Spreading the word about Khan Academy at ISTE

Thanks to our partners at the KA in Idaho initiative, Khan Academy featured prominently at the 2014 International Society for Technology in Education Conference. In addition to representing us at the Common Sense Media Booth at ISTE, Eric and Jesse from KA in Idaho held a formal session on “Using KA in your Math Classroom.”

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In all, 215 people attended, and the training was standing room only. Congratulations to Eric, Jesse, and the entire KA in Idaho team on hosting such a successful session, and thanks so much for spreading the word about KA!

Summer already?

Summer vacation is here – a time to rest, recharge, and most importantly, reflect. Personally, I find myself thinking about the goals my students and I set at the beginning of the year. Although I’m sad to see the school year end, there’s still lots to celebrate. Not only did my students and I have fun learning together all year, but we also accomplished almost all our goals!

On the first day of instruction for the 2013-2014 school year, each student made one long term goal on a Khan Academy leaf (available here in Coach and Classroom Resources!). When we were disassembling our leaves from the ‘We <3 2 Learn’ bulletin board on the last day of school, we noted that 91% of the kids met their yearly goal! This was cause for celebration. In addition, I created and met the goal of beginning Khan Academy on the first day. After that was achieved, I added the goal of continuing with KA until the last day of school. This was easy because this class LoVeD Khan Academy. It is evident in the data. As a class, they mastered 4,432 modules. Energy points were very motivating for my 4th graders. Collectively, they earned over 14,295,000! Usually, their homework consisted of spending 20 minutes on the site mastering skills on the playlist. Consistently, they invested many more minutes than were required. All together, ‘my’ kids spent more than 160,272 minutes (or 4,338 hours). My highest girl progressed all the way to writing expressions and my highest boy mastered measurement precision. I love Khan Academy for this reason. High performing students can progress as fast as they can.

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This was my third year using Khan Academy as the platform of my blended learning rotational model. I can confidently say, that KA has been the best tool, motivator and model for my students and myself. My ‘We <3 2 Learn’ continues to be an 80 minutes math ‘program’ that allows me time to coach individual students on skills he/she is struggling to understand. Peer coaching took off this year. It was a treat to see how my 9 year olds could create and communicate new ways of solving math problems.

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For me, this was the most motivating year so far. There was literally a buzz in our classroom during math time. Students were engaged and excited to learn. The highlight of the year for me was my visit to Brazil. After two observations by the Brazil folks, I was asked to speak at their innovations in education conference: Transformar. Remember, I am a fourth grade teacher, not a public speaker. After I quickly got used to the 800+ faces looking at me, I just spoke about my passion for Khan Academy and for my blended learning rotational model.

I set five personal development goals for the year.

1. I challenged myself to increase the rigor of my performance tasks. Check.

2. I had the obligation to change my Board Math template to Common Core Board Math. I used KA’s Common Core map to find the most rigorous practice problems to include in my weekly board. Check.

3. It was important to me that Khan Academy was utilized every day of class. Check.

4. I wanted to use KA in a different way. I had never used playlists, so I added this method. I really liked it! Check.

5. It was important that I share my ideas with anyone interested in observing. Check. We had more visits than I can remember!

Khan Academy is constantly evolving. Khan Academy models exactly what I want for my students. Together we have achieved so much. Burnett students took risks, learned how to coach classmates, opened their creative minds, learned many new skills and became experts at collaborating. These students organically set long and short term goals for themselves. I genuinely believe that the students in Room 303 love to learn. This is a gift that Khan Academy and I gave to each one of my amazing students.

As the summer progresses, I know that many more creative scenarios will be designed for the 2014-2015 school year; We <3 2 Learn will be better than ever!

KA’s Teaching Fellow Suney Park wins Presidential Award

Some of you may know Suney Park, a 6th grade teacher at Eastside Prep in East Palo Alto, CA and a Teaching Fellow at KA. We are so thrilled to announce that she has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. 

Congrats, Suney! We’re honored to work alongside you on the Khan Academy team. 

