BOISE -- Despite his flashy smile and willingness to help students, it might be fair to say that Sal Khan isn't your average teacher.
It also might be fair to say he isn't your average venture capitalist, or your average ex-hedge fund manager.
That's because Khan -- who boasts three degrees from MIT along with an MBA from Harvard -- is using all that knowledge to start his own revolution in teaching and learning: The online Khan Academy -- based in Mountain View, California.
The Khan Academy offers thousands of free, YouTube-based lessons on hundreds of topics from algebra, to organic chemistry, to venture capitalism. While the lessons are designed for K-12 students, most adults would probably find themselves scratching their heads while frantically searching for answers.
You heard right: Khan's academy mostly focuses on how to understand math and science. However, topics like art history, health, and medical studies are also represented. Students can even watch lessons that show them how to prepare for specific sections of the SAT and ACT tests.
All of the videos feature expert teachers (Khan included) who walk students through the various steps needed to understand complex problems.
For those who want to test their knowledge, the Khan Academy also offers interactive practice sections, and ways for students to track their knowledge and comprehension.
By the way, it's all free, remember?
What's more, Khan's novel ideas and gutsy business moves seem to be catching on.
Khan's videos have gotten over 50 million views. His website gets hundreds of thousands of visitors each day. Time Magazine even named him to its 2012 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Khan in Boise
On Tuesday, May 1st, Boise's Egyptian Theater will host Khan as he gives a lecture on the future of education in the online world.
You can see a Special Edition of Viewpoint with Sal Khan Saturday evening at 6:30. KTVB is partnering with the Albertson's Foundation to air the Sal Khan lecture Saturday, May 5th in prime time at 8 p.m. with then continue the conversation in a one-hour, live-to-tape forum, which will air at 9 p.m. immediately following the Sal Khan speech. The forum will by moderated by KTVB's Dee Sarton.
The live forum will feature community members who can speak credibly about the Khan academy as well as the use of virtual education to enhance traditional learning styles. The forum will focus on education for Idaho's 21st Century.
For more information on the Khan Academy, visit the academy's website.
The Sal Khan lecture is the third presentation of The ED Sessions - a multiplatform initiative to begin a solutions-focused conversation about education.
In ED Session 1, Bring on the Learning Revolution, Sir Ken Robinson talked about creativity.
ED Session 2, Filling Idaho's Skills Gap, featured Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs highlighting the many rewards of gaining skills and getting your hands dirty, and suggesting that a four-year college degree is perhaps not the only path to happiness and financial success.
To explore these past event, visit The ED Sessions page.