The recent rebroadcast of a “60 Minutes” profile of New Orleans native Sal Khan was a potent reminder of how Kahn is changing education around the globe.
Khan was graduated as valedictorian of Grace King High School in Metairie in 1994, studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and eventually became a financial analyst. But when a young cousin back home in New Orleans was struggling with math, Khan made a video to help her learn. His technique proved so successful that it attracted other students, and the online Kahn Academy was born.
Now supported as a nonprofit with major backing from technology tycoon Bill Gates, the Kahn Academy offers thousands of online lessons in math and science, with a few tutorials in the humanities as well. As Kahn was quick to point out , he wants his online instruction to empower traditional teachers, not replace them.
Kahn’s online resources are replacing textbooks in many classrooms around the world — compelling evidence of how a man with Louisiana roots is transforming how children learn.