YES YOU KHAN
How to introduce Khan Academy in more classrooms
Khan Academy is a free online database of lessons on a variety of school subjects, board examinations, and life skills. Famously known for its videos, Khan Academy’s mission is to provide free world class education to anyone anywhere. This project was an examination on how to introduce and onboard teachers, students, and parents to the Khan Academy platform.
As a starting point I considered what questions I had about the platform and explored the current experience and made a mind map. To get understand the site further, I reached out and interviewed a Design Manager at Khan Academy.
After acquiring in-depth knowledge about Khan Academy through primary and secondary research, I wanted to understand what the complexity around implementing Khan Academy into a classroom setting might be. I conducted a survey and interviewed a diverse group of teachers. They ranged in location from different states in the US, private and public schools, different grade levels, and had a variety of experience with the site.
The concerns were all very similar across all teachers. Many of them were related to the validity of Khan Academy’s promises.
Now that I understood the key participants, how the system worked, and the questions everyone had, I was able to organize my approach into three categories based on the concerns of teachers and students.
1. The Khan Kit
Point of Intervention: Awareness
Target audience: Teachers and Students
The Khan Kit is a physical kit geared towards teachers and younger students. Inside there is a quick start guide answering the major questions teachers might have, swag to get students excited, and information for parents. It is coupled with a hyperlinked individualized email for teachers to get them started on the process.
Drawbacks: It is an introduction to Khan Academy and does not provide in-depth help without teacher commitment.
2. The Khan Community
Point of Intervention: Access
Target audience: Students
In the essence it takes a village, the Khan Community is a pooling of resources to help students have access and achieve success. While many teachers have experience, they may not have all the resources available in the classroom. Khan Community is a complimentary app and website to the main platform geared to high school and above aged students. It connects local professionals, parents, and companies to partner with students to provide them with support.
Through the app, students can find local places with internet and screen access, connect to study groups, and live tutors willing to help. Students can have a variety of coaches and mentors to help them.
Many libraries have internet access and communal computers; however, they are usually occupied. With this app, you would know if there is a computer available or not.
Major companies, like Microsoft, Best Buy, and major phone line carriers all have retail locations that have computers or tablets on display with internet access or dedicated learning centers. They can donate time and access to these devices to students using Khan Community as well.
Student can also use Khan Community to join virtual study groups or connect to a live tutor in a virtual space. Experts, teachers, parents can all donate time to help answer questions in real time within the virtual classroom.
3. The Khanannoisseur Khanvention
Point of Intervention: Engagement
Target audience: Parents
The Khanannoisseur Khanvention is a voluntary live event teaching expo. Taking on the style of a Khan tutorial video, students and parents are asked to prepare a short live presentation to teach the audience something. It does not have to be a school-based topic, but it is something that at least one member of the audience should be able to master by the end of the presentation. The idea behind this that live presentations are engaging and by preparing, students and parents can explore Khan Academy to experience the format and layout of the teaching techniques. The event can be a few hours with a variety of presentations. The intentions it that the presentation includes a lecture part as well as a hands-on activity and does not exceed more than 15 minutes.
Presenters can discuss any hobby or passion such as knitting, jump roping, coding, or magic. They can discuss the history, the technique, or tell a story and couple it with one activity that the audience can participate in. This way not only can students and parents learn about Khan, they can practice public speaking skills, learn about their community, and be exposed to a new skill.