 36 people. It includes tutorials on many different subjects. Khan leads many of the tutorials himself. But other experts lead tutorials in their own subjects.

Voice 1 

Some people think that the Khan Academy will be the way more and more people learn in the future. Teachers can use it in their classrooms. Khan believes that Khan Academy will never, and should never, replace a normal school. But he believes teachers and students can use it to make normal school better.

Voice 2 

Often, teachers in a class must teach many different students together. Some students may understand the subject immediately. Some may take much longer to understand it. When a student learns from the Khan Academy, she can learn at her own speed. She can watch a tutorial as many times as she wants to, until she finally understands it. Then teachers do not have to take time in class to explain a subject. They can begin to use the knowledge children have learned through the tutorials. 

Voice 1 

One of Khan’s main goals is to build a “global one-world classroom”. He wants the Khan Academy to connect students around the world - to help each other learn. One way students connect with each other is through coaches. A coach gives his or her time to help people who do not understand. On the Academy website, people watch the tutorials. Then they can do practice tests to see how much they have learned. If they do not understand an idea or process they can ask a coach for help.

Voice 2

People from around the world have used the Khan Academy. And many of them say that the Khan Academy changed their lives. One of these people is Deepak S. He told his story on the Khan Academy website. He wrote:

Voice 4 

“I used to hate mathematics until I found Khan Academy. I was so bad, I was failing in my mathematics class for about five weeks. Then, my parents heard about Khan Academy and told me about it. From there, my mathematics grades got much better. When I started Khan Academy the subjects became more and more familiar. Suddenly, I had the best grade in mathematics. I moved into a higher level class too.”

Voice 1 

So what would you like to learn? Have you used the Khan Academy for school or even just to learn something new? Tell us about it! You can leave a comment on the script page of this program.

Voice 2

The writer of this program was Liz Waid. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at This program is called, ‘The Khan Academy: Learning on the Internet’.

Voice 1 

You can also find us on Facebook - just search for spotlightradio. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.


What do you like to learn about? What is the best way for you to learn?


Luis Piedra's avatar
Luis Piedra
said on May 22, 2013

Hi all
khan Academy is very good help for all people. Good program.
Thanks Spolight

Avatar Spotlight
said on May 22, 2013

oh, so interesting!
i dont never know about Khan Academy until i read this article.
this article help me open my eyes, my mind and discovery the world.
that’s great because we can learn everything in everywhere by internet.
it’s useful to improve my knowlege, my level.
my major is accouting. so i’m very happy when see science and econmics learning part in Khan I think i will achive many knowlege this part.
thanks for spotlightradio - had a excting article.

Avatar Spotlight
said on May 25, 2013

I think this system is excellent to learn differents grades most of all math.Sometimes the teacher doesn´t explain clearly. But through this videos- tutorial can help to understand
From there I used to watch this videos and after analize and so help me with studios.

Great information
Greetings boys

Avatar Spotlight
said on May 28, 2013

The Khan Academy really is the future of education! Salman Khan was educated very well himself and he understood many people from around the world needed education. The students watching the tutorials improve their understanding the different subjects and they prosper better at school. Most of people would like to get new knowledge about science, art, economy and this is a right way to be successful!
Thanks for the article!

Avatar Spotlight
said on May 28, 2013

The Khan Academy really is the future of education. Salman Khan was educated very well himself and he understood many people from around the world needed education. The students watching tutorials improve their understanding the different subjects and they prosper better at school. Most of people would like to get new knowledge about science, art, economy and this is a right way to be successful.
Thank for the article!

Avatar Spotlight
said on June 13, 2013

This was the first time I hear about Khan Academy, thank Spotlight.

Learning Everything's avatar
Learning Everything
said on March 17, 2015

Before I came to the United State, I hope I will be back to school.  I want to study a major in technology. My experience is marketing activities. I didn’t remember about mathematic that is a big problem for me.

When I enrolled a class in a college, they required a student must be passed a Compass Test sush as mathematic and English reading.

During a time I found a way to slove this problem, my instructor let me know about Khan Academy website. So that is a chance to change my life in the future.

After few month I tried to study mathematic day by day, hour by hour and every time when I free. So the end of Sep 2014, I decided to take Compass Test, thanks GOD, I passed it with score of Pre Algebra as 75 and Algebra as 51. So now I am waiting for class in Spring quarter 2015 in Precision Machining Technologies major.

Until now, I have been studying another subject in Khan Academy website. This is a bigest store of knowledge for everybody who want to success in their life.

Thanks Spotlight. Thanks Khan Academy. GOD bless everyone.

JoaoVBR's avatar
said on March 17, 2015

Khan Academy helped me a lot in my primary and secondary education, mainly maths and physics. And I think it will support me on my gradution too.
It was good know a little about the history of Khan Academy. Great program Spotlight!

Avatar Spotlight
said on March 18, 2015

Hello. Thank you Spotlight for today’s program!

Some time ago by another Spotlight program (on October 13, 2014) i learned about EdX: Free University Classes on the Internet. It was very useful information. Today i learned about Khan Academy. I share the view that studying on internet it is the future of education.

Avatar Spotlight
said on March 19, 2015

In the life when we are a child or young we are cared for, taught and educated. We have dreams. We learn and train to get successes. We learn and train to become good persons. We have much time for learning and training. When we are mature we have our careers. We work for our lives. We do not have much time for learning and training. We are more difficult to follow learning and training. Learning and training follow us all our lives. It is good that we have chance to learn and train. Successes bring us joys. Becoming good persons brings us great joys. If we do not learn and train we are difficult to get successes.

Avatar Spotlight
said on April 14, 2016

Thanks Spotlight for this program that helps me know to Khan Academy :)

Avatar Spotlight
said on April 14, 2016

this is the first time i hear about khan academy thanks spotlight
I often learn on youtube.

Avatar Spotlight
said on April 15, 2016

I’m looking about some drawing tutorials, it would be excellent for me to develop my hobby!

Avatar Spotlight
Johanna Castillo
said on April 15, 2016

I never heard about this! But indisputably they should be very useful, I will see some programs of khan academy , on the other hand I’m totally in agree about this kind of teaching for me is the future of education whithough any dout even now is a reality , in my particular case I often use tutorials in youtube chanals to lear different things I like much see documentarys and learn english and sometimes I have to see tutorias related my job.

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on April 18, 2016

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To: spotlight
Subject: answer to the question above
Date: Monday 18, April 2016
São Paulo SP Brazil

Dear Liz Waid, Adam Navis, and Michio Ozaki:

First of all, I want to thank you to bring more one great issue for us readers and learners of English.
I like to learn English and its grammar . I usually read the explanation about the subject and after I do the exercises about the grammar topic. Also, I like to read interesting subjects like this in the Spotlight program.

All the best,
Severino Ramos

Avatar Spotlight
said on April 25, 2016

I would lile learn fluent English

Avatar Spotlight
pc jaswal
said on May 23, 2016

This was the first time I hear about Khan Academy, thank you Spotlight.

Avatar Spotlight
said on October 12, 2016

I want to learn the Khan Academy. I want to gain my knowledge and English skills