Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:23:36
Khan Academy is now introducing video tasks on the learning dashboard. Prior to this release, the mission dashboard consisted exclusively of practice and mastery tasks–problems to practice and interact with the skills. If a student didn’t know how to do a particular exercise, they would have to rely on the video in the specific skill or manually look up the video, and there was no way to know ahead of time which videos are particularly useful and which aren’t. With this in mind, we decided to research which videos on our site are most effective in helping people learn. We then wanted to explore how we could make sure students see these videos when trying to learn related skills.
Many of our exercises are tagged with “curated related videos”—videos that are hand-selected as related to the exercise. Using this as a starting point, we looked at all the videos that were already tagged as related to any exercise. For each of these videos, we compared the accuracy on its associated exercise both before watching the video and after watching it. From there, we selected the top fifty most effective videos, each improving the accuracy on its associated exercise by at least twenty percent, and are now highlighting them on the mission dashboard. When the system recommends an exercise with an associated video on the list of our top fifty related videos, it will automatically recommend the related video as well. Similarly, when an exercise with an associated video task is manually added to a student’s list of exercises as a personal task, the video task will also be added automatically.
A student might watch the video before attempting the exercise, which is why we place the video tasks immediately above its associated exercise. Alternatively, a student may want to attempt the exercise first, and if they struggle with the exercise then they can close it out temporarily and watch the video before trying again.
If a student doesn’t need to watch the video, the video task can disappear in three ways. If the student watches the video, the video task will never reappear for that student. The student can also remove the video task without watching it and it will never again be shown to them. Finally, if the student completes the associated exercise and renavigates to the mission dashboard (refreshing the page, e.g.), the video task will also go away. However, in this last scenario, if the exercise ever reappears on the mission dashboard of this student, the video task will also return.
We sincerely hope you find this update as exciting and useful as we do!
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 14:00:41
The research shows that when you realize that you can build up your abilities through effort you actually learn more.
So we wanted to share a few of our favorite videos that inspire this attitude and carry the message that we can all grow.
Here are our current top 3:
3. Michael Jordan
1. Kid who just learned how to ride a bike
Know a cool video like these? We’d love to see the videos that most inspire you so please share them with us here on our Facebook page .
Can’t wait to be inspired by what you share!
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:00:00
Today we’re happy to announce that Khan Academy is live en Français. You can access our content all in French whether you’re from Paris or Port-au-Prince. Just visit fr.khanacademy.org to start learning in French.
We thought it would be fun to show you some of the team of dedicated translators who helped make this possible. Merci to one and all and thanks for your hard work and enthusiasm in making this happen!
After a Master’s degree in management at Edhec Business School, I put into practice what I had been taught, and joined the media industry. Working with the Khan Academy is great because it combines my skills in addition, subtraction, and even multiplication, with my passion for telling stories.
I am a math addict! I taught math after college, and eventually became a school book editor specializing in various sciences subjects. Khan Academy’s math look more like what I believe maths should be: a living matter made of reflection and research.
I am a physics and chemistry teacher and recently also got my PhD in physics. When I heard about Khan Academy, I was immediately very enthusiastic to participate in this modern adventure. I like teaching to others and Khan Academy allows me to do it in a very direct way. Wherever you are, with a well-working education system or not, an internet connection will be enough to connect yourself on the website and to learn at your pace.
I specialized in renewable energy at Ecole Polytechnique, where I am still working for my PhD on plasmas and photovoltaic research. I strongly believe that the Khan Academy brings something new and innovative to the way knowledge is passed on.
I am at the beginning of the end of my thesis on material science and photovoltaic cells, at the Ecole Polytechnique. When I was a student, YouTube was more full of videos of cats and babies, rather than Newton’s Laws, Matrix or Stereochemistry. The democratic way of sharing knowledge with Khan Academy’s approach of is a great initiative; all you need is internet and a little curiosity to benefit from it.
I’ve always been captivated by mathematics. After I graduated from the Toulouse School of Economics, I went to Australia and ended up training horses on remote stations where most children are taught by their parents through a homeschooling system. I thus got a grasp of the importance of distance education and this is why I decided to get involved in the Khan Academy project. I now enjoy translating Sal’s videos because of his innovative approach and his way of making maths concepts easy to understand and remember.
I am a PhD student at Ecole Normale Supérieure, working on language acquisition (how do infants acquire their native language?) Making some videos for Khan Academy is a great combination with my PhD because when my research gets stuck, I can do a 10min video which will be useful for kids, teenagers and adults. Perhaps this is actually the most useful job that I’ll ever have!
Yassine El Ouarzazi
I grew up in Casablanca, Morocco, and moved to France when I was 17 to go to engineering school. I have a passion for science and education, and I immediately fell in love with Khan Academy after watching Salman Khan’s TED talk. I hope this project will help my two kids and millions of other ones in my continent of origin, Africa, to have access to “a free world-class education for anyone anywhere”.
After getting an Engineering degree from Cornell University and Ecole Centrale Paris, I now live my passion as a Math/Physics teacher in Madrid. I joined the Khan Academy team in France because it’s fun to make videos, it improves my teaching skills, and because I help providing the world (and notably developing countries) with high quality lessons.Working for Khan Academy has indeed given my life more meaning!
I graduated from a PhD of Neuroscience and spent four years in Boston where I learned English and discovered Salman Khan and his work with the Khan Academy. When I got the lucky opportunity to join the Bibliothèque sans Frontières’ team of translators, I grabbed it! As a kid, I used to play with math exercises in my free time: I always tried to help my schoolmates see the elegant, logic and fun aspects of mathematics.
