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The Gates Notes: Teachers in Los Altos

Video transcript
It's a tremendous impact actually that I'm seeing through Khan Academy The most impact I see are for those kids, who really need the challenge and I also see the spark in the kids who've struggled, who in a whole group math lesson can appear to be lost and then shy and then try to hide. Now they can hide behind their computer screen and continue to work at their own pace. A lot of students are very cognizant of where they are in relation to their peers. Some of them won't want to appear smarter, some won't want to appear slower. Those students will hesitate to ask questions. They just want to be right there in the middle. Teaching to the middle only does the middle good and it seems like you're leaving out two thirds of the class that way and so there has to be a better way to do it. Khan Academy offers an assessment peace that's incredible. It's so.. right there and immediate. It's a quick picture of where students are at, where they are having issues, where the struggles are. So I know who I need to visit with and where I can help them, where I can come alongside and remediate, support. They love those 'ahaa!' moments, where they can be the teacher and they can tell me about something that they think I don't know how to do. My students select weekly goals for themselves based on their own data, so I have them looking at their own data now. In a graphic way they're able to visualise, and in a very concrete way, their progress. You know, usually you move through a math classroom, it's like: "Ok, we've finished this chapter. We've finished that book." But the kids don't really see everything that they've accomplished. This let's them see it and this makes it real for them. At that point I was excited for my kids, because I saw that again as being a tool for them, that ultimately would help them become responsible for their own learning and deciding: "Hey, this is where I need work" The kids are enjoying it because it's very engaging for them. I'm enjoying it because my kids do, my students do. Kids go home excited about math and that's what parents see. They see that kids are talking about math, they're discussing what they did in class, they're showing something on the computer that they just learned how to do. Parents know their kids better than anyone, so they can encounter a Khan Academy problem, if they're working through with their child, they can say: "Hey, remember when we were at the beach," "we did this and this is what was involved". So they can really help me tie these new concepts to previous learning, if they get involved with their kids with the Khan Academy at home. Math, I always found it after teaching for 25 years - kids love it or kids don't love it. Now I think I've got 27 kids in my class, who at some point during the day say: "Hey, I love math."