Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


May 23, 2013

Revolutionary online educator captures Andover

Local educators applaud Khan method


He is hopeful that the current crop of lessons on the site, devoted mostly to math and science, can be expanded with help from local educators.

“They will be looking at where we have gaps and need more coverage so we can fulfill that world promise,” Khan said. “There’s no way our small team can create all the content. If we want to do history, literature and who knows what else, we need more content.”

John Palfrey, head of school at Phillips, said the teachers will be part of a history-making enterprise.

“This is a hugely transformative moment in education,” said Palfrey, an advocate of using technology to advance education. Khan, Palfrey said, is “doing something that’s extremely interesting at a key moment in history.”

“At Phillips, we have 1,100 kids and we are educating them in an intensive, high-touch way,” he said. “Khan has 34 staff people and 6 million users a month. His problems have had 1 billion views. There is a potential match between education the way we do it and a newfangled, broad-reach way that Khan does it.”

Andover High School Principal Chris Lord said Khan offers a “world-class education for anybody anywhere in the world.”

Locally, however, teachers are using it as a supplement for students struggling with certain subjects.

“They may give homework, which is to watch the video,” Lord said. “Some teachers are making their own videos like Sal did.”

A few teachers at Andover are experimenting with what’s known as the “flipped classroom,” in which teachers make videos that include the lesson for the day. Students watch the videos at home, and when they get into class, they work on problems that in the past they may have worked on alone at home.

“They get into groups and work on the problems they learned about,” Lord said. “Homework is done in class, with teachers helping them. It’s like our own Khan Academy with an Andover High School twist to it.”

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