Check out ABC’s local news story. For more about how Suney uses KA in her classroom, check out Suney’s tutorial in Khan Academy’s Coach Resources section. 

Khan Academy launches new college prep initiative

There is a big issue in the education system today. Two out of every three students are not prepared for college level math courses and over half of all 4-year college students do not graduate within 6 years. These students often take on a lot of debt and can’t finish their degrees. Worst of all, they then miss out on today’s most exciting careers because they lack the skills.

“2 out every 3 students are not prepared for college level math courses”

Given our mission to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere, we’ve been hard at work to increase our college prep content. So, when the White House called (wait, did you say the White House?!) to invite Khan Academy to help students in Higher Ed reach their potential, how could we say no? We had already been creating new math and college prep materials, and saw the opportunity to make an even bigger impact.


Today, Sal was honored to discuss our higher education efforts at the White House and Khan Academy launched a new college prep initiative. We plan to expand this resource over the next few months, and especially look forward to providing college study aids to help students prepare for math placement tests and courses.  

“Already, Khan Academy’s free math resources are helping college hopefuls…today, Khan Academy launched a new college prep initiative.”

Already, Khan Academy’s free resources are helping college hopefuls. Our team was particularly inspired by this young man, whose story was captured on the Humans of New York blog.

"I was born in Egypt…The first time I went to an actual school was middle school, but the whole school was in one classroom, and I was working as a delivery boy to help the family. It was illegal for me to be working that young, but I did. When I finally got into high school, my house burned down. We moved into a Red Cross Shelter, and the only way we could live there is if we all worked as volunteers. I got through high school by watching every single video on Khan Academy, and teaching myself everything that I had missed during the last nine years. Eventually I got into Queens College. I went there for two years and I just now transferred to Columbia on a scholarship."

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We would find our efforts well worth it just to impact one student’s life. But what’s incredibly motivating for our team is that we hear of stories like his every single day.

We are humbled to be partnering with the White House on such an important initiative, and are excited about the potential these free resources will unleash.

Get started with our college prep resources today and learn more about our new college admissions resources here.

To check out more information on the White House’s Expanding College Opportunity, click here.



Armory Track: Racing toward their goal

At the start of the year, Chris Vaios started an evening program with a group of NYC public high school students, who also happen to be stellar athletes. Recently, he shared an update with our team, and gave us permission to share with you! 

The students who attend the Armory Foundation’s programs are *exceptional* athletes - and they are dedicated and hard-working. However, this past Fall, they discovered that their SAT scores were suffering (averaging 350 out of 800). So, Chris proposed they team up two nights per week: Chris + Khan Academy + Armory Track students. So far, that equation seems to be working. Chris shares that he’s already starting to see improvement - with the current average up almost 50% to 524. The students are continuing to invest time and effort to get to their goal of 650-700. Not only that, it’s apparently a popular class, with the group growing from 42 to 54 students! Chris says that already “it has been a rewarding experience to say the least.” 

We wish these students all the best on getting to their goal! Keep up the hard work. 

The Armory Foundation is a nonprofit in New York City that oversees an indoor track and field center, as well as the US National Track and Field Hall of Fame, They operate a school activities center, providing college prep and academic counseling services to NYC public high school students from multiple districts, and offer a variety of community support programs. image

Just 15 minutes a day

Parent Jonathan Fague shares how 15 minutes a day has changed his outlook:

I have 4 kids 3yr, 12yr, 14yr & 17yr.  One thing I enjoy is helping and tutoring them in their school subjects.  However, I do not have a strong math foundation and as my kids has gotten older I found that I am no longer able to just pick up their text book and explain what they need to do. Many, many  times I’ve found that what I was trying to relay to my kids was completely wrong.  I want to increase my math knowledge because I enjoy being able to help my kids.  I decided to just try and spending 10-15 minutes a day on the Khan Academy site.  It’s now become something I enjoy doing as I wind down and I’m finding that 15 minutes just isn’t enough.  What I’d personally like to relay is just how valuable this is for parents like me that don’t have a strong math background but want to get better at it for our kids benefit. It’s not going to change my career but it’s helping me be a better parent and I really appreciate that.