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Let’s level the playing field for SAT prep

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From founder Sal Khan:

I’m excited to share some very important news: The College Board just announced that they’re redesigning the SAT for 2016, and we’re partnering with them to make free, world-class prep materials. Our goal is nothing short of leveling the playing field, and we intend, with the deep expertise of the College Board behind us, to make the very best preparation for the SAT. This will be far more than just videos; it will be sophisticated, interactive software to give students deep practice and diagnose their gaps.

This means that for the first time ever, all students who want to go to college can prepare for the SAT at their own pace, at absolutely no cost. Unlike other test prep, the resources on Khan Academy will be developed through a close collaboration with the authors of the SAT themselves. With this partnership, our goal is to ensure that students have a deep grasp of underlying fundamentals so they can succeed on the SAT, in college, and beyond.   

I recently chatted with David Coleman, CEO of the College Board, about why they redesigned the SAT and decided to work with Khan Academy to make prep materials open and free. Check out our conversation and other information about the partnership: www.khanacademy.org/sat.

What does this mean? By spring 2015, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art learning tools—exercises, software diagnostics and videos—designed by Khan Academy and College Board specifically for the redesigned SAT. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you are taking the SAT in 2014/15, you can start practicing today with hundreds of unreleased Math, Reading, and Writing questions from real SATs and more than 200 videos that show step-by-step solutions to each question.

Onward!
-Sal

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Understanding the U.S. health care system on Khan Academy

One hundred years ago, a patient paid a doctor when they wanted medical help. Since then, things have gotten more complicated in the US, and understanding the nuances of the health care system can be difficult (to put it mildly!). At one time or another, patients/families with medical bills, policy makers trying to figure out how to reduce costs, and small business owners looking to purchase a health care plan for a new employee - have all had to grapple with these complexities. In fact, even those within the system – doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists – struggle at times.

This is precisely why we are excited about The Brookings Institution - Khan Academy partnership, which launched last week. The Brookings Institution has world-class experts that have a solid understanding of how the US health care system works. Dr. Darshak Sanghavi is one such expert - a fellow at The Brookings Institution with a clinical background in pediatric cardiology. Dr. Sanghavi has worked hard to build an engaging tutorial that covers key topics like Medicare/Medicaid, the uninsured population, and medical billing. In fact, a terrific introduction to the U.S. health care system can be found here.

Going forward, The Brookings Institution will continue to generate excellent tutorials, which will be made available on Khan Academy, so check back frequently. The goal is to offer a free, high-quality learning experience about health care that everyone can benefit from!

Introduction to the U.S. health care system:

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Share your bio and activity on your new profile

New user profile

From Khan Academy software developer Stephanie H. Chang (www.stchangg.com):

We recently redesigned user profiles on Khan Academy. Now you can share your bio, badge count, and activity with others.

Visit your new Khan Academy profile!

We are very sensitive about sharing learning information about our users, so we have chosen the most private defaults for these sections. You can use the privacy controls to manage who sees these sections: 

Privacy settings

Child accounts are limited so that no one other than their parent/teacher coaches can see any learning activity information.

We’ve also updated the profile pop-ups on posts and computer programs:

Profile pop-up

Here’s a peek at our internal team leaderboard. As you can see, Sal has a… significant lead:

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Major credit goes to Tabitha Yong, Joel Burget, Ben Komalo, Marcia Lee, Ben Kamens, and many other team members who helped design, review, and try out this new feature over many iterations.

Enjoy your new profile!

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Here are the NCLEX-RN competition winners!

Running competitions is always a ton of fun here at Khan Academy. The best part is looking through each submission to see the creative ideas used to teach a particular subject - a bit like opening gifts over the winter holidays. As the final day of the competition approaches, the gifts start appearing faster and faster, each one different from the next!

The NCLEX-RN competition we recently held was no different. We received almost 100 submissions from folks all around the world, emerging from over 60 hospitals/ institutions. Submissions came from people in the disciplines of nursing, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, public health, and graduate studies in biological science. We were stunned with the fantastic quality of the submissions, and want to congratulate everyone who participated in our competition. The videos submitted to us explained topics in such creative and engaging ways, and the questions really reflected content a graduate nurse would see on the NCLEX-RN. Fabulous work!

Today we are announcing the competition winners! We’ve picked a total of 14 winners who will be joining us at a training camp this spring where they’ll work together to hone their video making and question writing skills. These folks will be working on videos, questions, and articles covering medical conditions from the cardiovascular, respiratory, and hematology systems. That means that before long, you can come to Khan Academy to learn how asthma is diagnosed or the difference between a heart attack and heart failure. You can expect to see their hard work start appearing on the Khan Academy website sometime this summer. Check out the winners on the NCLEX-RN winners page by following this link!

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Nationwide MATHletes Challenge launches in Ireland

On January 27, Irish technology entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan launched the 2014 MATHletes Challenge, a contest that will introduce students across Ireland to Khan Academy. They’ll compete for more than €20,000 in prizes as they learn math on our site. The competition began on February 1 and lasts just over three months. We’re thrilled to be part of this one-of-a-kind opportunity!

MATHletes Challenge 2014

As announced on Siliconrepublic.com, “MATHletes Challenge 2014, which O’Sullivan is launching today with the Minister for Training and Skills Ciaran Cannon, aims to help students develop the confidence and competence to excel in maths by introducing Irish students and teachers to the Khan Academy. … In the MATHletes challenge, students will compete in county and provincial finals, with top scorers advancing to the national finals, which are scheduled to take place in early May. Students will also be able to connect with other contestants by attending free Saturday Khan Clubs which will be held in the National Educations Centres across the country.”

For more information, visit the MATHletes Challenge launch site. Also check out this video to see how Irish teachers and students are using Khan Academy.

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