Thursday, 26 April 2012

Sal Khan speaking at NSBA

I had the pleasure of hearing Sal Khan speak at the NSBA conference this past weekend. As you know already - I'm a BIG fan of the man that created Khan Academy!

What surprised me most about hearing Sal is that he has a great sense of humour and the time flew by when he spoke.

I was also reminded that many great ideas happen by accident - he was assisting his cousin long distance on learning math and created the shell for Khan Academy - and that people are willing to take risks to make good things happen - he quit his job to pursue this dream.

Sal made some poignant points which demonstrate why Khan Academy works
1) In Mathematics - if you miss a point, you are more and more lost in the subject as our curriculum builds year after year - so Khan Academy helps as you can go back to the basics and pick up the skills you might have missed or need stregthened.
2) Not all kids learn at the same pace or level so having tools that allow kids to work at their pace allows them to catch up in time with the expected norms.
3) Some kids lose their way by having 9 weeks off every summer - having the Khan Academy available allows them to maintain their skills
4) Some kids learn differently - having different resources helps different kids in different ways.

The good part is that Khan Academy now has some results that show that they are making a difference with all kids - which means this is a tool that every teacher and parent should know about.