Khan Academy Initiative

Fellow: Matt Lisa

Key Collaborators: Bill Scott and the Math Department

Partnering for PA Students and Worldwide Learners

As part of Hybrid Andover, supported by the Tang Institute, PA faculty and Khan Academy have together developed a partnership to provide hybrid and online learning experiences for students at PA and for their fellow learners around the world. Since its beginning in 2006, Khan Academy has become a global leader in K–12 online education, with an average of four million learners completing exercise problems a day.

“Our mission is to offer a free, world-class education for anyone anywhere,” said Sal Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy. “When people think of world class, they think of places like Phillips Academy.”

The goal is two-fold:

  • To provide PA students with hybrid learning opportunities, which means the blending of online and traditional classroom learning.
  • To enrich the educational experiences of learners everywhere.

The partnership is the first of its kind in secondary education and is the culmination of a number of planning discussions that have taken place between PA faculty and Khan Academy, following the visionary Sal Khan’s initial visit to the PA campus in the spring of 2013.

Students and Teachers Benefit

Thus far, experiments with the hybrid learning model at PA have yielded a number of exciting benefits for students, and additional experiments are underway. In particular, students have noted how, when they get stuck on a homework question at any hour, they can turn to their class’s online resource center, Launchpad, to provide them with solutions and explanations. The teacher also benefits from the online platform, in being able to monitor the student’s time commitment with the resources and to determine where students struggled and how to adapt classroom instruction accordingly.

Increased Access to Learning

Partnering with Khan Academy fits naturally into the Academy’s mission to share its resources beyond campus, by providing Andover-caliber educational content to learners who would otherwise not have access. With this in mind, thus far students and PA faculty have helped to develop an AP Calculus course for the Khan Academy site. They have contributed thousands of math problems—which have been attempted roughly 1,000,000 times a month—and several instructional videos. Additional projects, such as a course in AP Statistics, are underway to expand PA’s work with Khan Academy. Hybrid Andover Initiative will also include components of Khan Academy in its instruction.