I have a small number of devices in my class, what can I do?

Not to fear! There are plenty of ways your students can use Khan Academy. Here are a few suggestions that teachers have used despite having limited tech.

Out-of-school time

If your students have available devices in their homes or before/after school in a computer lab, encourage them to use KA outside of class time.  They can independently work on missions at their own pace or they can use it as a self-studying resource for when they miss classes, don’t understand a lesson, or want to get ahead!

Stations & rotations

  • Create stations that students can rotate through. We recommend at least 30 min in each station so that students have ample time to actually practice problems and watch videos.
  • At the Khan Academy station, students can work on their corresponding missions, skills aligned to class lessons, or a mix of both!
  • During rotations, see how your students are progressing and intervene when appropriate.
  • If you are unable to help students as they use Khan Academy, encouraging peer tutoring is a way to help the students help themselves as they learn.
  • Real-life example: ALISON, 4th grade teacher
    Alison started out her Khan Academy implementation with 8 computers. She divided her class into 3 groups and set up 3 stations: 1) practicing specific skills on Khan Academy, 2) group problem-solving on complex math problems, and 3) working on math projects. Each rotation lasted about 30 min, with students rotating to a different station each day. Read more about Alison’s class here.

Targeted interventions with mini-quizzes

  • Use a mini-quiz to see how your students are progressing on a specific concept.  Students who need more help can be in a small group with you, while students who are proficient can practice more advanced skills on KA.
  • It is likely that the same students use the computers consistently, so try rotations or other ways that allow more equal access.
  • Real-life example: LINDSAY, 5TH GRADE, CA
    Lindsay had 8 devices in her room. Each week she created a list of Khan Academy skills that aligned to her lessons. At the start of each day, she gave students a quick entry quiz. Those who proved they already knew the lesson could go to one of the computers to work on the Khan Academy skills Lindsay had chosen for that week. Those that didn’t would stay in a small group lesson with Lindsay. She also used her computers to help her most remedial students brush up on basic numeracy.

Fundraising and grants

Lastly, it is possible to get more devices through fundraising, grants, and other programs. Here is a list of steps for getting tech, written by high school teacher, Tal Sztainer.

What are some ways to guide students through missions?

1.  Use missions that are suited to the student’s level.
  • Students who need remediation: If you have students who are performing below grade-level, missions such as Early Math, Arithmetic, or Pre-Algebra can help solidify their math foundations first.
  • Students who are at grade-level: These students can use their corresponding grade-level or subject-level missions to reinforce what they’re learning in class and move at their own pace through the year’s curriculum.  They can similarly use missions such as Arithmetic or Pre-Algebra to solidify their math foundations.
  • Students who are above grade level: If these students want to make sure that they are prepared for their grade-level or subject-level exams, they can do so by working through the appropriate grade-level or subject-level missions.  If they want to challenge themselves to learn more advanced material, then they can explore missions above grade level.  And, they can always work on multiple missions at once!
2.  Help students to set their own goals for mission completion, and have checkpoints in between to ensure that they’re meeting these goals. For example, you can encourage students to complete 50% of their mission before the first semester is over and 100% before the year is over.
3.  Monitor progress. The Student Progress report is your best bet in following your students’ mission completion.
4.  Motivate students. This can be through incentivizing meeting mission goals (who doesn’t pizza parties?), by fostering team spirit, and/or through instilling growth mindsets in your students. Learn more about ways to motivate students here.

Extra tips for students who are far behind

You can use coach recommendations to make additional, tailored skill suggestions to students. Make sure students use hints and videos before receiving your help—you want to train these students to be resourceful, autonomous learners and help them become more confident in their ability to learn math.

Extra tips for students who are far ahead

Encourage these students to explore the rest of their mission at their own pace. “You can also expose them to computer programming on KA. You don’t need a background in coding to do this—your students will have all the resources they need to learn on their own. You can also engage these student in peer-tutoring and projects.