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Can we diversify the law school pipeline? Yes, we “Khan.”

qua, 2019-02-27 10:47

by Catherine Wang, vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships at Khan Academy, and Lily Knezevich, senior vice president for learning and assessment, LSAC 

Last June, the Law School Admission Council and Khan Academy unveiled an ambitious—maybe even audacious—joint venture to offer free online LSAT prep to prospective law school students. The goal was simple, but profound. We wanted to expand and diversify the pool of people who were considering a career in law and advocacy by making it easier and more affordable for people to prepare for the Law School Admission Test, the gold standard assessment that is a critical first step for virtually every candidate applying to law school.

We’re proud to announce new survey data that shows that African Americans, women, and economically disadvantaged students are among the heaviest users of Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep. The swift growth in people using this free resource has been just as encouraging. In less than a year since the launch, we are now seeing an average of 40,000 users of Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep per month.

Starting with the June LSAT, first-time test takers were asked whether they had used the new Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep to prepare for the exam. In June, just two months after the release of the beta version, we were pleasantly surprised and excited to see that nearly a quarter of the respondents said they had accessed the free Khan Academy Prep to study for their exam. By the July LSAT, the percentage was up to 32%. By September, it was up to 33%. And by the November LSAT, the most recent test for which we have data, 44% of respondents said they had used it.

And when we started digging into the numbers, we got even more excited. Based on the early data from the first four LSATs, the free, high-quality test preparation resources from Khan Academy and LSAC are seeing particularly high use among women and students from underrepresented minority groups.

Based on our survey(1) of candidates who took the LSAT for the first time in November 2018, we found the following:

- 52% of African American respondents reported they use our Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep to help prepare for the exam.

- 47% of Puerto Rican respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare. 

- 42% of Native American and Alaska Native respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare.  

- 41% of Hispanic respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare.

- 38% of Asian respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare.

- 46% of women respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare, compared to 41% of male respondents.

We hope this is the beginning of a new and exciting trend. One of our top goals is to expand and diversify the pipeline of candidates who can see themselves pursuing a career in law and advocacy. Providing the right tools and resources to attract more women and minority students to law school is a critical part of a broader effort to create a legal profession that truly reflects the full diversity of our society.

Based on responses to surveys of all first-time LSAT test takers between June and November 2018, students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds are recognizing the benefits and opportunity of our Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep. Students who rated their family income as “below average” or “far below average” compared to other members of their communities had the greatest proportion of test takers who prepared using the free LSAT prep.

Another huge issue we wanted to help address with free LSAT Prep was the burden of student debt, which affects so many young people today and can have a chilling effect on their educational and career choices. It’s hard to envision spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars for commercial test preparation services when you’re already saddled with huge student loan debt. So, we hoped that free, high-quality, individualized LSAT prep through Khan Academy in collaboration with LSAC could be a game changer for many students. So far, survey response data appears to support our hypothesis. In general, the survey responses indicate that the higher the level of student debt a candidate has, the more likely they are to use Khan. For example, for respondents who reported some undergraduate debt up to $39,999, about 37% of them reported preparing with our free Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep. For respondents who reported $40,000 or more in debt, the number was even higher—41% reported using it.

While the survey results reflect use of the free LSAT Prep among first-time LSAT test takers, prevalence among candidates taking the LSAT for the second or third time is somewhat lower, as we expected. Khan Academy LSAT Prep wasn’t available when many of those candidates started to study and prepare for the LSAT. But even among all LSAT test takers, we see a similar pattern of an increasing trend toward using Official LSAT Prep to prepare for the LSAT.

This has truly been a groundbreaking partnership. In less than a year, our investment in free, high-quality online LSAT prep resources and tools is helping thousands of students—particularly women, minority students, and economically disadvantaged students—get the practice and individualized help they need to demonstrate their full capabilities on the LSAT and pursue a career in law.

