HD_Links: Khan Academy

Click for source.

Khan Academy was maybe the hottest topics in education and educational technology in 2011 and it’s not going away any time soon. After winning $2 million from Google in 2010 and garnering significant donations along the way, Khan Academy has the backing to make a significant impact on long-term educational practices.

What exactly is Khan Academy? It was founded by Salman Khan as a way to tutor family members in math. He created video tutorials teaching everything from basic math to advanced trigonometry. Along with the videos are exercises that monitor a student’s progress. The idea is for students to watch lectures and demonstrations on a topic in order to help them complete the exercises.

Today, Khan covers a variety of topics including nearly all forms of mathematics, sciences, civics, history, economics, etc. Many teachers are using it to “flip” their classrooms. In other words, the students watch the lectures at home and do their “homework” at school with the guidance of their teachers. Some students are using Khan lectures and exercises to advance their own learning beyond the school curriculum. However it is used, the idea is that students can work at their own pace in mastering a topic or skill.

This week’s list of links focuses on Khan Academy. There’s some background information, ways in which teachers are using it with their students, and debates on the validity of the tool. Check them out!

If his talk doesn’t convince of the value of the Khan Academy approach, I’m not sure what will. Are there problems with this model? Sure, but the data and results Khan is getting with his model are notable at the very least.

How have you used Khan Academy resources with your students? What are the lessons to be learned from Khan Academy that could be applied no matter what tools or resources you’re using? How can the challenge of connecting students at home in order to use Khan be overcome?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger with the eMINTS National Center.