Thu, 15 Aug 2013 16:02:00
The new learning dashboard is your personal homepage on Khan Academy. The dashboard gives you an easy way to find the best next things for you to do. It has a bunch of really cool things designed to help you learn math, and soon other subjects, really well on your own or with a coach. You can access it when you’re signed in by clicking on the Khan Academy logo at the top of the page.
Practice makes perfect
Recommendations have been lined up for you on the dashboard. They should have the skills that are best for you to practice next. If you want to practice something in particular, no problem! It’s a breeze to add the skills you want to focus on to your dashboard. If you have a coach helping you learn on Khan Academy, they can recommend skills for you too.
Level up your skills
Each day, we will unlock new chances for you to level up the skills you practiced on previous days. “Why do I have to wait a day for a chance to level up?” you ask. “I want to get new levels now!” Here’s the thing, there’s a lot of evidence that proving what you know over time is a really great way to ensure that you actually remember what you’ve learned. We hope the challenges are fun and rewarding as we’ve updated badges to recognize Mastery earned this way!
See your progress at a glance
As you’re leveling up your skills, you can keep track of progress right on the dashboard. Points, badges, and skill levels are all visible and updated in realtime.
Earn points and badges; Conquer the world of math!
We’ve added new badges and updated the old ones to work with the new skill levels. You now earn bonus points for doing recommended skills and even more for leveling up your skills.
The entire KA team has been working around the clock over the last few months to bring this exciting new experience together. Although we’re just getting started with it, we’re thrilled to see how you all use it and to get your feedback.
What are you waiting for?
Sign in to get started with the pretest, and get credit for what you already know. Onward!
Want to learn a little more? Sal made a cool video about the learning dashboard! Check it out here.
Thu, 08 Aug 2013 09:40:00
We’re excited to announce that Khan Academy has created lots of new math practice problems for the start of the school year! We now have 100,000 problems. We built out this content because we wanted to offer deeper, richer practice problems to help students rigorously master concepts.
Nice! Who’s writing these math problems?
We’ve brought on a team of 15 math teachers, tutors, and professors to write creative problems that promote deep conceptual understanding of a range of math topics. To ensure our content is high-quality and always improving, all questions are peer reviewed, and we continuously refine our math problems based on feedback from the millions of students and teachers who use our site.
And for teachers getting ready for Common Core, we’re excited to let you know that we’re creating new math problems that comprehensively and rigorously cover the Common Core State Standards. We’ve already written new questions for many of the 4th-8th grade standards and will cover all of the Math Standards by Fall 2014. You can check out an up-to-date mapping of our practice problems to the Common Core here.
Can I see an example?
Yep! Here are a few examples of the thousands of questions we’ve added in the past few months.
Interpreting features of functions - Maps to Common Core Standard HSF-IF.B.4
It’s one thing to know what an even function is. It’s even cooler to understand what it means in a real-world physics, statistics, or finance problem. Try your hand at it in our interpreting features of functions exercise.
Understanding place value - Maps to 4.NBT.A.1
One of the many magical things about the base ten number system: you can write the same number in lots of different ways. We hear the kind of thinking students do in our understanding place value exercise may come in handy when subtraction with regrouping comes along…
Units - Maps to Common Core Standard 6.RP.A.3d
In our units problems, students use proportions to solve real-world unit conversion problems. Sometimes it’s a matter of life or death, as it was for the squirrel in this problem.
Let us know what you think! You can suggest ideas for new content or share updates to our Common Core mapping here.
Fri, 02 Aug 2013 04:31:00
You can now donate bitcoins to Khan Academy! When you donate, you’ll even earn a special badge for your profile.
Bitcoin is an interesting new cryptocurrency based on an open source protocol running on a peer to peer network independent of any central authority. Confused? No worries, Khan Academy has a video series explaining what Bitcoins are and how they work.
Sun, 21 Jul 2013 18:05:07
From Khan Academy’s Rishi Desai, MD:
The training camp ended, and I feel incredibly mixed. The only feeling of sadness comes from seeing folks head home after having gotten to know them quite well. But having 15 folks that are all focused exclusively on figuring out how to share the beauty of the biological, physical, and social sciences through videos is a truly unique experience. To have us all hanging out together in one hotel for a week is about as intimate and organic as it gets. We started out the week as strangers, and we emerged as brothers and sisters.
Let me tell you about these siblings of mine… Though not biologically related, our family was knit together from seemingly every field of health and education…
· One of my siblings flew back and forth from Senegal just to be a part of the week’s events.
· Two of them had hospital experience, and offered their insights with patients to help make the content relevant to clinical practice.
· Another two had an early start in their education, and were pursuing their respective interests in medicine and education after having had completed their undergraduate degrees by the age of 18! Yes you read that correctly.
· One more had done research on the use of digital media to help enhance the learning experience, and was now trying her hand at actually creating the content she studies.
