How I Use It
I first learned of Kahn Academy when I was researching alternative ways to teach division of fractions. What caught my attention was the Khan Academy mission, "A free world-class education for anyone anywhere." The website was extremely easy to navigate through and I was able to choose my subject, grade level, and topic. The videos I found on dividing fractions were easy to understand and very informative. I used one of the videos as an introduction to a math lesson. For my students who needed a bit more explanation of the concept, I used additional videos that gave a deeper understanding of the content for reteach. At times, parents have trouble assisting their children with math homework. Khan Academy is also a great site for parents to learn about the subject matter and assist their children with homework, test prep, and pre/re-teaching.
Lastly, students can work at their own pace to complete practice problems on a particular subject. I used this with my 6th grade math students on dividing whole numbers by fractions. If a student struggled to come up with the quotient they are able to hit the "hint" button and are provided with 3 different hints to solve the problem. What I liked about the hints is that they were visual bar diagrams that showed the students a visual to solve the problem rather than a standard algorithm.
I think Khan Academy is a terrific teaching tool for teachers, students, and parents. The videos are terrific for teacher, student, and parent background knowledge. The videos can be integrated into the classroom in a variety of ways. I have asked several students to view the videos prior to a lesson, and the knowledge they bring to the other students has been substantial. The skill practice has been very beneficial for students to practice various math concepts and gain immediate feedback on their answers. Instead of students completing a paper and pencil "ticket out the door" at the end of a lesson, I have had students login to Khan Academy and complete a 5 question "mission." Students love technology and actually look forward to completing their quiz at the end of our class. The only downfall to Khan is the lack of Language Arts content appropriate for middle school students. I would love to see LA added as a subject to the site.