It’s amazing to realize that 40,000 students are using our free online LSAT Prep tools and resources every month. And we know that behind every number and every data point, there is a real person. It’s gratifying to know these tools and resources are expanding opportunity for all.

If you or someone you know is considering a career in law, please let them know about our free online Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep resources.  

(1) Based on the November Post-LSAT Questionnaire, which was completed by 7,450 first-time LSAT takers of the November 2018 LSAT, for a survey response rate of 38.2%.

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The app your Baby Shark will love

sex, 2019-02-08 10:50

Good news! Khan Academy Kids, our educational app for children ages two to six, is now available  for Android devices. You can find our apps at Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

With thousands of personalized, interactive activities—like counting with Baby Shark from Super Simple Songs—books, and educational videos, we think Khan Academy Kids is an app that parents will love and kids will love to use!

Khan Academy Kids takes a holistic approach to learning by tackling early literacy, language, and math while also encouraging creativity and social-emotional skills. We’ve been getting terrific feedback from parents and critics alike. Common Sense Media gave us a 5-star review, we received the Parents’ Choice Gold Award from Parents’ Choice Foundation, and we won an Editor’s Choice Award from Children’s Technology Review.

And, yes, the app is 100% free—no ads, no paywall, and no strings.

Find the Khan Academy Kids app in Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and iOS

You make all the difference

seg, 2018-12-17 14:11

It’s been quite a year at Khan Academy! From the launch of our Khan Kids app for little learners and LearnStorm growing to cover three countries—the United States, Brazil, and Mexico—to the introduction of our new mastery learning features, we have made important strides toward providing a free, world-class education to everyone, everywhere. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.

Your support enables millions of people from all around the world to access the educational resources they need to reach their full potential, but there are many more learners we need to reach.

      - 265 million children around the world lack access to school.

      - 617 million lack basic math and literacy skills.*

      - In the US, 60% of eighth grade students are not proficient in math.†

      - Fewer than half of low-income four-year-olds are enrolled in a high quality preschool.‡

We know that Khan Academy can transform classrooms and lives. When students use Khan Academy for at least 30 minutes a week they are two times more likely than their non-Khan Academy-using peers to meet grade-level standards in math.§ Data shows that using Khan Academy’s free Official SAT Prep for 20 hours is associated with an average score gain of 115 points.

A great education is life changing, and—since we’re a nonprofit—your donations make all the difference. With your support, we’re able to hire teachers, engineers, and designers, cover rent, and pay for tech that brings Khan Academy to learners worldwide. And, we get to keep Khan Academy free.

There’s still more work for us to do, and with your help we’ll get there. If you haven’t donated yet, please consider giving a little or a lot by visiting khanacademy.org/donate today.

From all of us—thank you!

*UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) 2016 report

†U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress 2017

‡“New Report Shows Greater Need for Access to High-Quality Preschool for America’s Children”, U.S. Department of Education

A successful 2018 Language Advocate convention

seg, 2018-11-05 11:43

We just wrapped up our third annual Language Advocate convention, where we were joined by 30 Language Advocates representing 20 languages—and a whopping 14 different alphabets!

Khan Academy staff and Language Advocates exchanged best practices on everything from marketing and  fundraising to effectively partnering with schools using Khan Academy in the classroom. Language Advocates also shared translation tips and tools with each other and presented to the entire Khan Academy staff about their efforts to make Khan Academy available around the world. Last but certainly not least, each Language Advocate brought a tasty treat from their home country so everyone could share in a delicious, international buffet.

Language Advocates work hard to make sure Khan Academy content isn’t just translated into different languages but made applicable to each country’s local context. For example, an English math problem about a game of baseball may turn into a problem about a game of soccer in Portuguese or cricket in Hindi. A major focus of the convention was the 2019 goal of creating fully localized curricula for many countries. Just as students and teachers in the United States can currently find AP courses on Khan Academy, students and teachers in other countries will be able to find courses that are aligned to their own national curricula.

