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Educators around the country were plunged into a massive experiment with virtual learning last year, when more than 50 million K-12 students were sent home at the start of the pandemic. Many were soon knocking on the door of the father of online education, Sal Khan, looking for help. The founder and CEO of the nonprofit , which provides free educational resources to anyone who wants them, says he was impressed with the “heroic efforts” of numerous school districts to close the digital divide, by providing device and internet access for all who needed it. Now Khan hopes school leaders “are going to be thinking long-term” and will seize the moment to create what he considers much needed system-wide change.
- Knowledge and achievement gaps were significant pre-pandemic and , especially for . Khan points out that around 70% of all kids who go to community college need to take remedial math classes, and many four-year college students don’t fare much better either. Coming out of the pandemic, he believes it will be essential to re-engage with all students and focus on personalized learning and mastery of subjects.
- COVID relief money is and those that are prudent have an eye to the future, according to Khan with more than 200 districts. More teachers realize “that learning does not have to be as bound by time and space anymore,” and that there are ways to, “keep kids learning, even when they aren’t in the physical classroom. Districts will “have 3 years to spend the [aid] money and they’re going to use those dollars to build up the capacity over time and so even when the money runs out they’ve built a new muscle,” he explains.
- Khan says he has been stereotyped as ‘the tech guy,’ who “wants to just put kids in front of screens,” but says “nothing could be further than the truth.” He believes technology can be leveraged , by providing teachers with real-time information about which students are engaged and which are not, and that can lead to more focused human interventions for those who are struggling, Khan explains.
- This report explores “the lingering effects of unfinished learning,” exacerbated by COVID-19.
- In he co-authored for USA Today, Khan elaborates on how the pandemic has provided a “road map to transform education for the better.”
- Learn about Khan Academy’s , including its free online tutoring platform, .
- Check out the first part of our conversation with Sal Khan in IHub’s .