- A new pilot program from Khan Academy and the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) will link students’ results from the NWEA’s MAP Growth Assessments to Khan Academy materials to help students strengthen specific skills the tests indicate that they may be lacking, according to Education Week. The pilot is starting in four school districts — one in Nevada and three in California.
- Students will use the materials for 30 minutes a week — the time the partners recommend it takes to move the needle in a student’s skill development.
- Educators will be allowed to decide which lessons are, in the end, assigned to students, and teachers will receive support on how put the new resources to use.
Supporting students' learning requires identifying skills students lack or where their knowledge could be stronger and then building personalized learning goals and resources to help them move forward. Individual lesson plans, within the curriculum framework that districts have laid out, can help.
Time-constraints, however, make it hard for teachers to tailor lessons to each student's needs — in addition to developing lessons for the whole class and grading work — and can add to stress and frustration.
Online and web-based tools can take some of this work off teachers and recommend materials that match a child’s individual academic needs. These can take the form of online lessons, which if used during class, gain the added benefit of a teacher being present. The new pilot from Khan Academy and NWEA takes advantage of online resources as well, handling some of the prep work for teachers, while also allowing them to supplement the resources.
But educators may also want to consider handing some control back to students, allowing them to direct some of their own learning needs through online platforms. One method is using personal goal-setting, where students identify, with teachers, where they need to go next to strengthen their academic abilities. Empowering children in this way gives them some ownership over their own learning, pride in their success and may also help students develop critical thinking skills along the way.