Monday, April 20, 2015

Khan Academy in the Classroom

            Khan Academy was implemented by nine study sites (20 schools) and a research brief was done on three of these nine sites. Khan Academy is a website which includes instructional videos on math, economics, history, and art. The teachers at the study sites used Khan Academy to review material and work through the problem sets on the Khan Academy website. Some of the teachers use Khan Academy for a reversed classroom setting, where the students learn the concepts at hoe work through the problems themselves and come to class with questions. The students said that using Khan Academy helped get immediate feedback, filled in gaps of past instruction, the students started holding themselves accountable for their performance, and allowed teachers to spend more time assisting individual students. At one of the sites, during the first year of the study students were spending about 22% of their instructional time on the Khan Academy activities, but during the second year it went down to 10%. The schools at this site changed the setup of their math instruction where it is all self-paced, self-directed approach so the use of Khan Academy was at the discretion of the students. Though, with students using it for their purposes they found it was being used in a more personalized way. The benefits of this style of teaching listed above also come with some negatives. Teachers at these sites noticed there was a lack of alignment between the content to grade-level curriculum which made it difficult to utilize in the classroom. This negative also made it hard to organize the content, because there was no clearly mapped grade-level content. 

            We talked about having a flipped classroom in our Technology for Mathematics class. Overall, our class agreed that using a flipped classroom is extremely beneficial to students, but having personalized videos would be the way to go. Using websites such as Khan Academy to direct the learning of students makes it seem as though the teacher isn’t the one with the knowledge of the content, but the video is. It takes a lot of the respect away from the teacher.