Education Expansion: Khan Academy Furthers Learning Outside of the Classroom


Since its release in 2007, Khan Academy has become a technological education superpower. Students all over the world use it, and it is just as relevant at the Ann Richards School. Teachers here use Khan Academy to assign lectures and notes outside of class, and students use the site for review, class work or SAT Prep. 

“I use it a lot in Algebra 2, in Mr. Marino’s class,” Grace Slagle (10) said. “I think it’s really helpful, not only does it serve as good review, but it expands on the ideas you’ve already learned. Obviously it helps you learn the skill, because you’re doing it over and over again.”

Teachers began using Khan in the classroom recently to help get lectures across at home in a more diverse method, with a combination of articles and videos. 

“I knew a little bit about Khan, and I started using it at the end of last year,” AP United States History teacher Tami Thakar said. “The feedback was really positive, they [the students] really appreciated how succinct it was and they really loved the lectures.” 

As technology keeps growing and changing, so does the way teachers are able to reach their students. Teachers can use Khan to assign a set of lectures and videos, with quizzes to test students’ knowledge. This way, the learning happens more at home, and students can come into class with questions, ready to work with one another. 

Kate Hall (11) studies for Advanced Placement United States History on Khan Academy using her Chromebook. Photo by Camille Pfister.

“We’re trying to stay ahead of the 21st century,” Thakrar said. “We all have Chromebooks and the fact that we’re one to one has really opened up the possibilities of what education can look like. We can use our time together in more meaningful ways, so students are doing more thinking and working together, rather than the traditional teacher giving the information. We can do that at home, now.” 

Khan Academy has many different options for students, so they can can personalize it for their own purposes. For example, students can sign up for SAT Prep and set up their own schedule for working on problems geared towards the SAT. Students can also connect the Khan lesson page to their College Board account and Khan will personalize the type of problems you receive based on where you need the most growth. 

“I really like that it’s connected to our College Board accounts,” Sabine Jimenez-Williams (11) said. “It tells you specifically what you missed on the last PSAT, so you know what you need to study and you’re not wasting time on something you already know.” 

Khan can also provide additional review to a teachers lesson or subject if something from class needs further explanation. Khan’s videos and articles can put the material in a different format that the student understands better. 

“It is a very valuable resource,” Slagle said. “Teachers are teachers, and they’re amazing, but they can’t do every single thing that a student might need. I think it provides a really nice bonus to the class to be able to review material or maybe learn a different way that the teacher doesn’t teach.” 

Overall, Khan Academy is all about taking the lessons and adapting it to what one specific student needs. At Ann Richards, personalization has become a huge focus, and Khan simply facilitates more of that. It allows teachers to get to know their students and for students to get to know themselves, and how they can better their personal education.

“There is so much data I’m getting, so I can personalize the instruction better,” Thakrar said. “I want to get better at personalizing the curriculum, so that we’re working together, but each student is getting out of the classroom something different.”