Kahn to MIT Graduates: Open Content is the Future

Stephen Carson | OpenSource.com | June 11, 2012

Open education innovator Sal Khan, MIT alumnus and founder of Khan Academy, gave the commencement address at MIT graduation ceremony on June 8, a speech that included both a nod to the power of open education as exemplified by MIT's OpenCourseWare program and Khan's own web site, and an homage to the importance of the unique academic community that is MIT.

Khan spoke eloquently of the inspiration he drew from MIT's 2001 announcement to make all of its courseware openly available on the web.  "MIT announced ... that it was going to take knowledge and resources that used to be behind the wall of elite institutions and not charge for them but give them away for free to the world ... When I read that press release, I had never been so inspired. I had never been more proud to come from this community."

At a time when many are wondering if open education efforts such as Khan Academy and the recently-announced MITx spell the end of the traditional university, Khan argued strongly for the value of the shared experience of the academic community.  "[The MIT environment] pushes us. And I do believe that MIT pushes us harder that probably any other institution in the world. But when you do that, you take someone to another level, you take them truly to recognize to what they are capable of."...