Observations from Khan Academy coaches and classrooms

Posts tagged khan academy

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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. 

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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."


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.

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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

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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.

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Khan Academy in action in Ireland! The Galway Education Centre piloted a unique Maths Camp, during the October midterm, using Khan Academy at its West of Ireland base. Check out the views of teachers and students alike on this innovative project supported by The O’Sullivan Foundation.

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Thanksgiving: Giving thanks in the classroom

Post from Suney Park, Teacher in Residence at Khan Academy and 6th Grade Teacher at Eastside College Prep, CA

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share how I like to give my students regular opportunities to publicly thank classmates who have helped them. This has two great effects: the person thanking acknowledges that they need others, and the person being thanked feels significant and valuable to the classroom community.

How do I do it? Two simple initiatives:

1. At the end of every math session I dedicate about five minutes to Thank Yous, and students rush to put their hands up to give props to their helpful classmates.

2. Once a month my students are randomly paired with one another for a weekend letter-writing homework assignment. In the letters, they thank, appreciate, and compliment one another; sometimes the letters include creative touches such as drawings, stickers, and little snacks!

Once I started doing this, giving thanks and verbally expressing appreciation became a regular part of my classroom culture. Now, my students feel safe enough to ask for help and confident enough to offer it. I was only able to implement my Khan Academy “Need Help/Can Help” board during math class because of this foundation of classroom culture.

Plus, it warms a teacher’s heart to hear students thank and encourage each other so effortlessly and sincerely. Just last week I heard a student say, “I want to thank Nayely for helping me because without her I would still be stuck on finding the least common multiple the long way instead of using prime factorization.”

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