The Rise of the Tech-Powered Teacher
Best known for our collection of education videos, Khan Academy covers every subject from algebra to art history for grades K-12. A significant piece of Khan Academy, however, is the interactive exercises that allow students to practice math and get feedback at their own pace, while giving teachers data on student progress. Over the past few years, our team has had the privilege of working directly with some of the teachers who use Khan Academy with their students. As we talk with teachers and observe them in their classrooms, one theme becomes absolutely clear: More than anything, teachers want all of their students to reach their potential. Teachers have high expectations for their students, and they work hard to help them succeed. But teachers are in a tough position.
Each fall, students enter their classrooms with a range of abilities, motivation levels, and incoming knowledge. Each student has different needs. Some are ready for grade-level content, while others have not fully mastered the prerequisites. Still others have already learned the grade-level material and are ready to move on to more advanced concepts. Ideally, teachers would like to meet all those needs simultaneously, but it is only humanly possible for them to teach one lesson at a time. We've met teachers who have undertaken heroic efforts to meet each student's needs, including one teacher who creates five different homework assignments each night so students can work at their own levels. This is impressive but, without question, taxing.
There is no silver bullet, but we consistently find that when used appropriately, technology can enable teachers to lead differentiated and interactive classrooms. When teachers have real-time data and a clear understanding of every child's needs, they can use their precious classroom time more effectively and flexibly. When students are learning at a pace and level appropriate to their individual needs, they are less likely to...
This article is available to subscribers only.
To keep reading this article and more, subscribe now or start a 2-week FREE trial.
Access selected articles, e-newsletters and more!
- K-12 Teachers
- The International Educator, Multiple Locations
- Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago, IL
- Princeton Public School District, Princeton, NJ
- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
- Lake Forest School District 67 & 115, Lake Forest, IL