How to make edtech entrepreneurship more inclusive
No, clearly, Khan Academy, not-for-profit, admission totally free, first-rate education, for anyone anywhere … There was a requirement well before the pandemic that far too many kids did not have access to, for sure world-class learning in large parts of the world. I got a letter from a teacher in South Korea stating how he was utilizing Khan Academy to keep his kids learning during their across the country school closures. Yeah, it was clear once we began to believe that the U.S. was going to shut down, it was one of those minutes where you kind of appearance left and look right, and you state, “I think this is going to be us, because people are going to require something that is clearly online, however likewise accessible from home. That $10 million, again, it went to Khan, it went to other organizations that are now family names. Sal Khan: I think the one surprise for me was that in many cases even when there were these brave efforts to get the gain access to, some of these big school districts dispersed hundreds of thousands of laptop computers, worked with the local telecom carriers to get either low … actually complimentary during the spring, web gain access to.
Weve really heard stories of school administrators saying, “You know what? A lot of instructors have actually been able to adjust. Its been tough and unpleasant, but theyve been able to move faster than I think anybody anticipated.
Anne Wintroub: Absolutely. Definitely. Kevin, we felt so fortunate in that we had a deep legacy of dedication to those tech directors, as you mentioned, to companies like Khan Academy. I indicate, because 2008, AT&T has actually invested $600 million in organizations assisting to improve trainee results. A number of which remained in the edtech area. As soon as it was clear what the impacts were going to be on education in the U.S. and beyond, we extremely quickly produced a Distance Learning Family Connections Fund. A $10 million fund to help the most amazing education companies like Khan Academy. They were our very first contribution to satisfy what we understood would be an amazingly increased requirement for their services. That $10 million, once again, it went to Khan, it went to other companies that are now family names. Organizations like Caribou and Common Sense Media, that certainly households, teachers, and depend on pre-pandemic, but they are definitely a lifeline for education, and tools for connectedness, for individuals all throughout the country and beyond today.
We understand a week or two later, about mid-March March California, and then quite much quickly thereafter, the rest of the U.S. and much of the world was shutting down. Yeah, it was clear once we started to think that the U.S. was going to shut down, it was one of those moments where you kind of look left and look right, and you state, “I think this is going to be us, due to the fact that individuals are going to need something that is plainly online, but likewise accessible from house.
Kevn Hogan: Yeah. Anne any ideas about that?
Kevin Hogan: Anne, how about for you? Mid-March had seen here in the States, and more particularly Friday the 13th for a lot of school district tech directors was that day, where as Sal was stating its like an entire country was closed down. Now the totality of 15,000 school districts in the United States are going to shut down. But they made the pivot and they did it. Talk a bit about your experience with AT&T, due to the fact that I understand a lot of those tech directors, their very first calls were to their internet suppliers and to their telcos.
Sal Khan: Yeah. I believe the countrys really done a good job in the school system, physically in the school buildings however then the at-home gain access to … I know Anne and her associates at AT&T have actually done an amazing work trying to get it to trainees, and supporting organizations like ours.
Following is an excerpt of the discussion, which is available completely here.
In this MarketScale EdTech Today podcast from host Kevin Hogan, remote learning expert Sal Khan and Anne Wintroub, director of Social Innovation for the AT&T Foundation, go over a range of subjects associated with edtech, COVID knowing, and connectivity.
Sal Khan: Yeah, I completely predicted it. I understood it was … Let me inform you whats going to occur in the next 10 years. No, obviously, Khan Academy, not-for-profit, admission free, first-rate education, for anyone anywhere … There was a requirement well before the pandemic that far a lot of kids did not have access to, for sure first-rate learning in big parts of the world. Or perhaps in the U.S. not even learning. Even when they did have gain access to, we know that many schools kind of have a one-pace, one size fits all. A lot of kids dont have the chance to get the aid, the remediation, to be able to learn at their own time and speed. That was constantly the chance for Khan Academy, what weve been working on for the last, over a decade. I imply, its been 16, practically 17 years given that I began tutoring my cousins back in the day.
Kevin Hogan: But I need to ask you as a visionary and as an innovator in this area, back when you were starting the concepts for Khan Academy was an international pandemic ever within among the point of views that you had of how your tools would be used?
Kevin Hogan: Sure.
I would echo all that Sal said. Simply from AT&T what Sal mentioned, these young individuals who are disconnected from schools. According to a study that Bellwether Partners … Im sure you both and numerous of your listeners have seen it … came out with recently, there are as lots of as 3 million kids in the U.S. who have been simply disconnected from school because March.
You could imagine with tens or already if 10, is going to go potentially 20, 30 million individuals hitting it, doing practice routinely day in, day out. Regular times, normal school days, we have about 30 million learning minutes a day. We saw that go to about 85 or 90 million throughout the spring.
But none people could have foreseen … I suggest, I keep in mind watching the news around end of 2019. “Oh, wow. How unfortunate theres a pandemic. Possibly its going to resemble SARS or bird flu or whatever else, or swine flu.” You quick forward to February of 2020, which now feels like a lifetime back, and we started seeing our traffic pickup in Asia. I remember our groups saying, “Why is that occurring? Whats going on in Asia?” I got a letter from an instructor in South Korea stating how he was using Khan Academy to keep his kids learning during their across the country school closures. That was the very first time that I really had learnt more about the across the country school closures. I resembled, “Thats wild that a whole nation has shut down its schools.” Then we said, “Okay, that discusses why were seeing the traffic in Japan and in China.”
When you talk about access and talk about digital equity and weve spoken about it for years, and its part of … I know Khan Academys objective in terms of getting content thats offered to anybody and everybody. I understand Khan Academy has actually reacted with a lot of additional programs. Sal, did you see when we kind of moved from concept to reality in terms of attempting to attend to trainees that didnt have gain access to?
Sal Khan: I believe the one surprise for me was that in many cases even when there were these heroic efforts to get the access, some of these big school districts distributed hundreds of thousands of laptops, worked with the local telecom carriers to get either low … actually complimentary throughout the spring, web gain access to. I was just trying to get into her head about … or what shes understanding about why these kids arent able to engage? It turns out theres a lot of dimensions there but that made it even starker in my mind, how essential it is to be able to support those kids.
Hogan, who is also Editor-at-Large with eSchool News, discusses COVID-19, digital equity, online learning, and what education will look like post-pandemic.