Khan Academy Expanding Its Footprint

Khan Academy is a disrupter education foundation not-for-profit, with the goal of changing education namelly using web 2.0, social media and digital tools providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. Now the Khan Academy has launched its first state-wide pilot in Idaho, working with 47 schools and educational programs to make it a routine part of K-12 learning.

More than 10,000 students across Idaho will be getting Khan Academy videos for homework, as the tutorial website launches its first state-wide pilot aimed at integrating online education with the regular classroom experience.

Khan Academy is best known as a place where elementary, high school and college students go for help learning a concept they did not quite grasp when their instructor explained it.

The Khan Academy origin story starts with former hedge fund manager Salman Khan creating videos to tutor his cousin in mathematics.

The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Northwest Nazarene University will support implementation of the Khan Academy program and will conduct research focused on using the videos to improve math instruction.

Although some of the schools will also be integrating Khan videos into science or computer programming instruction, math is a particularly important focus for Idaho because only 38% of students are performing at or above grade level, according to standardized tests, Kellerer said.

Although Khan Academy is already a powerful tool for the individual students who seek it out, integration with the classroom experience makes it “a little more intentional,” Kellerer said. Khan’s software allows students to share reports on their progress with teachers as well as parents and other learning coaches, he said.

Tech versus learning

This is quite the breakthrough to me. What keeps interesting me is this edtech infusion in educational systems and on the other side the fascinating discussion that virtual learning is not a substitute for the classroom.

Peter Hirst, executive director of executive education at MIT Sloan School of Management said that physical human interaction is such a powerful way of creating and maintaining relationships that online learning is no substitute.

When I was in high-school I did not quite grasp some mathemetical concepts, I therefor took some tutoring lessons. Khan Academy is explained as a place to go to learn a concept that they did not grasp from their instructor.

Will this help the student to learn? I don’t know and I would say I have some doubts, but of course this can be a generation gap. Exactly when you do nòt understand the concept you want human interaction, you want direct feedback, relevant feedback which I don’t think you can get from video tutorials. This because it’s about logical patterns, ‘behavioral’ patterns that needs to be assessed by a person in a discussion.

I am looking forward to understand the outcome of this pilot!