Thursday, March 14, 2013

Garden Valley School Receives Grant for Innovative Learning

   The Albertson Foundation and Khan Academy have teamed up to announce the first ever, state-wide launch of Khan Academy’s online learning platform. Forty-seven schools and districts across Idaho will become Khan Academy schools using a “flipped learning” method, where students use video instruction as homework to learn new lessons and use class time for one-on-one instruction. 
  The Albertson Foundation is granting nearly $1.5 million to the schools to allow for proper equipment, professional development, training and technical support.
  The entire Garden Valley school district is one of the grant winners. The grant council was impressed by how the rural schools have embraced technology and worked hard to have a successful school. 
  Khan Academy founder and executive director Sal Khan, says, “The educators who have received these grants were carefully selected because they had a vision of meeting every student's needs with a personalized learning experience.”
  After sorting through more than seventy-five different traditional, private, enrichment programs and charter school applications, an independent review committee identified schools and programs that demonstrated a motivation for innovation and a passion to implement the Khan Academy’s personalized learning experiences for all students.
    Khan Academy is a not-for-profit educational organization started by Khan in 2008. The organization’s mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy’s online materials cover subjects ranging from math and finance to history and art.  
  “In Idaho, we hope to see educators using Khan Academy to individualize their instruction,” said Khan. “Instead of a one-size-fits-all lesson, teachers will be able to focus their attention on specific students who are struggling while the rest of the class engages with material appropriate for them.”
  Last October, the Foundation sponsored a two-day Khan Academy workshop for Idaho teachers in Boise, drawing more than two-hundred educators from across the state. After the successful workshop, usage on Khan Academy increased by more than 70 percent in the state of Idaho. Due to the success of the workshop, the Foundation and Khan Academy agreed to partner on the pilot.
  Bob Powell, Garden Valley Middle School Science teacher and Math/Athletic Director, attended the two-day workshop and says, “I have been using Khan Academy since then. I applied for the grant, and we have received $33, 320 for equipment—I think we’re going to purchase iPad 2s for the 4th and 5th grade Middle School students. We’ll be using Khan to implement the Common Core Standards, to supplement what we’re already doing.”
  “In our latest visits to Idaho, we already started to hear success stories,” says Sal Khan.  “But we're also excited about the stories we haven't heard yet--especially stories from rural and frontier regions where we haven't been able to visit.  There's a tremendous amount of possibility in these regions, where resources have historically been strained.”
   Khan Academy is the world leader in online education, especially in the area of math. Bob Powell says, “It’s a great tool. I can monitor my students for their weaknesses—this gives them the opportunity to work a problem out. It has a touch screen—if they don’t understand, they get a hint or Sal will explain on a video. I even encouraged my parents to start looking at it for remedial purposes.”  
 Idaho has the students, the schools and the determination to succeed in showing the nation how to innovate within our public education system,” explains Jamie MacMillan, executive director of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. “Khan Academy is a demonstration of the learning revolution in Idaho.”

1 comment:

  1. Yet again, our teachers abdicate their roles to technology. Pitiful!