How we should use Khan Academy

Khan Academy is not going away.  So, how could we make use of Khan Academy?

1) As a textbook.  After students have had experiences and discussed ideas in class, I often gave students reading assignments out of textbooks (notice the reading comes AFTER the exploration of ideas).  Khan Academy could be useful in the same way.  After students have explored topics and put forth their own ideas and been guided by an expert teacher toward accurate conceptual understanding, then Khan Academy can fill in the gaps.

2) As a model for learning (hear me out on this one).  What Khan has done is taken upon himself to learn and then demonstrate that learning by attempting to teach others.  What Khan has done is exactly what we want students doing!  We don’t want students watching Khan’s videos, we want student creating such videos to demonstrate their understanding.  Or, consider having students create the textbook – that is, students decide what are the important ideas and what examples to use regarding your content area.

3) As example in Schools of Education.  I showed my preservice teachers videos from KA and from Veritiasium and asked them to compare them given what we know about how people learn and effective teaching.  All I’ll say is that I have very bright students who recognized important differences immediately!

4) As assessment for students.  After students have learned about X topic.  Have them watch Khan’s video on X.  Their assignment will be to identify the inaccuracies or important pieces missing from the ten minute summary of a topic they spent weeks coming to understand.

What other ways would you effectively use Khan Academy in the classroom?

PS: There is little reason to use Khan Academy as a “review tool”.   If you want students to have videos from which they can review, take 15 minutes at the end of your day and do it yourself – you know your students better than Khan, and you likely know your content better too.

This entry was posted in Assessment, Class Activities, Education Reform, Technology in the Classroom and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How we should use Khan Academy

  1. Brian says:

    Nicely down! You know I really like this– on several levels.


  2. David Coffey says:

    I’ve done the same thing [#3] – show two examples of think-alouds and then show a Khan video to preservice teachers. They immediately began thinking about the problems with each and how they could improve on them. Ultimately, they recognized the power of having the learners develop their own videos (a la @mathtrain) [#2]

    I hope we can continue to look for positive ways to move forward.

    “Nothing is either good or bad, thinking makes it so.” ~William Shakespeare


  3. Pak Liam says:

    I think we use khan academy as a model for how we could do it better, as ultimately the students will respond best to their own teacher. If a teacher can take the time to record their own explanations, often after they have explored some concepts with the class already, then the teachers personalised explanation will be far more effective.


    • jerridkruse says:

      I agree and have actually done things like that. The key is that these recorded explanations become available AFTER students have mentally wrestled with the ideas. Otherwise they simply become sources to find info rather than digest info.


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  5. Pingback: All hail Khan! | Annotary

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