Posts Tagged "Khan Academy"

Reviews: Khan Academy K-12 Mathematics

Khan Academy provides supplemental open educational resources to support mathematics instruction in grades K-12. The self-paced is freely available online and addresses the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) at each grade level. Content is presented through video demonstrations and practice problems. Content is presented in “Missions” organized in terms of CCSS domains for each grade level. Missions are personalized lessons that provide instruction targeted to each student’s learning level.  

khan_academyStudents complete a diagnostic “Mission Warm-up” prior to beginning work. The Warm-up assesses students’ knowledge of the concepts and skills included in the domain.Khan’s adaptive software uses Warm-up results to recommend an individualized pathway through grade-level content. Direct instruction is presented in short video tutorials (i.e., 5 to 20 minutes) that address specific skills or concepts (e.g., linear inequalities). Videos are presented using colorful black and whiteboard demonstrations with voiceover narration.

Instruction includes “Practice Tasks” and “Challenges.” Practice Tasks address a specific skill and include a personalized goal for each student. Goals vary, but most require that students correctly answer five questions in a row. Students earn “Energy Points” and “Badges.” Energy Points are awarded for watching videos, completing practice problems, and for achieving short-term goals (e.g., correctly answering five questions in a row). Badges are awarded for reaching longer-term goals, such as “Achieving mastery in 7 unique skills.”

About Khan Academy*

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Khan Academy tackles math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. They’ve partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from Khan Academy.

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Teacher Shortages Force Districts to Rely on Online Courses

help-wantedAs the new school year approaches, schools across the country are in a hiring frenzy.  The layoffs from 2008-12, an increasing population of limited English speaking students and college graduates wary of going into teaching because of the uncertainty in that traditionally stable employment market, are just a few reasons why districts are scrambling to fill vacancies. The California Department of Education estimates that California districts have 21,500 slots to fill while fewer than 15,000 new teacher certificates are issued annually.  

How are districts filling the gap? As one rural Texas principal told me recently, “We’re having to rely on online courses more heavily than ever before.  High school math teachers are hard to come by in small Texas towns. So, smaller districts like ours are using self-paced online courses when we can’t find a teacher for the course. What’s scary is that we don’t really know how good the courses are.”  

Students can’t learn what they’re not taught. A material’s alignment to state standards becomes even more crucial when there’s not a certified teacher in the classroom to act as a safety net for a material’s deficits.  In such cases, students have to rely exclusively on the online course for the knowledge and skills he/she needs to master the state tests.  If the material is not well aligned, the district is setting the student up to fail.

Learning List gives districts peace of mind that the materials they are using are teaching their students what they need to know to be successful.  For each material, Learning List provides three types of reviews, including an independent review of the material’s alignment to state standards.  Our detailed alignment reports show specifically where the material (e.g., page numbers, lesson titles) is aligned to each standard and where necessary, which standards the material is not aligned to at all. If a material is not aligned to 100% of the state’s standards for a grade and subject, our Fill-in-the-Gap tool recommends additional materials – supplemental and/or comprehensive; publisher-produced and/or open educational resources – that fill in the gap to ensure that students are getting materials that teach 100 percent of the state’s standards.

With reviews for over 1000 of the most popular materials, Learning List has reviewed many online, self-paced courses (e.g., Compass, Edgenuity, Khan Academy, Think Through Math, US History.org, and Vschoolz) that can help districts fill in their gaps.  Subscribe today to find the materials that will propel your students to success!

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