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The British Museum and Khan Academy—providing access to the world’s treasures

Walking through the British Museum is to walk through the history of the great civilizations of the world. The Rosetta Stone. Aztec mosaic masks. Buddhist manuscripts that had been hidden for years in a cave. Some of the most extraordinary historical objects in the world live there, and we’re so excited today to announce that we’ve partnered with the world’s oldest national public museum. Both institutions, Khan Academy and the British Museum, share a wish to provide access to the world’s treasures to everyone, wherever they live. It’s hard not to be awed by this venerable institution—the breadth of its collection (geographically and chronologically) is virtually unparalleled, and it’s not surprising that it is one of the most visited museums in the world. 

Khan Academy has created tutorials selected from the museum’s more than 3 million objects that serve to educate people about the history and culture of the world’s great civilizations—objects from nearly every corner of the world. The British Museum’s collection includes objects from sacred caves, tombs, palaces, homes, and temples: both objects people used every day (pots, tools, jewellery, and coins), and objects they held sacred—and now you can learn their context and background—from wherever you are in the world.

On a personal level, we have a long history with the British Museum ourselves!
Khan Academy’s Co-Deans of Art History, Beth Harris and Steven Zucker are no strangers to the British Museum.  Steven first visited when he was 11 years old, and remembers the ancient Egyptian mummies best, but he also remembers being amazed by how differently each culture portrayed what was important to them. Beth spent months on end in the circular, domed reading room of the British Library which was then in the center of the Museum, while writing her Masters thesis, taking her breaks in the galleries to get inspired. We’re so happy that many more people around the world can imagine themselves here, and perhaps one day visit themselves.

Check out the new content on Khan Academy from The British Museum covering topics from around the globe. 

The British Museum and Khan Academy—providing access to the world’s treasures

Walking through the British Museum is to walk through the history of the great civilizations of the world. The Rosetta Stone. Aztec mosaic masks. Buddhist manuscripts that had been hidden for years in a cave. Some of the most extraordinary historical objects in the world live there, and we’re so excited today to announce that we’ve partnered with the world’s oldest national public museum. Both institutions, Khan Academy and the British Museum, share a wish to provide access to the world’s treasures to everyone, wherever they live. It’s hard not to be awed by this venerable institution—the breadth of its collection (geographically and chronologically) is virtually unparalleled, and it’s not surprising that it is one of the most visited museums in the world.

Khan Academy has created tutorials selected from the museum’s more than 3 million objects that serve to educate people about the history and culture of the world’s great civilizations—objects from nearly every corner of the world. The British Museum’s collection includes objects from sacred caves, tombs, palaces, homes, and temples: both objects people used every day (pots, tools, jewellery, and coins), and objects they held sacred—and now you can learn their context and background—from wherever you are in the world.

On a personal level, we have a long history with the British Museum ourselves!

Khan Academy’s Co-Deans of Art History, Beth Harris and Steven Zucker are no strangers to the British Museum.  Steven first visited when he was 11 years old, and remembers the ancient Egyptian mummies best, but he also remembers being amazed by how differently each culture portrayed what was important to them. Beth spent months on end in the circular, domed reading room of the British Library which was then in the center of the Museum, while writing her Masters thesis, taking her breaks in the galleries to get inspired. We’re so happy that many more people around the world can imagine themselves here, and perhaps one day visit themselves.

Check out the new content on Khan Academy from The British Museum covering topics from around the globe. 

A mini-global happy hour: Long-time dedicated language volunteers for Bulgarian (Daniel), Tamil (Chock), and Norwegian (Jonas) meet for the first time, excited to exchange stories about sharing KA with the world!  
Chock shared this favorite quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead -

A mini-global happy hour: Long-time dedicated language volunteers for Bulgarian (Daniel), Tamil (Chock), and Norwegian (Jonas) meet for the first time, excited to exchange stories about sharing KA with the world!  

Chock shared this favorite quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

- Margaret Mead -

Jul 7
Khan Academy was featured in the July/August edition of Costco Connection for the U.K., covering stories about usage in Ireland as well as the U.S. 

Khan Academy was featured in the July/August edition of Costco Connection for the U.K., covering stories about usage in Ireland as well as the U.S. 

An interview with Alp Koksal: Bringing KA to Turkey [Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT)]

Recently, the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) interviewed Alp Koksal, the program lead for STFA’s efforts to bring Khan Academy to Turkey. 

In a live radio interview, Alp spoke about education reform and Khan Academy’s role, and shared Khan Academy’s story, what KA provides to students and teachers; as well as why Khan Academy is different.

Half an hour on national radio was an important opportunity to reach new audiences in cities and in rural areas.  Those stuck in busy city traffic heard Alp’s talk as they made their way through cities.  Plus, national radio has traditionally been the mainstream information source for the many living in rural Turkey, an audience rarely reached through social media.  

Alp Köksal at the Radio Station TRT Radyo 1

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The interview is available in Turkish.

