Khan Academy builds a global classroom with help from Dropbox for Business
Published on October 07, 2014
Khan Academy is using technology to change education. Driven by the mission to provide first-class, personalized education to students all over the world, Khan Academy has more than 500,000 registered teachers and has delivered over 400 million lessons. The nonprofit organization provides free online materials and resources — like practice exercises and instructional videos — to help people of all ages learn a wide range of subjects.
When Khan Academy first set out, the team relied on email and external hard drives to store and share company materials. But as the staff of contributors grew — and the lecture library did too — the team had to decide which content took priority and which files could be moved or deleted. It was clear they needed a new solution that could keep up with the company’s rapid growth, so they turned to Dropbox for Business.
Esther Cho, Executive Assistant to Founder Sal Khan, remembers how excited the team was to get the additional space and functionality that Dropbox for Business provided. “It was like a party in here,” she said. “It felt like we suddenly had an abundance of resources, and it completely eased everyone’s anxiety.” With the upgrade, Khan Academy used Dropbox for Business to store and share essentially all of its materials — from educational videos to corporate policy paperwork. The team even stores photos and videos from company events on Dropbox instead of on multiple external hard drives.
For example, when Khan Academy decided to host a middle school summer camp, the team used Dropbox to archive all the media coverage so it could be easily accessed whenever necessary. As Minli Virdone, Head of Strategy and Programs, explained, “All of our HR and administrative materials are in Dropbox. So if there’s a change, for example, to the health insurance plan, we just tell people where it is in Dropbox. Then they can print their own paperwork — which is really helpful.”
Dropbox for Business also serves as a repository for Khan Academy’s grant proposals, keeping associated grant materials neatly organized so they’re easily accessible to external collaborators. For Virdone, this makes a huge difference. “I no longer have to be responsible for sending anything to the people involved in the grant-writing process. It’s a great help!”
Additionally, it’s much easier for the team to send large files, like when preparing for events such as TedX or the Social Innovation Summit. Event coordinators can easily access advance copies of videos and presentation slides through Dropbox, without worrying about FTP or email attachment limits. “I just sent a video to the U.S. Department of State when Sal spoke for its Webchat Series,” Cho said. “Because I used Dropbox, the Department got it right away. If I’d had to download that onto a flash drive and mail it, it would’ve been much more time consuming and stressful.”
With functionality like remote access and unlimited version history, Dropbox for Business has transformed operations at Khan Academy. As Virdone put it, “Dropbox for Business gives us one centralized place for everything — the place of all truth. You go to that place of all truth and you can get any of the materials you need.”
To see how Dropbox for Business can boost efficiency and collaboration for your team, try it free ! (And don’t forget to ask about our discounts for nonprofits!)