My first day with Khan AcademyThere is a lot of talk in the education world about a "flipped classroom," where a student goes home and watches video lessons for his or her homework, then the next day they work on the assignment they traditionally would have done as homework with the teacher acting more as coach. Now, that is a very simple explanation of a very complex process.
At the center of this discussion is a man named, Salman Khan, who is the founder of Khan Academy. You can find out more about him by watching his speech at TED Talks and by checking out his website.
I'm not saying he has all the answers, but I decided I wanted to try this in my remediation classes the last few weeks of school. So, I introduced The Khan Academy to my students today. I showed them how to sign up, add me as their coach, start lessons, watch videos, get hints, and earn badges for their progress. My first two remediation classes have access to the computer lab. We went down, signed up and I let them explore a little bit. It took them a while to get going, but they appeared to be genuinely excited about it.
This brings me to my last period of the day. This class does not have access to the computer lab. I only have 5 computers in my classrooms. I told them how I would break them up into groups and they would probably only get one day a week on Khan Academy during class, but they could always get on at home if they wanted. I let one student demonstrate on the Promethean Board how to use Khan Academy. I gave them all the information I had given my other classes, but we didn't get to the lab.
After I put my sons to bed I signed into my account on Khan Academy and was just playing around. Then, I noticed something. One of my 9th period students had gone home, created an account, added me as his coach, and worked on 15 different lessons! He did this, not because I gave it to him as homework, but completely on his own!
I can not wait to talk to this young man tomorrow, who also happens to be ELL, and find out what he thought about doing these lessons at home. Like I said, I do not think that the flipped classroom holds all the answers to everything that needs fixed in education, but I am anxious to see how these last 33 days of school are going to go with my students using Khan Academy!