Khan Academy a Big Hit at The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland

Guest blog post by Anne Kellerman, Director of Technology Programs at The Boys’ Latin of Maryland in Baltimore, MD.  

The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland is one of the oldest all-boys schools in the United States and a leader in boy centered education.  Using Khan Academy was, perhaps, a “no brainer” given our knowledge that boys are motivated by learning experiences which are dominated by interactivity, feedback and visual content.

Khan Academy at Boys' Latin

Boys’ Latin transitioned from a traditional print media Summer Math Review workbook to the Khan Academy web-based exercises beginning in June 2011.  Initially, our goal was three-fold -  to provide students with a more engaging set of practice exercises, to provide students with built in tutorials to review concepts, and to take advantage of the instant feedback that the site provides.  The Math Department developed skill set lists for each of our courses and created “playlists” for each course on our website.  Each fall when our students return to school, they are instructed to add their current math teacher as their Khan Academy coach.  In turn, the faculty member evaluates each student’s progress using the built in progress monitoring tools in Khan Academy.  Students have learned to take this important summer review work seriously, knowing that their hard work will be assessed for a significant grade during the first marking quarter.

Rising sophomore, Brendan Mullally notes  ”It’s accessible, easy, and fun to use.” 

Most importantly, student engagement in this summer math assignment has greatly improved.  Rising sophomore, Brendan Mullally notes  "It’s accessible, easy, and fun to use."  A group of rising 7th grade students remarked that they prefer the Khan Academy assignments (over the workbook) because they feel it is easier to visualize and solve the problems, and because the review tutorials are “really awesome.”

We feel the students are better prepared to “hit the ground running” in their math courses…

The transition to our Khan Academy based summer math review has been well received by students, parents, faculty and administration.  Moreover, we feel the students are better prepared to “hit the ground running” in their math courses each September.