About Khan Academy’s efforts in Turkey

There is a very active group supported by STFA in Turkey working to bring free education to the country.  Already, they have translated over 2500 KA videos into Turkish and delivered over 1.5 million lessons in a short time. Translations of the exercises and the full platform are almost finished and expected to be available this summer. In addition to a small team of dedicated full time personnel, a group of part time supporters and more than 250 voluntary translators have contributed to Khan Academy Türkçe so far.

Khan Academy Türkçe has a motto: “Equal opportunities for all in Turkish education”. The Turkish Khan Academy videos are planned to be used in the nationwide massive education reform project in Turkey run by the Turkish state, which aims to hand out tablet computers to each and every student in the country. Khan Academy Türkçe has already become an important actor in Turkish education reform.

Khan Academy Türkçe is an active participant in education events throughout Turkey and is working on five solid pilot schools implementations that use Khan Academy.

About Alp Koksal:

Having studied in Turkey and the United States at high-school and undergraduate levels, Alp has a global and multicultural perspective on education. With a BA in management and MA in European Studies, Alp has worked as a doctoral level researcher at the prestigious Boğaziçi University and he is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science and International Relations there. Alp says  “As a good observer and researcher, I have brought my interest in multicultural education, non-profit work and academic background together when I joined the STFA Group as the director of Khan Academy Türkçe.” Alp manages the effort of translating, localizing and introducing Khan Academy to Turkey and the Turkish speakers in the world.  As director of the Turkish team, he is also an active speaker on Khan Academy and the efforts in Turkey.

Radio Bulgaria (BNR) interviews Bulgarian Volunteer Advocate, Ivan Godspodinov

See the original article in Bulgarian at: http://bnr.bg/radiobulgaria/post/100419932 
Written by Rumiana Tsvetkova

Published June 10, 2014

Philosopher and teacher are two words to describe Ivan Gospodinov. The young Bulgarian graduated in philosophy and social studies in Leipzig, Germany. However, he has decided to returned to Bulgaria, because in his view, one can do a lot more in this country, as compared to the land of Goethe. He has the ambition to make a career in the philosophy and education field. That is why he will be working as a teacher for “Together in Class” next school year. He does not know where he will teach German and philosophy, but he personally prefers to be sent to a small Bulgarian town.

“I would be able to contribute a lot more if I worked in a small place”, explains Ivan. “One of the program’s goals is to provide access to high-quality education to places with a deficit of such. Thus, I would be able to help children of whom people have low expectations. Their relatives can not imagine how these children can develop in spheres and professions which are not typical of their small town. I could not imagine it either. When I left for Germany to study philosophy I found it hard to explain to my relatives in the town of Haskovo (Southeastern Bulgaria) why I chose to study this subject. On the other hand, I would like to seclude myself in a small and peaceful place for some time.”

For the past three years or so Ivan has been the Bulgarian Volunteer Advocate of the Khan Academy which is the biggest digital education project worldwide. Ivan’s goal is to translate this project into Bulgarian, so it is accessible to Bulgarian students. Some 350 volunteers have joined so far. These are mainly young people interested in modern technologies, or parents who want to guarantee a better future for their children. The website has already been launched in Spanish and Portuguese, with French and Turkish soon on the way. Ivan hopes that Bulgarian will be next up. Khan Academy is a free learning platform that includes video lectures and practice problems in mathematics and science, preparatory courses for university education. Lessons prepared in partnership with NASA were uploaded on the website as well.

“We can do things from a distance now, as we live in the Internet era. Khan Academy is one such project which can provide high-quality education through the Internet to places with no teachers”, explains Ivan. "It is the biggest education web site worldwide. It contains over 6,500 video lessons and 100,000 exercises to these lessons, as well as educational software for class management. The good thing is that this software makes education in line with the students’ profile. The exercises at the Khan Academy are generated especially for you based on your personal history, on how well you managed to solve the tasks and your gaps. We deal with this project, because it is currently the best model which enables the use of new technologies in education. Meanwhile, it is completely free of charge and is very useful to small places and institutions with a deficit of high-quality education such as prisons and orphanages for example."

The web site is applicable to all types of computers and mobile devices. It allows students, teachers and parents to create a profile. Specially-designed software enables teachers to have access to all necessary information about their class and their students. The main goal of the education platform is to assist the traditional education, rather than replacing it. “It would be useful to many teachers who teach at a different pace, because the knowledge of the students is at a different level”, Ivan specifies.

Khan Academy also enables students to combine their personal work done through video lectures and exercises with various activities, including developing social skills like working in a team.

See this article in other languages: 

Jun 9

Ireland’s MATHletes Challenge: How Khan Academy and competitive spirit are transforming math learning in Ireland

By Kelly Kirkpatrick, MATHletes program lead

Ireland has earned a reputation as a hub of technological innovation and is home to some of the worlds most influential companies, including Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, and Apple. With a rich environment of startups and multinationals, ICT sector companies in Ireland are looking to hire over 44,500 technical workers in the next 6 years(1) – a huge prospect in a country with 12% unemployment and 1,000 Irish leaving every week to find work abroad (2). 

