Khan Academy: Data-Driven YouTube for Math Class?

by Erin Dye

Headphones and keyboard for Khan Academy

New tools for math class | credit: © Restyler | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Khan Academy has gotten quite a bit of buzz lately, including hype around their high profile partnerships. Their videos have been the subject of both praise and censure. Because of all this, you probably already know that Khan Academy hosts videos on a wide range of subjects with the goal of creating blended classrooms and differentiating instruction.

What I didn’t know until recently is that the site has made major changes to the way math teachers can organize lessons, oversee class behavior, and monitor progress. The site had some data management before, but the interface, the reporting, and the behavior management mechanisms have been revamped with the busy math teacher in mind.

For example, check out this video on how the glossy new dashboard works.

The dashboard offers a rich array of sorting options. You can organize your reports by class, by student, by exercise, by activity, by date, and by the goals you set for the class or for individual students. You can see a top-level chart that shows how the students are doing overall, and you can drill down into the data to find out why a particular student is falling behind, seeing exactly where the confusion lies. You can then assign that student a set of videos, lessons, and games that will help him or her grasp the concept. You can differentiate between students who have completed skill versus those who have mastered the skill.

Khan Academy has aligned their content to the Common Core for grades 6–8, and they are in the process of mapping lessons for the other grades. At a recent professional development seminar in Chicago, the facilitators mentioned that similar interface changes may be coming to their other subject areas in the near future.

If you’re considering blending your classroom, Khan may be what you’re looking for. Create a free login, then check out their Resources page for a walkthrough of how to get started.

You can also see testimonials from teachers who have used Khan Academy to support their blended classrooms.

Have you tried it? Do you love Khan or does it leave you cold? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Erin DyeErin Dye is a consultant for Green Light Professional Development with extensive experience creating digital materials for interactive whiteboards and iPads. She writes about IWBs and free online resources for teachers.

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