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Khan Academy in the classroom

Bill Scott uses Khan Academy to teach AP Calculus at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and he’s part of the teaching team that helped develop Khan Academy’s AP lessons. Phillips Academy was one of the first schools to teach AP nearly 60 years ago.

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Video transcript

- We have this big moment and the moment is that for 35 years of my teaching career I walked into the classroom having no idea if the kids had done the homework or what their commitment was to the subject. And then suddenly there's this coaching platform on Khan Academy that was a total game-changer for me. I wasn't imagining that the Khan Academy calculus content would become a big part of our curriculum. I imagined frankly and wrongly that we'd use these exercises, suggest kids use it for review. And when we discovered the coaching platform and how powerful that was, a group of us said, "Let's give it a go. "Let's try using Khan Academy "as a major part of our curriculum." And my goodness, it changed the way I teach. For instance, five minutes before I walk into class, I can go to the platform and I can look through my list of students to discover that all but two of them had done the homework, had watched the videos, had cleared the hurdle, if you will, of the exercises that I had given them. So, when I walked in the room, I didn't have to go over homework anymore. That was liberating. So, if there were two students who didn't do the homework, it gave me the opportunity to pull them aside and say, "Hey, I see you didn't get to it," or, "I see you struggled with it. "Is there a way that you and I can meet later today? "It's because I don't want you to get behind in this." The first 15 minutes of class now all the sudden we're breaking new ground. We're doing harder problems. The kids responded so well to it because I think they had years and years and years of math teachers going over the homework for the first 15 minutes of class. The poor kids must've been bored to death, or, "Why bother doing the homework because he'll do it on the board anyway?" That was just totally liberating and gave me an opportunity to really think hard about teaching. Since we started using Khan Academy, the one thing that we can't help but notice is that we're having more kids make it to the end of BC Calculus, and it's clear to me that we're having more girls and more underrepresented kids finish our BC Calculus class than we ever did before. I gotta believe it's our new way about thinking about teaching. And using Khan Academy in the classroom and for homework assignments has gotta be a big part of that.