Observations from Khan Academy coaches and classrooms

Posts tagged Blended learning

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Khan Academy: Congratulations Suney!


One of Khan Academy’s early pilot teachers, Suney Park, has been featured in the new book American Teacher. The book details the stories of 50 inspiring teachers from across the US. Congratulations Suney! Thank you for all that you do for your students!

Read about her inspiring story and learn more about how she uses Khan Academy here

If you live in the California Bay Area, you can also hear her speak this Saturday, October 12 at the Barnes & Nobles in San Jose from 11:30-12:30 (more info here)


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Khan Academy in Spanish!

Last month, Khan Academy launched our Spanish website!  We have been excited to hear from educators, parents, and students about the impact this has had on classrooms and learning around the globe. 

For more details about the newly available resources, read on! 


Spanish-speaking learners can now:

1. Grow with our personalized math experience

Using the new learning dashboard (launched in August), learners receive personalized recommendations on what to work on next, have access to over 100,000 math practice problems, and can track their progress.

2. Explore tutorials in other topics

Our tutorials cover a range of subject areas, including physics, chemistry, biology, art history and more. These tutorials are currently being translated into Spanish.

3. Learn with a mentor

Learners can sign up a parent, mentor, or teacher to help guide their path. These coaches can access real-time dashboards to identify where learners are and where they need help.

If you are a registered user and want to change your language to Spanish, just select “Español” as your preferred language at the bottom of the homepage. Please note that the Spanish website is a work in progress. As Khan Academy creates new content in English (which we do on a daily basis), translators will be working to translate this content to Spanish.

Help us spread the word! Share our Spanish website with Spanish-speaking individuals or educational organizations.

Want to help translate? Apply to become a translator for any language.

¡Khan Academy acaba de lanzar nuestro sitio en Español!

Hay aproximadamente 6 mil millones de personas que no hablan inglés en el mundo. Para proveer recursos libres a cualquier persona en el mundo hemos pasado el último año traduciendo la experiencia que ofrece nuestro sitio a cualquier idioma escrito del mundo.

Con el lanzamiento de la versión del sitio en Español, estamos ahora proporcionando acceso a 500 millones de personas que hablan Español alrededor del mundo. En los siguientes meses y años traduciremos nuestro sitio a otros idiomas.


Las personas que hablan Español ahora pueden:

1. Crecer con nuestra experiencia personalizada en matemáticas.

Usando nuestro nuevo panel de aprendizaje (lanzado en agosto), los estudiantes reciben recomendaciones personalizadas sobre qué trabajar, teniendo acceso a más de 100,000 problemas prácticos de matemáticas y pueden dar seguimiento a su progreso.

2. Explorar tutoriales de otros temas.

Nuestros tutoriales cubren una amplia gama de áreas, incluyendo física, química, biología, historia del arte y más. Estos tutoriales actualmente están siendo traducidos a Español.

3. Aprender con un tutor.

Los estudiantes pueden inscribirse con un tutor o maestro quién le ayudará a guiar su camino. Los tutores pueden acceder a paneles en tiempo real para identificar en donde están los alumnos y donde necesitan ayuda.

Si eres un usuario registrado y quieres cambiar tu idioma a Español, selecciona “Español” en la parte inferior de la página principal. Ten en cuenta que la página en Español es un trabajo en proceso. Como Khan Academy crea nuevo contenido en inglés (lo cual hacemos a diario) los traductores estarán trabajando para traducir estos contenidos al Español.

¡Ayúdanos a difundir ésta noticia! Comparte nuestro sitio en Español con personas u organizaciones educativas de habla hispana. 

Filed under spanish khan academy ell esl lep Blended learning math

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First day in the lab

Article by Derek Oldfield, a math teacher at Blennerhassett Middle School in West Virginia. Check out his blog at  

Derek kindly gave us permission to reprint his original post in its entirety below. 

These pictures (below) are from one of our computer labs in the school.  My students typically spend 2 days a week in a computer lab as part of a blended learning strategy.  In addition to face to face time in my classroom, I have really enjoyed the time my students get to spend at a computer.  There are some things a computer does really efficiently and Khan Academy provides me with a tremendous amount of data that I can’t imagine teaching without.  Just from today, I can tell which students need extra time converting 1-digit repeating decimals to fractions and vice-versa.  By tomorrow, 90% of my students will have demonstrated they are ready to move on to the next skill.  Back in the classroom I will try to incorporate engaging activities that reinforce what we’ve learned, while building on the next skill or topic.  It’s difficult to share in pictures or words, but already today I saw students helping other students.  This isn’t something I ask them to do, they just do it.  The atmosphere we create inside the computer lab is unmatched.  I’ll try to share more about my students’ experience in math class.  Ask your students about their experience thus far and feel free to contact me with questions or feedback.



