Online Resource and App: Khan Academy

Is your student working on gaining math skills? Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org, is a favorite online resource and free app for students and tutors.

The story of Khan Academy is inspiring. Salman Khan started tutoring his cousin Nadia in math by developing simple YouTube videos. As other friends and relatives became interested in his videos, Khan saw the power of this approach: his math students could watch a video as many times as needed to understand a new concept; they could watch previous videos to review a concept; they could skip ahead at their own pace as they mastered the material.

MIT and Harvard educated, Khan left his position as a hedge fund analyst in 2009, working full-time to develop Khan Academy. With the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and many others, Khan Academy continues to grow. The site is used in primary, secondary and college classrooms internationally, and DVDs of his videos are used to teach in isolated areas of Asia and Africa.

Take a look! For students, each video teaches one concept in a way that’s familiar and straightforward. Practice problems are provided, complete with hints that step students toward the solutions. Khan suggests a student answer three questions in a row correctly before moving on. For tutors, the videos model math instruction and there are coach resources. There’s also a Knowledge Map that shows what material a student needs to master before learning new concepts—especially helpful for students who may have gaps in their math learning.

Here’s a brief handout to help you and your student get started.

Interested in Salman Khan? Watch his TED talk to learn more. Do you have experience using Khan Academy with you student? Send an janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (email) and share your story!

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