Idaho teachers experience online Khan Academy

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by Scott Evans

NWCN.com

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 7:32 PM

BOISE -- Hundreds of teachers gathered in Boise Thursday to get a better idea about popular online Khan Academy and how the tool could possibly help in their classrooms.

In May, Sal Khan, the creator of Khan Academy came to Idaho as part of the KTVB sponsored Ed Sessions. With such a good response from teachers, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation brought the Khan Academy back to Idaho to enhance its vision of limitless learning.

Armed with laptops and tablets, 250 teachers from throughout Idaho gathered to participate in an online lecture on the academy Thursday. They'll do so on Friday as well.

"We're hoping that it could be a deeper experience for them in the classroom after this, they can go do more Khan Academy stuff and provide personal instruction to students," said Sundar Subbarayan with the Khan Academy.

Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the goal of improving education by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.

Matthew Werner is a high school math teacher at Lake City High School in Coeur d'Alene. Werner says he likes the idea of using Khan Academy in the classroom.

"If the student can progress at their own pace, then they're more invested in their own learning and they take ownership of it," said Werner.

Byron Stutzman is the Superintendent of the Buhl School District. He says he came to see and understand what teachers in his districts already know.

"This is one of those tools a teacher has that they can use to adapt their students' learning and really facilitate their learning," said Stutzman.

Throughout the day, employees with Khan Academy showed teachers how the two can work together.

"A teacher makes Khan Academy even more powerful for the classroom," Subbaryaan said. "A teacher is an invaluable portion of a Khan Academy classroom."

That's what these teachers are hoping for as they spend this time away from school as students.

Jamie Macmillan is the executive director of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson fund.

"What will be exciting is what teachers take away from this, and what they do with it," said Macmillan. "What we're really about is increased student achievement, and I can't wait to see how this impacts students."

For more information on Khan Academy click here.

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