Khan Academy for ELT: Part 2

As promised, I am back this week to outline what you can do with Khan Academy’s free account. For more information on why you might be interested in using Khan Academy, check out my last post.

As I mentioned before, it appears that you can share the content of Khan Academy with your students without having an account. However, if you want to have access to more features, then you may as well sign up. Click “Teachers, start here” to sign up or login using either a Facebook or Google account. That is all there is to it and now you have all sorts of tools at your fingertips.

Along the top of the screen, there are a number of tabs to choose from. The Dashboard tab gives you information about all your classes at a glance. It also has links in the sidebar on the left to help you find content, become a better coach (by which I assume they mean teacher, administrator, parent, mentor, facilitator, supporter, etc.), and learn more about Khan Academy through a blog. The Manage Students tab is where you add your students to your virtual class. As with many sites, you have to do this in order to track them, and, with Khan Academy, you can do this via email invitations or by creating accounts.

Once students are added, the Student Progress, Skill Progress, Grid, and Activity tabs all provide useful bits of information to inform your teaching. These tabs can aid you in identifying what students’ strengths and weaknesses are individually, as a class, or all together, and each tab has a number of drop down menus with options to choose from. You can also view when students are accessing information which may give you some insight into their schedules or routines outside the classroom. Do you have a student that always appears to be tired in class? Maybe he or she is doing homework late at night. Knowing that could spark a discussion with the student or the students’ parents.

Finally, the Real Time tab allows you to track whole class energy points, which can be roughly translated as progress through content or effort, during a particular time period. During time in a computer lab, for example, you could open the Real Time tab and set goals related to either the total number of points accumulated during the class period or the average points per minute. While these points are not entirely scientific and students may find ways to skew the numbers, when average points per minute dip, it might be time to switch activities.

If you get lost or confused at any point while working with the Khan Academy site, just click your name in the upper right and select “Help” from the drop-down menu. The Help Center is there to get you through. Other options for assistance would be Googling your query, searching for video support on YouTube, or asking a fellow teacher who uses Khan Academy.

If you have not done so already, I hope that you will take the time to visit the website now and see what Khan Academy can do for you. After that, come back and leave a comment. I would be happy to hear your thoughts.

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master's degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.
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2 Responses to Khan Academy for ELT: Part 2

  1. Julie Caine says:

    I can’t tell you how much Khan Academy has helped me and my students. I constantly use this to help my advanced math students with those problems that are out of my reach. They learn, I learn, we all win!

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thank you for your comment, Julie! It’s great to hear from other educators that are successfully using resources like Khan Academy in their classrooms.

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