Khan: Tech-powered teachers can do more

Khan Academy videos — and interactive exercises — will empower teachers, not replace them, writes Salman Khan in Education Week.

Khan Academy’s free videos now cover every subject from algebra to art history for grades K-12, he writes. In additions, students can practice math skills, move forward at their own pace and receive feedback while teachers monitor their students’ progress.

Teachers are struggling to meet students’ different “abilities, motivation levels, and incoming knowledge,” Khan writes.

Some are ready for grade-level content, while others have not fully mastered the prerequisites. Still others have already learned the grade-level material and are ready to move on to more advanced concepts. Ideally, teachers would like to meet all those needs simultaneously, but it is only humanly possible for them to teach one lesson at a time.

. . . when used appropriately, technology can enable teachers to lead differentiated and interactive classrooms. When teachers have real-time data and a clear understanding of every child’s needs, they can use their precious classroom time more effectively and flexibly. When students are learning at a pace and level appropriate to their individual needs, they are less likely to disengage or act up.

. . . Technology will give teachers valuable real-time data to diagnose students’ weak points and design appropriate interventions. It will enable teachers to more quickly gauge students’ comprehension of new topics so they can adjust their lesson plans on the spot.

Khan Academy’s latest platform teaches computer science as a “creative art,” he writes. He hopes to use the platform to “create interactive virtual labs with simulations of projectiles, pendulums, and the solar system.” In addition, a new feature lets users ask and answer each other’s questions, increasing the sense of online community.

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  1. Michael E. Lopez says:

    From algebra to art history?

    Too bad we didn’t make it to the B’s and C’s.


    • MagisterGreen says:

      I suppose students will get there at their own pace. Gotta master those A’s first.

  2. The article is poorly written. Khan Academy doesn’t cover everything, but it does cover math, several science disciplines, finance and economics, some history, computer science and test prep.

    The art history part is actually pretty interesting. Rather than being Khan’s direct work, they’re a conversation between Khan – serving as the layman and sort of representing the everyman – and several art historians as they observe and discuss various works.

    Give him a break, he’s only been at it since 2004 and he’s produced over 3000 videos (more than one per day for eight years).