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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trouble with MATH? Welcome to the KHAN ACADEMY!

     Being the "math whiz" that I am,  I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I discovered the KHAN ACADEMY,  a FREE,  online math site developed by Sal Khan. What began as a long distance effort to help his cousin using a few little algebra videos, has become a world-wide sensation.  Sal's site now houses over 2,100 videos and hundreds of self-paced exercises (not just in math, but he also has some science, history, and other things as well. However, since I have other curriculum I highly recommend in those other subject areas, I will restrict my Pick of the Week to Sal's math achievements.) Thousands of people all over the world log on every day to learn everything from 2+2 to Trigonometry.  Many claim Sal is their favorite teacher, including Bill Gates!
     Anyone can utilize the Khan Academy site.  As a visitor, you can search for the area in which you are having difficulty and view a helpful video, or you can log onto the site (either through a Facebook or Google account) and establish your own account.
     This second option provides many advantages, one of which is TRACKING!  Once you have an established account, parents (and students) can check progress at any time and see how many minutes were spent on each exercise, what exercises were accomplished, what videos were viewed and for how long, and what awards were achieved! You can also check your outer-space themed chart to see what things you can choose to work on next (no one is allowed to work out of his/her skill area.)
     One of the features of the program is that EVERYONE who has an established account MUST begin at 2 + 2.  While this might be discouraging for some of the older students, there are advantages to simple beginnings.  Review is always great and success adds confidence!  If there DOES happen to be an element that was missed in instruction, this is a great way to catch it.  The ladder of success can be quickly climbed by achieving a string of correct answers.  Most students see it as very much like a game and have a lot of fun whizzing through the easy parts.
     Once the equations become more of a challenge, you know your student is at his/ her level of learning. Sal has incorporated a "HINT" button. If a student becomes stuck, hitting the button reveals the next part of the solution.  If they are still confused, they can hit the video button and let Sal help them with a series of colorful and enlightening demonstrations.
     Reviews are sometimes required of the students before they are allowed to proceed to the next level. But the beauty of this is that EACH student progresses at his/ her own level after achieving proficiency skill by skill. That means your first grader can use this program as effectively as your high schooler (although, I would still get out those manipulatives with my first grader!)
     As you can see, I am really excited about this! If you are one of those who could use a little help teaching math, like me, take a few minutes and view these links. Soon, you will be telling your students, "Welcome to the Khan Academy!"


YouTube overview (site is updated since this was made but it still gives you a good overview):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uUZXj8ugCM


This is a peek at the types of tracking pages you will have available to you:

http://www.khanacademy.org/login?continue=http%3A//www.khanacademy.org/profile

Official Website: KhanAcademy.Org


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Blessings!

Carleen Galiardo

Homeschooling Mom
Certified Educational Evaluator
www.EvaluationStation.Org
EvaluationStation.blogspot.com

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this article. Bye the way, I love Khan Academy because the math videos are absolutely amazing. I read it on another blog that 90% of the videos are taken in a single shot. Just imagine, how much hard work these guys are putting in.
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