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Using Khan Academy for distance learning or remote learning

Using Khan Academy for distance learning

Using Khan Academy for distance learning

What is distance learning?

  • Distance or remote learning occurs when the learner and teacher are separated by time and distance and therefore cannot meet in a traditional classroom setting.
  • Distance learning can occur synchronously (connecting with your students online) or asynchronously (self-learning or independent learning)

Why use Khan Academy for distance learning?

  • It has high-quality content all in one place—Comprehensive, board-aligned practice and instruction content in K-12 math, high school science, English grammar, SAT prep, and many more. Khan Academy has over 50,000 practice problems and tons of instructional videos, articles, and worked examples.
  • It incorporates mastery learning— Our research-based mastery learning system rigorously assesses and records student progress, helps you set goals for your students, and provides just-in-time learning scaffolds.
  • It gives you action-oriented insights— Clear, detailed reports help you identify who needs help, uncover common misconceptions, celebrate student progress and make better instructional decisions. You can assign exactly the right level for each student and keep track of their progress every step of the way.
  • It lets you serve learners anywhere—Students can access Khan Academy on their smartphones, laptops, desktops and our content is available in English, Hindi, Hinglish, Gujarati, Punjabi and Kannada with many languages getting added every day. You can use any browser to access Khan Academy.
No matter where you are or where your students are, Khan Academy can bring you together!

How to get started with Khan Academy in a distance learning setting?

When teachers are supporting students in a distance learning environment, we recommend giving Khan Academy’s assignments (videos and exercises) in order to best meet the needs of all students.
By pairing videos with exercises, you combine the best pieces of conceptual learning with student self-practice. With Khan Academy’s lessons you enable students to focus on mastery learning by allowing them to move at their own pace through a year’s worth of rigorous content, and you provide opportunities for students to directly focus on key skills right now.
Below are recommendations for using this model for distance teaching and learning.

Use face-to-face time for community building and problem solving.

Face-to-face time can be limited in distance learning environments. As a result, experienced teachers recommend using this valuable time to connect with students and help solve their most challenging questions.
Connecting with students Start your virtual lesson with an opportunity for students to connect with you and with each other. Human connection is essential for all students, so try to provide students with time to connect when you can, while saving independent working time on Khan Academy for later.
If you’re looking for support in driving class conversations, especially within a distance classroom, try Khan Academy’s Refresh (Please go through the help article on Refresh in Implementing Khan Academy with students lesson), which is a collection of five-minute classroom activities that offers a breath of fresh air and helps students arrive on time, ready to go.
Design a sandwich that reflects your personality. Weird ingredients encouraged!
Also, if you can, allow time at the end of class for students to ask you and each other additional questions. Each class is a unique group, and it’s important to provide time to build bonds and connect with each other and with you, especially when students are physically far from each other.
To make more time for interaction in distance learning environments, you can use Khan Academy’s videos for explaining a concept. By using videos to supplement or replace direct instruction, you can spend more face-to-face time on problem-solving and providing support.

Challenging topics and reteaching

Since students are not physically in the same space with their teacher when they are working through exercises, they may be less likely to ask for help when they need it.
Before live time with your students, use Khan Academy’s reports to identify topics where students may be struggling. Then, during your distance lesson, showcase a particular topic to students, give them an opportunity to ask questions, and even work through a sample problem together.
Try encouraging students to work on their own device, notebook, slide, or paper alongside your instructions, and when appropriate, ask a student to lead the step-by-step process from their own screen.
You can also use Khan Academy’s Assignment reports on your dashboard (Scores report, Activity Overview report) to identify which topics your students are not understanding. Remember, scores in red color show that students have not fully understood the concept. So try and take up those assignments in groups or for the whole class.
Scores report
Activity overview

Expectation setting and feedback

Since students are working on Khan Academy independently during distance learning, be sure to set clear expectations about what content students should be working on and how much progress you expect them to make. Experienced teachers recommend including both long-term goals (what to cover for next term for end of term exams) and short-term goals (through weekly assignments). Include students in the goal-setting process.
Be sure to provide students with an opportunity to reflect on their goals and progress—some teachers encourage using a digital document as a virtual shared document (google docs) to write back and forth with students to provide more regular feedback. These goal-setting templates help students focus on short-term priorities, long-term goals and provide a space for reflection.
Also, students are used to receiving feedback from their teachers in the classroom. While Khan Academy does provide instant feedback and progress reporting to both teachers and students, it is not a replacement for meaningful feedback directly from teachers. Take time to review each student’s progress weekly and communicate with the student and their parent/guardian directly to celebrate successes and highlight areas of opportunity.

Find opportunities to connect with other teachers.

It’s easy to forget yourself in the distance teaching and learning experience. If you have budgeted time for a peer-learning community or other opportunity to connect with teachers—do it!
One of the most consistent recommendations we hear from experienced teachers is to share your challenges and successes with each other. Distance teaching and learning is challenging, and the best practices and best support in these moments can come from others in the teacher community.

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