TODAY

TODAY   |  June 18, 2013

Tech companies changing face of education

From textbooks to tablets, some innovative thinkers are unlocking new and powerful ways to teach kids, changing the way we look at our education system. NBC’s Craig Melvin reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now at 8:36 with education nation today. this morning, how technology is leading to a new kind of learning. craig is here with a look at the classroom of the future .

>> good morning to you. from textbooks to tablets, have you ever wondered what our classrooms will look like 10, 20, or even 50 years from now? well, some innovative thinkers are unlocking powerful ways to teach our kids taking a look at how we look at the education system in the progress.

>> reporter: the numbers alone are staggering.

>> the thing about the education system is it's an impersonal system. it's a factory model.

>> reporter: one person dropped out of high school every 26 seconds. 30% of kids will not graduate from high school . that's 1.3 million in all falling through the cracks of our education system . worldwide the numbers grow expoints higher nex exponentially.

>> how many davincis are we losing every generation because we're not giving an opportunity.

>> what if that could be changed? what if an internet connection was the difference in getting a world class education ? today education is having that internet moment and a chosen few are taking bold steps over.

>> i'm the founder and ceo of knewton. we're trying to revolutionize education across the globe.

>> reporter: students go at their own pace and the software adapts to their learning style . if you learn math fast with medium difficulty practice questions we know that. if you learn science best in 24 minute bite sizes we know that. everybody has a learning experience that's unique to them. he started the company in 2008 using his credit card . they currently reach almost 5 million students and that number is growing.

>> we want to end the access problem for education . every kid, if you're in the developing world or inner city we want you to have the best possible education you can get.

>> my name is sal kann and i'm the founder of the kann academy.

>> reporter: he was tutoring from his home in boston but then it was suggested he upload educational videos for youtube.

>> i said no videos and youtube is for cats playing pianos but i gave it a shot and it had a life of it's own.

>> reporter: that came the cornerstone of khan academy. 4,000 tutorials covering everything from college math to chemistry.

>> our goal is to go from the 6 million students that we're serving every month now to 60 million, 600 million students.

>> one of those students sent khan a video message from an orphanage in mongolia.

>> that is pretty mind blowing for us. this idea that the work we do can reach people as far as an orphanage in mongolia.

>> two using the reach of technology to reimagine the future of education .

>> knewton now will have more access to adaptive learning platform and khan academy's mission statement changing education for the better by provide a free world class education for anyone anywhere means their tutorial videos are free of charge.

>> great stuff. great model.

>> i'm looking forward to see you dance in a few minutes.