Using Khan Academy with limited resources

Khan Academy can still be useful even with limited access to technology. In all cases, teamwork and peer tutoring can still be valuable to stretch your technology resources further. Below are a few ideas on how to make the most of the resources you have on-hand.

Available technology: Limited internet bandwidth

If you have limited internet bandwidth, there are a couple of different options.
  • If students have access to internet outside of class, either at home or in a computer lab, encourage them to use missions as a supplement to their classwork. This can allow them to fill in their gaps in knowledge or reinforce their existing knowledge to be better prepared for math class.
  • Otherwise, one thing to keep in mind is that using skills practice exercises takes up a small fraction of the bandwidth compared to using lessons that include video. So, one option is to consider using practice exercises in class rather than viewing KA videos.
  • Some teachers have grouped students in small teams as they use Khan Academy to minimize the number of devices that are online to use the limited bandwidth.  There are also teachers that leverage limited resources by rotating students through the computers that are available, while the rest of the class might be working on other activities.  Read about how Alison’s 4th grade class used this rotation model to make the most of their limited devices.
  • Another option if you have severely limited bandwidth is to consider checking out KA Lite - the offline version of Khan Academy provided by a partner organization, Learning Equality.

Available technology: A handful of computers in the classroom

If you lack 1:1 devices, consider encouraging your students to use Khan Academy missions outside of class time, such as in a computer lab or at home if possible.  Other ideas for leveraging your small set of devices for your math students can be found here.

Available technology: Limited access to a computer lab

Computer labs can be a helpful resource for students who do not have devices or internet connection at home. For those who lack regular access to a computer lab, check out this article which has a few ideas to leverage your limited access to technology.
  • Using Khan Academy in a computer lab - even if it’s as little as two times a week or an hour total - can be useful for students to fill in gaps in knowledge at their own pace. 
  • Some teachers also use their limited computer lab time by holding a contest using KA or by competing in teams in order to energize their students as they learn math. Find out about ways to motivate your students using KA here.

Increasing access

With schools and educational programs strapped for resources, we know it can be tough to provide the technology. A few ideas teachers have shared include community programs that offer free tech resources to students, allowing students to bring their own devices, donation programs like DonorsChoose, and fundraising through schools and the local community. Teacher Tal Sztainer found that increasing access can be an initial barrier. However, but with the help of his local community, he was able to bring devices to his students.  Check out his advice on getting tech into a classroom.