I was recently able to attend a presentation from a Khan Academy representative. As you may know, Khan Academy has been stirring up the educational field recently. The idea of students learning from pre-made video lessons has been met with high praise as well as criticism. Using the Khan Academy lesson videos, a student can do some of his or her learning at home. This way, the student can practice and work at school more with the assistance of the teacher. Many say that students will learn better if they get their instruction out of school and can actually work on the material and examples with the guidance of a teacher in school. This is called the “flipped classroom” because the roles of the classroom and home are reversed, or flipped. The speaker made it quite clear that the Khan program is not designed to create a flipped classroom (though some people think this to be true).
What you may not know about (and what I didn’t know about) are the other services Khan Academy offers, and these services are actually quite substantial. It’s not just videos! One such service is educational questions/exercises for students to work on. These exercises relate directly to the educational videos, and if a student is having trouble, he or she can click a link to view the video that teachers the concept. The teacher can check in on how his or her students do on the exercise and plan the next day’s instruction accordingly. This way, it is revealed to the teacher what percentage of the class understands what concepts. The teacher can view results based on academic topic, struggling learners, etc.
Khan Academy is not a standalone curriculum and it is not designed to take over the teacher’s role. It is meant to supplement classroom instruction and create blended learning. This is when you have quality in-classroom instruction along with the use of digital tools in order to enhance and improve the overall learning experience. Best of all: it’s totally free to use the Khan Academy! I think if more people knew the details of Khan Academy, more teachers would be giving it a shot. What about you? Did you know that Khan Academy was more than just videos? Would you like your child’s classroom to infuse a program like this?
Creative commons-licensed photo provided by Lucidio-Studio.
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