While the demand for highly skilled technical graduates is rising, Ireland’s education system is not meeting the need. Ireland ranks around the bottom third mark on international comparative exams for both Primary and Secondary student performance in mathematics (3). Our team set out with the idea that by making one small change – by introducing a FREE training tool already used by millions – Ireland will top the global leaderboards in mathematics.

That tool is Khan Academy.

Where did it all begin?

Last October, two National Education Centres started running free Saturday Khan Academy math clubs on Saturday mornings. Today, 100 students attend the club in Galway every Saturday, some carpooling over 2 hours just to work on Khan Academy, and there is a perpetual waiting list for a spot. The Khan Academy club model is spreading across the country: 20 additional education centres have been trained on Khan Academy, and volunteer parents of CoderDojo (www.coderdojo.com) have opened KA maths rooms in their computer coding clubs.

By the end of 2013, it was clear that Khan Academy had struck a chord with Irish students, and our team decided it was time to take our awareness raising efforts to the next level.

Enter: the MATHletes Challenge.

Building on Ireland’s strong athletics tradition, we launched the MATHletes Challenge – a national maths tournament for Ireland using Khan Academy. The Challenge was open to primary and secondary individuals and schools across 5 grades. In just 3 months, over 3,000 students and 350 teachers from 276 schools signed up for the Challenge – including 10% of Irish secondary schools.

The Challenge captured the imagination of students and brought excitement, engagement, and dedication to math that had never existed before. Radio stations and newspapers profiled local MATHletes as celebrities, and weekly leaderboards generated anticipation and buzz in schools and households across Ireland. It appealed to students’ (and teachers) basic competitive spirit - and the positive feedback generated by Khan Academy’s points, badges, and mastery skills encouraged students to keep working.

Top MATHletes were invited to in-person provincial and national final days, which were filled with math challenges, fun, and prizes totaling over €20,000.

So what has the impact been?

Students spent nearly a million minutes on Khan Academy over the course of the competition. Students logged over 900 hours during the Easter break, and stayed late after school and during lunch to work on Khan Academy. The Challenge improved performance across ability levels. Not only were top mathletes working on content 2-3 grade levels above their level in school, but all students were gaining confidence and being exposed to new topics before learning them in class. In one school, teachers saw “unheard of” increases in MATHletes’ standardized testing scores after just 3 intensive months on Khan Academy. Schools have been transformed, and in future years, we see this generation of MATHletes leading Ireland into its digital future.

With a small team, and 4 months, the MATHletes Challenge experiment with Khan Academy has captured the imagination of Ireland. As we work to make next years’ Challenge better, we encourage any group of parents, teachers, or students to try a Challenge in your own community! Its amazing what a world class training tool and a little competitive spirit can do to ignite a passion for math.

References

(1) http://www.forfas.ie/media/EGFSN020212-Statement_of_activity-publication.pdf

(2) http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/1000-irish-people-emigrate-a-week-241476.html)

(3) Secondary students - PISA: Programme for International Assessment Primary school students - TIMSS: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.  

Cosgrove et al. 2012. Learning for Life: The Achievements of 15-year-olds in Ireland on Mathematics,

Reading Literacy and Science in PISA 2012. Education Resource Centre. Accessed 2 Jan 2014 at http://www.erc.ie/documents/p12main_report.pdf

Clerkin, A and Eivers, E. 2011. PIRLS & TIMSS 2011: Reading, Mathematics and Science Outcomes for Ireland. Education Research Centre. Accessed 2 Jan 2014 at http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Education-Reports/PIRLS-TIMSS-2011-Reading-Mathematics-and-Science-Outcomes-for-Ireland-Main-Report-.pdf

With just 10 computers and 10 laptops, el Colegio Patria in Las Varas, Mexico is making a big difference with Khan Academy.

May 8
Happy Teacher Appreciation week! 1st grade teacher Antonio Gonzalez Crespo shares how he uses Khan Academy with his 6 and 7 year old students in Santander, Spain. 

Happy Teacher Appreciation week! 1st grade teacher Antonio Gonzalez Crespo shares how he uses Khan Academy with his 6 and 7 year old students in Santander, Spain. 

Current snapshot of the most dubbed languages.  Click on the graph to see more. 

Current snapshot of the most dubbed languages.  Click on the graph to see more. 

The story of Hitoshi, one of Khan Academy’s Japanese translators, on German television (yeah it’s in German).  Hitoshi decided to direct his energy following a racist incident towards spreading education through Khan Academy translations.
A positive and negative emotion can not occupy our minds at the same time.  The choice is ours.  Thank you for showing the way Hitoshi!

The story of Hitoshi, one of Khan Academy’s Japanese translators, on German television (yeah it’s in German).  Hitoshi decided to direct his energy following a racist incident towards spreading education through Khan Academy translations.

A positive and negative emotion can not occupy our minds at the same time.  The choice is ours.  Thank you for showing the way Hitoshi!