Teacher Review for Khan Academy

Online tutor with tools for managing the learning path

Szymon M.
Classroom teacher
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, United States
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My Subjects Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Homework
Knowledge gain
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with General
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
I use Khan Academy for individual assignments in the area of computer security, encryption, and other topics like the nature of light. I also use the system for my own kids (5 and 9) to practice math and strengthen understanding of fundamentals. I think the product should be used both by parents and teachers. This is an example of computer security curriculum, which can be implemented in telecommunication or computer courses: https://www.khanacademy.org/math/applied-math/cryptography/modern-crypt/v/diffie-hellman-key-exchange--part-1 The videos are substitutes for lectures. The teacher can create question sets about the videos on paper or quizzes in the LMS. This helps to verify if the content is being reviewed. It is important to teach students how to watch the videos. They should be watched with focused attention. This can be practiced by taking short notes during the video and by pausing and rewinding at times. A common mistake teachers make with Khan Academy is to assume students have the Internet at home. Alternatives have to be provided for watching the videos and sometimes time allowed in class. With permission some videos can be recorded on DVD and sent home with the student.
My Take
Khan Academy features short videos in a tutorial style. Many are translated into foreign languages. The tool is great for math skills especially, although other subjects are also covered. The entire classroom can be registered and progress of individual students can be tracked. I think this tool is the future of education. Freely available videos, which can be used to fill in gaps or build new areas of knowledge, provide a feasible approach to self-paced education. It empowers parents to be teachers and teachers to be guides. I liked the length of the videos. They are about 10 minutes or shorter. This goes back to initial limitations YouTube enforced on content. The length matches the attention span of young learners. The product can be used as a supplement to an exiting curriculum. It can be used as homework or classroom lab activity. The learning should be considered a first step, it should be followed by practical exercises proctored in the classroom.