I am currently almost at the end of a PhD in social cognition which focuses on social interaction deficits in neurodegenerative diseases. I have always loved helping others understand things that fascinated me or things that I had found challenging to learn. I strongly believe in the use of technologies to reduce social inequality in education- that’s one the reasons why I joined BSF as the head of the education department.
After a PhD in biology, I finally became a general practitioner. I have always been interested in education, in medicine and beyond, and I strongly believe that each student should learn at his/her own pace. I discovered Khan Academy several years ago, while I was trying to help my cousins understand math. One of their issues at that time was that the content was available in English but not in French… I am glad to see that the mathematical part is now ready to run in French, and to have the opportunity to translate the health content videos!
I am currently involved in a PhD where I study water resource in arctic areas, where permafrost (frozen ground) makes access difficult. Teaching is for me as important as research, so I naturally saw in Khan Academy a unique opportunity to reach a larger audience than the one classic teaching could ever possibly allow me to reach.
Also a special thanks to the translation team at Bibliothèques Sans Frontière!
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:14:58
Where do 200 of the world’s leading scientists work to advance our knowledge of anthropology, astrophysics, comparative genomics, computational sciences, evolutionary biology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, microbiology, ornithology, and paleontology? The American Museum of Natural History in New York is not only a museum filled with towering dinosaurs, meteorites you can touch, and delighted, curious children; it is also a leading research institution with 32 million specimens and artifacts and an incredibly active field program that sends researchers on more than one hundred expeditions every year.
The American Museum of Natural History is a first-rate educational institution that inspires learners of all ages and was the first Ph.D. degree-granting museum in the Western Hemisphere. Naturally, we are absolutely delighted to announce a new partnership between this venerable institution and Khan Academy today.
Where to begin? Maybe with an essay by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium on “The Pluto Controversy” or a video about dark energy? Or if dinosaurs captivate you, discover how scientists have linked them to modern birds or perhaps take a tour of the Museum’s “big bone room” with paleontology collection manager Carl Mehling.
Wherever your curiosity takes you, be sure to check back later this fall for even more great content from our newest partner, the American Museum of Natural History!
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:43:00
By: Salman Khan
My 5-year-old son has just started reading. Every night, we lie on his bed and he reads a short book to me. Inevitably, he’ll hit a word that he has trouble with: last night the word was “gratefully.” He eventually got it after a fairly painful minute. He then said, “Dad, aren’t you glad how I struggled with that word? I think I could feel my brain growing.” I smiled: my son was now verbalizing the tell-tale signs of a “growth mindset.” But this wasn’t by accident. Recently, I put into practice research I had been reading about for the past few years: I decided to praise my son not when he succeeded at things he was already good at, but when he persevered with things that he found difficult. I stressed to him that by struggling, your brain grows. Between the deep body of research on the field of learning mindsets and this personal experience with my son, I am more convinced than ever that mindsets toward learning could matter more than anything else we teach.
Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones.
What this means is that our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.
However, not everyone realizes this. Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has been studying people’s mindsets towards learning for decades. She has found that most people adhere to one of two mindsets: fixed or growth. Fixed mindsets mistakenly believe that people are either smart or not, that intelligence is fixed by genes. People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure. Dweck found that those with a fixed mindset tended to focus their effort on tasks where they had a high likelihood of success and avoided tasks where they may have had to struggle, which limited their learning. People with a growth mindset, however, embraced challenges, and understood that tenacity and effort could change their learning outcomes. As you can imagine, this correlated with the latter group more actively pushing themselves and growing intellectually.
The good news is that mindsets can be taught; they’re malleable. What’s really fascinating is that Dweck and others have developed techniques that they call “growth mindset interventions,” which have shown that even small changes in communication or seemingly innocuous comments can have fairly long-lasting implications for a person’s mindset. For instance, praising someone’s process (“I really like how you struggled with that problem”) versus praising an innate trait or talent (“You’re so clever!”) is one way to reinforce a growth mindset with someone. Process praise acknowledges the effort; talent praise reinforces the notion that one only succeeds (or doesn’t) based on a fixed trait. And we’ve seen this on Khan Academy as well: students are spending more time learning on Khan Academy after being exposed to messages that praise their tenacity and grit and that underscore that the brain is like a muscle.
The Internet is a dream for someone with a growth mindset. Between Khan Academy, MOOCs, and others, there is unprecedented access to endless content to help you grow your mind. However, society isn’t going to fully take advantage of this without growth mindsets being more prevalent. So what if we actively tried to change that? What if we began using whatever means are at our disposal to start performing growth mindset interventions on everyone we cared about? This is much bigger than Khan Academy or algebra – it applies to how you communicate with your children, how you manage your team at work, how you learn a new language or instrument. If society as a whole begins to embrace the struggle of learning, there is no end to what that could mean for global human potential.
And now here’s a surprise for you. By reading this article itself, you’ve just undergone the first half of a growth-mindset intervention. The research shows that just being exposed to the research itself (for example, knowing that the brain grows most by getting questions wrong, not right) can begin to change a person’s mindset. The second half of the intervention is for you to communicate the research with others. We’ve made a video (above) that celebrates the struggle of learning that will help you do this. After all, when my son, or for that matter, anyone else asks me about learning, I only want them to know one thing. As long as they embrace struggle and mistakes, they can learn anything.
– You can view the original op-ed in Huffington Post here.