Finally, Language Advocates met with Sal to discuss the future of Khan Academy, which led to both a great conversation and a fun livestream of the team.

Here’s to continuing to work together to making a free, world-class education available to everyone, everywhere, in every language!

Welcome, Language Advocates, to Khan Academy!

seg, 2018-10-29 10:27

This week we are thrilled to welcome 30 members of our Language Advocate team to Khan Academy headquarters in California! Language Advocates lead our effort to translate Khan Academy into dozens of different languages. They’re the key to making sure we can achieve the anywhere part of our mission to provide a free, world class education to anyone, anywhere.

Representatives of 20 languages* are here with us this week from all around the world. Together we’ll be exchanging best practices for translating and adapting Khan Academy content, strategizing about how to promote Khan Academy in other countries, and making plans for the upcoming year. Stay tuned for a recap after the week is done!

* Armenian հայերեն, Bangla বাংলা, Bulgarian български, Burmese မြန်မာ, Chinese (simplified) 简体中文, Czech čeština, French Français, Georgian ქართული, Greek Ελληνικά, Hindi हिंदी, Japanese 日本語, Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ, Pashto پښتو, Portuguese (Brazilian) Português brasileiro, Portuguese (European) Português europeu, Spanish español, Swedish Svenska, Tamil தமிழ், Thai ไทย, Turkish Türkçe 

(Note: Languages without a link are still in the early stages of preparing their sites, so keep an eye on the international blog to see when they become available!)

New civics series launches on Khan Academy

qui, 2018-10-25 12:40

We’re excited to announce a free, new series of Khan Academy civics and history videos featuring CBS This Morning cohost and US history enthusiast John Dickerson.

Watch the introduction to the series below:

You’ll hear little-known anecdotes from the early days of US history and discover unexpected stories about the founding principles of democracy as Sal and John have fun, casual conversations.  

We hope teachers and students alike will be inspired by these videos to start their own conversations about the importance of US history, government, and politics. The first five videos span topics ranging from what has changed since the days of the founding fathers to why learning about US history matters today.

As John puts it, “Our history is filled with great personalities and transformative struggles. The stories of our past can help all of us better understand what’s happening today.”

The series will appear alongside academic content in three courses on Khan Academy: US government and civics, AP® US Government and Politics, and US history. You can find all the videos here.

New videos will be added to the civics series on an ongoing basis, so stay tuned!  What topic would you like to see next? Let us know on Twitter @khanacademy.

School district reports test scores rise with mastery learning on Khan Academy

qui, 2018-09-06 07:44

We’re happy to share new research results for mastery learning on Khan Academy and a new video that shows how mastery learning works.

The Centennial School District in Warminster, Pennsylvania, reports that middle school students who spent at least 30 minutes per week doing mastery learning on Khan Academy had 33% higher growth on the NWEA MAP mathematics assessment than students who used Khan Academy for less than 15 minutes per week. Elementary school students had 19% higher growth.

Kudos to the kids at Centennial for all their hard work!

Mastery learning is an educational philosophy centered on self-paced learning. Unlike traditional learning, students in mastery-learning classrooms are not pushed ahead in lockstep, which can cause the accumulation of debilitating “Swiss-cheese” gaps in knowledge.

In mastery learning, students learn at their own pace. They progress through questions and quizzes at just the right level for them. They get feedback as they learn and help when they need it most. Teachers track student progress, identify gaps, and give students one-on-one attention to help them succeed.

Mastery learning is backed by decades of research. The noted researcher Benjamin Bloom first coined the term mastery learning in 1968 and published a seminal 1984 study that documented its promise. A 1994 analysis of nearly 300 studies on mastery learning found that mastery learning has a “positive effect on achievement at all levels and for all subjects and results in positive affective outcomes for students and teachers.”

Mastery lessons on Khan Academy are available for K–12 math, grammar, high school biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Physics 1, AP Statistics, AP Government and Politics, and AP Macroeconomics.

We’ll add new subjects with mastery throughout the school year. Onward!

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