Filed under derek oldfield west virginia blennerhassett middle school math computer lab blended learning peer tutoring khan academy

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Khan Academy in African medical schools


From Khan Academy’s Rishi Desai, MD:

My mom was born in Nairobi, Kenya, so being invited to go out to East Africa to speak about Khan Academy Medicine was a real treat.  I was there for the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) meeting, and in attendance were 12 of the premier African medical schools.  I went to the meeting with a lot of classic assumptions: Internet access would be limited, convincing faculty and students that online education makes sense would be tough, enriching the in-class experience would be a challenge, and on and on…


Here’s the reality. Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College has been using video based education for over a year.  They have their medical students watch videos made by their professors before coming to class.  To make sure that they are actually watching the videos, there is a short 10 minute quiz at the beginning of class that each student takes alone.  This forces each student to come to class prepared to discuss the material.  After submitting the quiz, students take a second quiz with the same questions within small groups.  This encourages them to discuss their answers and debate any differences of opinion.  Finally, they spend the remainder of class time discussing a clinical scenario.  Parts of this strategy could be used across disciplines, parts may be improved, but ultimately it’s the willingness to experiment and to push the boundaries of teaching that impresses me most.  Students really enjoy the system, and test scores are on the rise when compared to previous years. 

I got back to California, and on the flight, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that we could play an important role in Africa.  Maybe Khan Academy could host questions/videos for African medical students, perhaps African medical schools could generate content for Khan Academy for US medical schools, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…  No single data point or school will tell the story of online education in Africa, but if we watch closely I think there are many lessons for all of us to learn.

Filed under med school medical education khan academy Blended learning

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Oakland Unity: From 20th percentile to 99th percentile using Khan Academy

In his book The Math Character Gap, Peter McIntosh shares his experience with how Khan Academy helped change his school’s math scores from the bottom 20th percentile on the California Standards Test to 11th in the state. 

Read it for free!


The Character Gap: Why reduced student responsibility causes the math gap. How Khan Academy can help fix it!

Book description:

When we made rebuilding student character (defined as responsibility, effort & confidence) our primary focus we achieved amazing results. Our average score on the California Standards Test (CST) for 9th grade algebra increased from 327 to 399, raising our state placement from the 20th percentile to the 99th percentile in just three years. We are now ranked 11th out of 1,377 high schools.

This is the story of how Oakland Unity High School, a small charter high school in the tough neighborhoods of Oakland, California, changed its math program and began the process of reversing the math gap. I am the algebra teacher at Oakland Unity High School. This book describes how diminished student character was the cause of that math gap and the specific steps we took to close it. An important part of our strategy was the use of Khan Academy. We describe the specific ways we use Khan and explain some of the reasons why Khan has been so effective. We also describe the specific policies we used to:

* increase student responsibility, 
* improve effort on homework and classwork, 
* address the total lack of student confidence on word problems. 

Students today are not struggling in math because of poor content delivery. They struggle despite the best efforts of many good teachers because many of them are increasingly resistant to absorbing any content. They are stuck in a vicious cycle because they lack three character elements: responsibility, effort and confidence. I am not suggesting a diminution of the teacher’s role; I am suggesting a shift to emphasize leadership and inspiration over explanation. Any teacher that has survived in some of our tougher classrooms has the necessary leadership skills, and I believe that online learning makes this shift more effective.

These are good kids, who used to be enthusiastic learners, who have gotten off track for a variety of reasons. Many of the factors that caused them to lose their way may not have been their fault, but it is their responsibility to rebuild their own character. It is our responsibility as teachers to create the environment for that rebuilding effort. This is the blueprint for creating that environment.

The book is manageable to read at 21,000 words, but filled with useable, real-world solutions that brought our urban math classroom from the bottom of California high schools to the very top.

Filed under oakland unity khan academy impact test scores CST math blended learning evidence peter mcintosh

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Teacher workshops: Our summer start

We just kicked off the first of a summer of workshops that focus on how educators can leverage Khan Academy’s tools for personalized, mastery-based, and interactive learning in their classrooms. 

The most popular parts of the day included diving into the tools Khan Academy offers, as well as hearing from teachers who have been using KA - their biggest challenges and triumphs. One attendee commented, “It was great to hear that there is no one right way to implement, that it was an iterative process, and to see that each teacher had their own style and way to use Khan Academy in the classroom.” For more details, check out these case studies

We were infused with the enthusiasm of so many educators looking to use Khan Academy, but wanted to share a note that one participant sent to our team:

Dear Khan [Academy] Team,
Although I stopped to thank Maureen on Tuesday, I wanted to take a minute to thank you all for offering such a productive seminar this week.  I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop for educators, and I came away feeling better equipped to expand my use of Khan Academy with my students, as well as answer concerns I’ve heard from colleagues.  I am looking forward to the fall with excitement, ready to experiment a bit as I work to strengthen the math foundation of each of my students.  I’m so glad I happened to be in the Bay area at such an opportune time, and I want you all to know how much I appreciated the opportunity to take part in the workshop.
Carolyn S.
Interested in learning more about Khan Academy in the classroom? Check out

Filed under workshop teacher math educator khan academy blended learning

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Rethinking Coach Reports

Guest blog post from Josh Netterfield, Khan Academy intern and University of Waterloo software engineering major, discusses the thinking behind his work on our latest coach reports, which provide key student data to coaches at the touch of a button. 

