Starting at a new school means re-evaluating the things I “used to do back at my old school”. One of these “used to do’s” is the Khan Academy, which aside from sporadic usage by some teachers, is relatively new to our Junior School.
As I began looking over the (recently updated) Khan Academy website, I was once again blown away by what an awesome tool this is for teaching math. I put together a packet of information for my team as we begin discussions on the role the Khan Academy will play in our classroom. The majority of the packet comes from me pulling from the mountain of resources available on the Khan Academy website. There is a ton of stuff there to help you get started on your Khan journey. Try clicking here for a good place to begin.
The packet I put together contains links to KA materials on their website as well as some materials that I downloaded from the website and (confession time) reformatted so the packet would look more organised.
One of the things I like the most about the Khan Academy is that it (in its own words) elevates the role of the teacher:
Teachers are critical in a Khan Academy classroom
Teachers provide the human element to inspire, motive and guide students through their learning paths. There are some people who believe that technology in education diminishes the importance of teachers. In our experience, nothing could be further from the truth. The fantastic teachers we have seen implement Khan Academy are bright, innovative, creative, and they take their classrooms to new heights. They realize that technology is a tool to help make classrooms more personalized, more mastery-based and more individualized.
Shifting from lecturer to domain expert, master coach, and mentor
In a personalized, mastery-based learning environment, the role of the teachers is elevated. Responding to the needs of many learners goes beyond classroom management and a lesson plan. Teachers must be responsive to the data and must problem solve for every learner individually.
Technology allows the role to evolve to allow teachers to minimize time grading homework or giving the same lecture, and instead use real-time data to ensure time is used most effectively. Khan Academy provides the tools so you can do what you went into teaching to do – to personally interact with and provide guidance to every student, and to engage students in collaborative activities and interactions. Technology will not replace teachers, but empower you to be great mentors to your students.
We are about to have a back-to-school night and later a parent information session regarding the use of the Khan Academy and this will definitely be information I want to share with my parents. It has also reminded me that I need to be on the lookout for really good collaborative activities and interactions in math for my students. Which is where YOU come in! Please share your gems for thought-provoking, discussion based problem solving for math in the comments box below. I need your help!
For the Khan Academy packet I put together for my team, click here.