Technology set-up and maintenance (for K-12 educators)

Download these IT worksheets to help you think through your IT set-up.

Technology set-up

When using Khan Academy, it's important to consider the following items to ensure that classrooms are properly equipped:

Bandwidth and connectivity

For video watching, adequate bandwidth is necessary to ensure a smooth connection. Most Khan Academy videos require less bandwidth than live-action content, but we still suggest ~1.5 Mbps bandwidth per device playing standard-definition video. Even though it's rare for an entire class to watch videos simultaneously, it's best to plan for >1 Mbps per student or device.
If students are focused mainly on exercises, bandwidth required is closer to 150 kbps per user.
When considering network setup for portable devices, ensure every device has a strong wireless connection. When many devices are used simultaneously, the wireless network often becomes weaker. To ensure a good connection, it's safest to place a wireless access point or router in each room that will be using Khan Academy.

Web filtering

Khan Academy videos are hosted by YouTube so it's necessary to unblock YouTube for Khan Academy to work properly. Many schools use web filtering software or providers to ensure that students only access appropriate content. If your organization blocks YouTube videos, work with your web filtering provider directly or check out YouTube for Schools which filters non-educational content. For more information, visit http://www.youtube.com/schools.

Account creation

To track student progress and take advantage of data reports, each student will need to create an account, which requires an email address. If your students are under 13 years old, you can create accounts if you have the parent's email address and permission, or you can use Google Apps for Education which is a free service to create Google accounts for students, allowing them to easily access Khan Academy, as well as other useful services like Google Docs. There is an option in GAFE to allow to create email addresses, but not enable email.
Passwords and consistent usernames
Teachers should track students' usernames and passwords, esp for younger students.
If students create their own accounts, provide username guidelines. From the coach perspective, consistency of accounts makes it easier for a teacher to recognize everyone on the list. Consider assigning usernames in alphabetical order consistent with your gradebook (e.g., if organized by last name, assign account names lastinitial_firstname).

Troubleshooting

You may encounter technical issues such as computers not working, difficulties accessing the network, or needing to create an account for a new student. Check to make sure that you have the relevant contact info regarding who to reach out to for help in these situations. In addition, if you have access to IT or technical expertise, ask them for suggestions on basic troubleshooting steps like how to reboot the computers or routers if you are not already familiar.

Browsers

Be sure to install the latest versions of browsers. Older versions do not support the latest technologies and may encounter more bugs. We recommend using faster browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE10.

Technology maintenance

When maintaining technology, make sure IT is aware to keep up-to-date on the following items to make usage as smooth as possible:
  • Antivirus protection (for PCs / Windows devices)
  • Software updates
  • Browser updates
  • If your organization is scaling up usage, increase bandwidth and number of access points accordingly
Download these IT worksheets to help you think through your IT set-up