While wondering around the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2015 I came across the project titled “MATHletes: Male vs Female, primary v secondary”. This project investigated which gender and which school level either primary or secondary, is more engaged in MATHletes used through Khan Academy.
Up to this point I had heard about MATHletes and Khan Academy, but never really went and researched it. This project sparked me into action and I went about checking out how I could be involved in MATHletes and Khan Academy.
To get involved in MATHletes you first have to sign your pupils up to Khan Academy. Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. The maths missions go from kindergarten right up to secondary school maths. A parent needs to sign up first and then sign their child up as well. The challenges in Khan Academy can be adjusted for each pupil so that can they learn at their own pace. Each child gains points for practising and mastering different maths skills. Pupils are rewarded with points for watching videos on how to undertake subtraction sums or how to calculate the area of a shape. It rewards pupils for their effort instantly, which I think is fantastic.
One of the main attractions for me is that parents must sign up the pupils and therefore, become involved in the learning of math with their children. Also, pupils can learn about topics which they find difficult at home in their own time and Khan Academy can be used from primary right up to fifth year in secondary school. It really seems to be a fantasic resource for the pupils. As it says on the Khan Academy site YOU CAN LEARN ANYTHING.
At the moment we are concentrating on getting everyone up and running on Khan Academy and ensuring everyone is getting points and they are gaining confidence in completing different mathematical tasks. Pupils have reported that difficulties can arise in using Khan Academy depending on the tablet they are using and the quality of their broadband. I’m striving to overcome these problems, by allowing these pupils to get time on Khan Academy in school every day.
After three weeks I’ve 100% of the two fourth classes signed up and competing against each other on how fantastic they are at MATHS! I’ve pupils meeting me at 8:45 am telling me that they have spent 20minutes on Khan Academy before they’ve come to school! It’s early days, but I’m hoping that Khan Academy will be something that I will develop throughout each class in the school and get parents involved.
Next up is signing everyone up to MATHletes.