I’m part of an incredible team at Khan Academy dedicated to empowering teachers.

Currently over 70 000 teachers¹ actively use KA in their classrooms, but few actually use coach reports. Already we’ve seen how the right kind of insights can transform classrooms, but some of the data has historically been quite difficult to navigate. Since I’ve been at Khan Academy, I’ve met with some of the most active coaches on our site and I’ve been absolutely blown away by both how Khan Academy has already allowed them to help their students and the visions they had of how we can do so much more.

In particular, three questions had to be answered quickly and efficiently:

  • How much work is my class as a whole doing? How effective is that work? Right now, we have reports called “Daily Activity” and “Progress Over Time” to help answer this.
  • Who has become proficient in an assigned exercise? And who is still struggling?Right now, “Progress Summary” and “Progress Report” answer this.
  • How is each student doing? This was the weakest link. Before my first major shipped feature this week, many teachers accessed this information by painstakingly going to individual student profiles. This information was not sortable currently and questions like “How much time is each putting in”, “How many skills have they become proficient in over the last week?”, “How much are they struggling?”, “Is Alice getting her points from doing exercises or watching videos?”, and such were all answered separately.

First, as you can see, the titles of our reports didn’t really give any indication of the questions they were answering. So we gave them more descriptive names:


Secondly, we didn’t adequately answer the third question. When I started three weeks ago, I had little knowledge of JavaScript, Python, or Google App Engine (GAE). Since then, I’ve worked with designers, GAE experts and teachers to get this shipped. I worked on quick iterations, getting features tested sometimes the same day (or hour) as I wrote them, and completely rewrote parts of it until the team and I were completely satisfied with how they answered all the above questions while not being overwhelming. Here is the result:


One challenge was getting the performance we needed, so I spent some time restructuring the report to load as asynchronously as possible. As a result, I went from being worried that we weren’t going to be able to ship the product to having one of the fastest coach reports.

And this is why I love my internship:


Try it for yourself!

¹defined as coaches with more than 10 students.

Filed under coach reports khan academy blended learning data-driven progress by student

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Khan Academy Summer Math Review

Looking for a list of skills to review this summer? Check out the recommended practice exercises courtesy of the Boys’ Latin School in Maryland.  

For more math practice, log in and explore Khan Academy’s knowledge map.

Grade 6 Math 
1.      Adding and subtracting negative numbers
2.      Multiplying and dividing negative numbers
3.      Adding decimals
4.      Multiplying decimals
5.      Subtracting decimals
6.      Dividing decimals
7.      Greatest common divisor
8.      Least common multiple
9.      Divisibility
10.  Order of operations
11.  Mean median and mode
12.  Adding and subtracting fractions
13.  Multiplying fractions
14.  Dividing fractions
15.  Triangle types
16.  Angle types
17.  Converting decimals to percents
18.  Converting percents to decimals
19.  Converting mixed numbers and improper fractions
20.  Simplifying fractions

1. Adding and subtracting negative numbers
2. Subtracting Decimals
3. Adding Decimals
4. Absolute Value
5. Division 3
6. Multiplying Decimals
7. Greatest Common Divisor (Factor)
8. Division 4
9. Order of Operations
10. Least Common Multiple
11. Exponents I
12. Adding and Subtracting Fractions
13. Multiplying Fractions
14. Dividing Fractions
15. Linear Equations
16. Complimentary and Supplementary Angles
17. Graphing Points 2
18. Ordering Numbers
19. Equivalent Fractions 2
20. Writing Expressions

Algebra 1
1. Prime Factorization
2. Greatest Common Factor 
3. Least Common Multiple
4. Dividing Fractions 
5. Order of Operation 
6. Evaluating Expressions 
7. Scientific Notation - video 
7. Scientific Notation - exercise
8. Exponent Rules 
9. Pythagorean Theorem 
10.  Percentage Word Problems 
11.  Writing Expressions
12.  Graphing Points 
13.  Slope of a Line 
14.  Graphing Linear Equations 
15.  Graphing Inequalities 
16.  Graphing Systems of Equations 
17.  Simplifying Radicals 
18.  Multiplying Expressions 
19.  Factoring  Polynomials 
20.  Factoring Difference of Squares

