If school is canceled and you stay at home with the children, you can still help them learn valuable lessons, even if you are not an expert.
As parents, teachers, and students have adapted to the virtual classroom, many have relied on applications and technologies to help bridge learning gaps.
Among them was the popular Khan Academy, founded by Sal Khan in 2005 to provide videos and tools to help students learn math, science and more subjects.
In an interview with the United States TODAY, Hahn, the company’s chief executive, said he first learned about the closure of schools due to the pandemic in February after receiving letters from South Korea to teachers using the Hahn Academy. In the following months, schools began to close in the United States in favor of virtual learning.
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“When it became clear that school closures could happen, we started making a small room for war. OK, we need to provide more support for teachers, for parents,” Hahn said. “We need to put more structures on how you can use not only Khan Academy, but other resources to structure a day that may be close to home school or quarantine education or whatever you might want to call it.”
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Khan said that before COVID-19, the site averaged 30 million school minutes per school. In the middle of the spring, Khan Academy spent 90 million minutes.
Last week, the Amgen Foundation awarded the Han Academy a $ 3 million grant to support initiatives, including virtual biology lessons and collaboration with LabXchange, an online science learning platform.
Today, the United States spoke with Khan about what to expect this fall and how parents can cope.
Question: Where do you see applications like Khan Academy fit into the changing school curriculum?
Can:We call ourselves a strategic supplement. This is an ambiguous term. What does this mean?
Pre-COVID, you have this idea of a basic curriculum. When you and I went to school, it was usually a combination of a textbook, a teacher’s guide, and maybe some lecture notes or step-by-step guides that the teacher or area developed. There are now some clearer core curricula that have lessons every day that teachers can work on.
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No matter which curriculum you watch, whether it is text or some of the more modern ones, they are good at prescribing daily lesson plans. Where they lack – and this is before COVID – is it not good to provide a sufficient amount of internship to students, especially internships where they receive immediate feedback. They do not have to provide support where teachers can know in real time what students are doing, what they know, what they do not know.
And the traditional core curricula are really weak in how to deal with the problem each student has gaps coming in the school year. You give them a synchronous lesson every day.
But what if the children are not ready for this lesson, or what if some children are ready to move on? How do you do this differentiation and this personalization? So this practice, this feedback, monitoring teachers’ progress and this personalization, mastering learning, these were the areas in which Han Academy saw its role in the classroom, where we could add value as a strategic addition.
Now that you’ve entered the world of COVID, something really interesting is happening, because this traditional curriculum you’ve been anchored in doesn’t really work the same way. Most traditional curricula are based on what you have – just imagine a math classroom, five 55-minute sessions a week, and then go solve problems on your own. Now, at best, you will receive two to three Zoom sessions per week, much more needs to happen remotely, distance learning using some form of online tool.
We see ourselves continuing to be the strategic addition to this practice, feedback, monitoring teacher progress and space for personalization, but we imagine – and we saw this in the spring – that people will lean so much harder on because you can’t get so much synchronous time together in this world. It’s the same idea, but I think the value of these online tools is much more important right now.
Question What are the new features or suggestions you hope to introduce this fall
Can: There, prepare for class-level courses. This is not only a way to find out if the children are ready, but it is also a way out to help them prepare and prepare for a class level or even if you move to a level at the same time to fill in any gaps that could accumulate even before COVID, but especially during the COVID period.
On top of that, we create curricula and weekly schedules just to give teachers and parents a perspective on what at least a basic level of distance learning might look like. The reality is that most areas just walk out of the room with epidemiologists to understand what is possible even physically, and they haven’t really had a chance to think about what the curriculum looks like in this world. How do we learn, what are our learning goals, how do we actually do it?
So we have a role, even beyond whatever tools we offer, to give people a clear perspective on what this training might look like in this vein.
We are working with McKinsey & Company – we will publish it in two weeks – a report that looks at what are the best practices from the spring during distance learning, what does not work in the future, what are the best practices, what is the notebook, how the district or school can assess its readiness for hybrid or distance learning. We will also continue to provide much more support and training for teachers and parents to help as many people as possible go through this period.
Question: What advice do you have for parents helping their children find their way in a virtual school?
Can:My advice is, first, take a deep breath. Don’t even expect to repeat the whole school. This is simply not practical. Nobody gets that. So even if you look at your relatives and think they’re getting an amazing hybrid experience, it’s probably not as amazing as you might think.
But I would say that the other thing is to focus on these basics. There are two scenarios. There is a scenario in which the school supports the family quite well. The main role of the parent is to be engaged in what the school tells you, make sure you can form habits and patterns with your child, look at the calendar together so that the child appears and is engaged in any activities. which the teacher wants them to do.
There is another scenario – and, unfortunately, I think this can be quite common – there families do not get the support they need and have to deal with it on their own. That’s where I’d say he focuses on the basics. Depending on the child’s age, math, reading and writing, if they can get at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, they will not atrophy and they will make progress.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23.
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