Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How Fifth Graders Learn with Khan Academy

As you may know, I've been using Khan Academy to assist my own learning and the learning of my students for quite some time. The more I use it and observe students using the platform, the more I'm able to coach students with apt use.

Typically students use Khan Academy for home practice. In most cases it's better than paper/pencil practice for the following reasons:
  • Immediate, targeted feedback
  • Scaffolded learning opportunities.
  • Available teaching videos and hints.
  • Multi-modal learning with video, models, words, and numbers.
  • Data collection that easily shows students, family members, and teachers students' minutes and progress.
Students best use Khan Academy with some teaching and coaching. The following actions assist student learning.
  • Target students' practice with topics that match classroom learning and goals.
  • Assign a specific number of minutes for practice during a week's time.
  • Show students how to access close captioning and zoom features.
  • Make sure that students have good quality headphones available. 
  • Encourage students to take notes during the videos pausing now and then to write down key words, try out problems, and scribe other information. Writing it down helps to imprint those ideas.
  • Encourage students to write down questions or ask questions when they don't understand.
  • Make the time to sit with a child while he/she uses Khan now and then to observe and coach strategy. 
  • Share students' data with them, and show them how to use the data to forward their own learning.
In the old days, learning at home was as good as the books in your house, older siblings' support, parent help, the at-school lesson, and the assignment page(s). Today programs like Khan fill in the gaps that once existed for at-home practice and study. This gives a diversity of students a chance to learn more.

How do you use tools like Khan Academy with your students? How do you coach them so that they use online platforms in ways that boost their concept, skill, and knowledge levels? 

I'm so happy to teach in a time when we have tremendous tools like Khan Academy to assist the work we do in schools.

Khan Academy was listed in this post