About 250 educators, parents and others will spend the next two days learning how to use the online Khan Academy effectively in Idaho classrooms.
The free public workshop filled quickly, with a wait list and others watching the presentations live via the Idaho Education Network, according to the events sponsor, the J.A. and Katherine Albertson Foundation.
Most participants are math educators from schools and non-profits from across Idaho who are passionate about helping students in fifth through ninth grades learn math, foundation spokeswoman Jennie Sue Weltner said.
The two-day training session, the largest ever hosted by the Khan Academy, is an outgrowth of Sal Khans packed-house presentation in May at the Egyptian Theatre. The number of Idahoans visiting Khans site rose from 40,000 users to more than 55,000 users after his Boise visit, according to a foundation news release.
Sessions will be held Thursday and Friday at Northwest Nazarene Universitys Boise Center, led by four members of Khans school implementations team. The interactive, hands-on training is designed to accelerate the use of Khan Academy in Idaho. Teachers will learn how the sites data and various features can meet students individual needs.
Forcing 35 students to all proceed at the same pace fosters boredom and loss of motivation and interest, said training participant Matt Werner, a teacher at Lake City High School in Coeur d Alene. Students working at individual paces promote strong ownership of their own learning. With Khan Academy my time as a teacher is utilized far more effectively.
The Khan Academy training is part of the Albertson Foundations focus on limitless learning for all Idahoans, executive director Jamie MacMillan said.
One way to deliver on that vision is to expand access to world-class programs and methods, MacMillan said.
KhanAcademy.org is considered a world leader in online education. As of Wednesday it had delivered nearly 195 million free lessons with the motto Watch. Practice. Learn almost anything for free.
The academy is particularly dominant in mathematics, a subject with which many Idaho students struggle. In 2011, only 9 percent of Idaho eighth-graders scored in the advanced range on the National Assessment of Educational Progress standardized test for math proficiency.