Don’t get me wrong… They’re a very well rounded group with interests outside of medicine, education, and technology. Over the course of the week we talked about baby ducks, Michael Jackson, hot tubs, raising kids, toilets, caffeine, garlic ice cream, Dennis Rodman, spy museums, drunk squirrels, and toenails falling off while running.
To think that such a goofy, silly, eclectic assortment of personalities could work together to pull off something as amazing as teaching MCAT content puts a smile on my face. Only a family of teachers could do something so cool.
Each and every one of them worked hard from morning to night, going through rounds and rounds of research, video production, and feedback. They met daily to give each other constructive feedback, and went through multiple versions of each video trying to make it as clear, smooth, engaging, authentic, well-paced, and intuitive as possible.
Going forward, one thing that I think that we can all say with confidence is that we learned something about the learning process, and how we can be more effective in making videos and writing questions. This process started out focused on the 2015 MCAT but it has developed into so much more…
Thu, 18 Jul 2013 02:32:10
Edsurge writer Christina Quattrocchi shares with readers about the impact of Khan Academy’s teacher trainings that are happening across the country this summer.
Are teachers at the table or on the menu? No company would dispute the value of teacher perspectives. However, often times it seems teachers become specimens to be studied, rather than vital partners. Yet, giving teachers time, training, and building trust are vital steps to ensuring products gets used and used effectively.
This week, Khan Academy showed the industry one way to bring teachers to the table by hosting its own free teacher trainings in Redwood City. As the first of many around the country, the workshop hoped to teach math teachers about the nuances behind each of Khan’s education tools and offer different ways to implement them. By the end of the day, teachers were charged with developing a “frame of mind” around what Khan could do for students.
The full day of training took place at the Sobratto Center for Nonprofits in affluent Redwood Shores, CA, where over 100 teachers filled the room.
Coming from far and wide
The event attracted teachers from cities near and far, from charter, public and private schools in Sacramento and Santa Cruz to those Grand Rapids, MI. Some came for at the behest of their supervisors, others by way of parent recommendations, but most teachers were there because they’d tried Khan before but wanted to dig deeper into how they could more fully implement it in their classrooms.
Typically, teachers only get training for products that their schools have paid for. So they appreciated that Khan Academy put on this session without a price tag. One teacher explained, “this is certainly one of the only places I’ve seen where something is completely free.”
Start simple. Just start.
Maureen Suhendra, who leads Professional Development for teachers at Khan Academy, began the day by emphasizing that Khan Academy’s role is not to offer prescriptions about how to use the program. “Today is not about giving you a scripted curriculum. There is no right way to do this.” She continually reinforced the importance for teachers to staying flexible and open-minded as they explore for themselves how Khan can best be implemented in the classroom.
Teachers then split into groups, spending the first half of the morning digging deeper into coaching tools, with a self-guided tour through Khan’s world of data. Khan developers were on hand to answer questions and break things down for teachers when they got stuck. Teachers spent the rest of the day consulting experts, exploring case studies, and planning out their own implementation models. Teachers in Residence at Khan Academy, Tal Sztainer and Suney Park, were also on hand to share their personal stories and experiences of implementing the tools in their own classrooms.
Park, a 15 year veteran teacher, was initially scared by the prospect of fully integrating Khan into her classroom. Dipping her foot into the Khan Academy waters, she began by integrating the videos and exercises one unit at a time. However, the persistent need for even more differentiation led Park to creating playlists of exercises ahead of time so that students could dip in and out of practicing different skills as they pleased, regardless of the unit the class was on.
Park will continue to integrate Khan Academy next year, retaining the aspects of differentiation her students have enjoyed. However, she hopes to add more depth to each unit with real life application projects, an area Khan Academy has been historically deficient in.
On what she’s learned from her experience using the tools, Park says “there is a fluidity that I didn’t expect to be possible… I thought that learning the content was very linear, but these connections [between concepts] can be made and they can hold multiple pieces of information at one time when it comes to math.”
As Khan Academy wrapped up its first workshops this week in Redwood Shores, the organization looks forward to the next stop on it’s PD tour: Chicago. As they move forward it’s clear there are a few crucial ingredients to bring teachers to the table.
First, make it about more than a product. What Khan Academy did so well this week was convince teachers they care, starting with offering the workshop for free. They continued to demonstrate this as they discussed mission and vision throughout the workshop. They also make it clear that the training was about helping teachers to find ways to help their kids, rather than forcing a preconceived implementation plan on them.
The second ingredient in bringing teachers to the table was to show that they “get” what it’s like to be a teacher on a very deep level. From the beginning they explained that they get that kids will throw curveballs to initial implementation plans and that the final picture rarely looks like what teachers may originally have in mind. They also seemed to understand the emotional side of teaching. Park explained, “Every teacher knows they can’t reach every kid and there is this guilt that results. Khan Academy addresses that discomfort that teachers feel and gives some ideas on how to make it better.”
For the full article, visit https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-07-17-are-teachers-at-the-table-or-on-the-menu