Resources: Khan Academy

The Khan Academy has been in the news lately, partly because of Sal Khan’s recent book, The One World Schoolhouse.

I’ve long loved the Khan Academy for their Knowledge Map, now called the Learning Dashboard.  Just recently they expanded the Learning Dashboard to live up to its name.  It’s now a personalized interface into the site that includes a math pre-test for new learners, and suggests areas to practice or master.  The points and badges have been retained and are now more prominent.

It’s a wonderful use of technology, and the videos and practice questions together are incredibly useful.  The only downside is that like most technology-delivered math curriculum, it focus on individual skills.  There are opportunities to post questions on videos and get help from coaches, but they can be problematic for youngsters and don’t add up to a social construction of mathematics.  Put together with our curriculum and coaching framework, however, it’s one of the best free sites available to help students improve their math skills.  A student’s research for the week will likely often include practicing or mastering a skill on KhanAcademy.

Resources: Homework Help

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https://homeworkhelp.ilc.org/

Homework Help is open to all Ontario students from Grades 7 to 10.  It provides free math tutoring through interactive whiteboard chat.  During the school year, from Sunday through Thursday, from 5:30-9:30pm, you will find dozens of certified teachers answering questions of all types, from the most basic review, to EQAO practice questions, to Waterloo contest questions.  Teachers on the site help lead students, rather than giving them the answer.

Our coaches encourage their students to use Homework Help regularly.  It is an unparalleled way to get a specific question answered, especially if you are doing your homework or studying for a test.  Our coaches then encourage their students to think about the experience and put the question they asked into context.  “What was harder about this question than the other ones?”  “What did you learn from the teacher that you didn’t know before?”  “Do you need more practice on this type of question, and if so, where will we find more questions like it?”