It’s back to school time and that means you are either thrilled to be getting back into a routine or you are devastated that Summer is already over. Either way, I recently discovered an app that can make everyone happy – parents included. If you’re like me, dreading to re-learn math when my daughter starts kindergarten next year via Common Core, or if you would just like to brush up on your art history, biology or computer animation, Khan Academy is a free educational tool for everyone.
There are several different educational tools, software and applications. What makes Khan Academy stand out from the rest? Besides it being free, forever, it is also ad free, subscription free, and has the easiest sign up I’ve ever experienced. Let’s take a look at what else makes this app stand out from the other educational tools.
Free Education for Everyone
When Khan Academy launched in 2005, founder Salman Khan wanted to provide “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” Khan Academy has partnered with NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content. Subjects range from science, math, computer programming, history, art, economics and more. With practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard can encourages learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.
For Students: Students can create an account and connect with their classmates. Some teachers create a “virtual class” where students join and use the materials available online to assist in what is being taught in the classroom. These materials include video tutorials, articles, programs, and exercises. For students under the age of 13-years old, teachers can create accounts for them with permission from their parents.
For Parents, Mentors, and Coaches: Besides using Khan Academy to homeschool your child, there are several good use cases for parents and mentors to follow their child’s progress in this virtual classroom. You can actually see your student’s experience by walking through it yourself or with them. When your child masters certain lessons or skills, they receive badges. Celebrate with them and encourage them when they need a little extra support. Learn with them. This is key for all of those parents who are learning math all over again by Common Core methodology. You can also use Khan Academy to reinforce what is being learned at school, to help with homework, or just as a fun family activity.
For Preschool-Aged Children: Last year, Duck Duck Moose, the leader in learning apps for kids from ages 2-12 years old, joined Khan Academy. These free apps include Moose Math, Duck Duck Moose Reading, Comic Maker, Draw and Tell, Musical Me!, Word Wagon, and other nursery rhymes. All of the apps are available on iTunes and for Androids. Several of the apps have received awards.
For Continuing Education: When they say everyone, they mean everyone. We are all students, regardless if we are enrolled in school or college. Learn how to code, brush up on medieval history, or learn more about health and medicine (see photo to the right.)
Prepare for Standardized Tests
KA offers several different preparation plans for standardized tests such as SAT, MCAT, GMAT, IIT JEE, and the NCLEX-RN. There are practice tests, questions, and even some have video tutorials or tips on how to study for these exams. All practice tests and questions are from their respective official boards.