I recently read an article on EdSource titled Khan Academy launches ambitious math ‘challenge’. In California, Khan Academy the free instructional website, has launched a student math competition titled LearnStorm. The idea is to get students more involved and motivated to improve their math skills while preparing for the upcoming Common Core State Standards assessments. While this will assist students and teachers in preparing for the upcoming tests, the real goal of this competition is to determine how the ‘learning mindset’ of a student can motivate their willingness and ability to learn. Khan Academy has teamed up with PERTS (Project for Education Research That Scales) to develop the math problems and challenges for the students. Khan Academy believes that we can improve student’s learning capacity and motivation by improving their own mindset of their capabilities. The ultimate goal of this project is to “help every student appreciate that they really can learn anything.”
I think this is an excellent example of how incorporating technology in education can improve the learning of students. Not only has Khan Academy discovered a platform that interests students, it has also developed ways to increase their motivation and mindset. Teaching not only involves providing information to students, it involves finding ways to increase the motivation and learning capacity of those students.