Geometry and
Geometry Honors
1. Angles 1
2. Angles 2
3. Complementary and Supplementary Angles
4. Distance Formula 
5. Solid Geometry
6. Adding Fractions
7. Dividing Fractions
8. Identifying Slope of a Line
9. Factoring Polynomials 1
10. Multi-step Equations
11. Multiplying Polynomials
12. Equations of Parallel and Perpendicular Lines
13. Multi-Step Linear Inequalities
14. Evaluating Expressions in 2 variables
15. Systems of Equations
16. Multiplying Expressions 1
17. Simplifying Radicals
18. Pythagorean Theorem
19. Special Right Triangles
20. Trigonometry 0.5

Algebra II
1. Inverses of Functions
2. Domain of a Function
3. Quadratic Formula
4. Solutions to Quadratic Equations
5. Systems of Equations
6. Solving Quadratics by Taking the Square Root
7. Solving Quadratics by Factoring
8. Graphing Parabolas in Standard Form
9. Graphing Paraboloas in All Forms
10. Equation of a Line
11. Solving for the Y-Intercept
12.  Completing the Square 1
13.  Trigonometry 1
14.  Simplifying Expressions with Exponents
15.  Factoring difference of squares 2
16.  Linear Equations 4
17.  Writing Expressions 2
18.  Inverse Trig Functions
19.  Shifting and Reflecting Functions
20. Vertex of a Parabola

Algebra II Honors
1. Solving for the Y-Intercept (Alg I)
2. Average Word Problems (Alg I)
3. Multi-step linear inequalities (2.1-3)
4. Linear Equations 4 (3.1-4)
5. Systems of Equations (3.5)
6. Domain of a Function (3.8)
7. Simplifying Expressions with Exponents (4.2)
8. Multiplying Expressions 1 (4.3)
9. Solving Quadratics by Factoring (4.5)
10. Factoring difference of squares 2 (4.6)
11.Simplifying Rational Expressions I  (5.4) 

12. Simplifying Rational Expressions II (5.4)
13. Multiplying Complex Numbers (6.7)
14. Completing the Square 1 (7.1)
15. Quadratic Formula (7.2)
16. Shifting and Reflecting Functions (7.5)
17. Inverses of Functions (10.3)
18. Trigonometry 1 (12.2)
19. Trigonometry 1.5 (12.2)
20. Writing Expressions 2 (whole text)

1. Systems of Equations and Inequalities
2. Trigonometry 2
3. Unit Circle
4. Trig Identities
5. Logarithms 2
6. Even and odd functions
7. Complex numbers
8. Exponents 4
9. Graphing Systems of Equations
10. Adding and Subtracting Fractions
11. Absolute Value of Complex Numbers
12. Scaling Vectors
13. Vectors
14. Domain and Range
15. Dividing Fractions
16. Degrees to Radians
17. Completing the Square
18. Factoring Polynomials
19. Inverse Trig Functions
20. Radical Equations

Pre-calculus Honors
1. Systems of Equations and Inequalities
2. Trigonometry 2
3. Unit Circle
4. Trig Identities
5. Logarithms 2
6. Even and odd functions
7. Complex numbers
8. Exponents 4
9. Graphing Systems of Equations
10. Adding and Subtracting Fractions
11. Dividing Polynomials by Binomials 3
12. Scaling Vectors
13. Vectors
14. Domain and Range
15. Dividing Fractions
16. Pythagorean Identities
17. Completing the Square
18. Factoring Polynomials
19. Inverse Trig Functions
20. Radical Equations 

Applied Calculus Honors
1. Expressions with Unknown Variables 2 
2. Logarithms 2 
3. Radical Equations
4. Domain of a Function 
5. Solving Quadratics by Factoring
6. Quadratic Formula
7. Trigonometry 1 (Alg 2) 
8. Trigonometry 1.5 (Alg 2)
9. Inverse Trig Functions (PC)
10. Limits 1
11. Limits 2 
12. Derivative Intuition
13. Derivatives I 
14. Power Rule
15. Chain Rule
16. Product Rule 
17. Quotient Rule 
18. Special Derivatives 
19. Unit Circle 
20. Trig Identities

 AP Calculus AB 
1. Limits 1 
2. Limits 2 
3. Derivative Intuition 
4. Derivatives I 
5. Power Rule 
6. Chain Rule 
7. Product Rule 
8. Quotient Rule  
9. Special Derivatives 
10. L’Hopital’S Rule 
11.Unit Circle 
12.Trig Identities
13. Inverse Trig Functions 
14.Adding Vectors 
15.Scaling Vectors 
16.Simplifying Rational Expressions 3 
17.Logarithms 1 
18. Logarithms 2 
19. Recognizing Concavity
20. Recognizing Slope

Filed under summer math math review khan academy teachers school blended learning