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Khan Academy students make it work in new documentary series

At Phillips Magnet Elementary School in Napa, California, where 65% of students are second-language learners and 85% come from low-income backgrounds, one group of students is bringing light to a community no longer willing to stay in the shadows.

Watch the trailer:


The new docuseries ‘Make it Work’, now available on Amazon Prime Video and The Roku Channel, features students who are inspired by their teacher and powered by lessons from Khan Academy. Follow their journey as they apply newfound skills to propose a public improvement project to make the streets around their school safer.

“I’m so proud of these students,” says Sal Khan, Khan Academy’s founder. “Their success shows us how students who have access to a high-quality education are able to unlock their full potential and accomplish great things. I want that for every child in America and around the world.”

Narrated by YouTube icon Hank Green and produced and directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Kip and Kern Konwiser—‘Miss Evers’ Boys’ and ‘On Hallowed Ground’—the four-part series follows young disruptors as they use imagination and innovation to improve their communities.

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Sal joins the Cult of Pedagogy podcast to discuss mastery!

We’ve heard so many good things from Khan Academy teachers about the Cult of Pedagogy podcast and the teacher tools and resources found on its site that we had to get involved! Recently, Sal joined the podcast to discuss how our new mastery learning system can make a big difference in classrooms, the importance of teachers in unlocking the potential in every student, and why Khan Academy’s nonprofit status is more important than ever.  

🔊Check out the episode here https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/khan-mastery-learning/ 

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Can we diversify the law school pipeline? Yes, we “Khan.”

by Catherine Wang, vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships at Khan Academy, and Lily Knezevich, senior vice president for learning and assessment, LSAC 

Last June, the Law School Admission Council and Khan Academy unveiled an ambitious—maybe even audacious—joint venture to offer free online LSAT prep to prospective law school students. The goal was simple, but profound. We wanted to expand and diversify the pool of people who were considering a career in law and advocacy by making it easier and more affordable for people to prepare for the Law School Admission Test, the gold standard assessment that is a critical first step for virtually every candidate applying to law school.

We’re proud to announce new survey data that shows that African Americans, women, and economically disadvantaged students are among the heaviest users of Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep. The swift growth in people using this free resource has been just as encouraging. In less than a year since the launch, we are now seeing an average of 40,000 users of Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep per month.

Starting with the June LSAT, first-time test takers were asked whether they had used the new Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep to prepare for the exam. In June, just two months after the release of the beta version, we were pleasantly surprised and excited to see that nearly a quarter of the respondents said they had accessed the free Khan Academy Prep to study for their exam. By the July LSAT, the percentage was up to 32%. By September, it was up to 33%. And by the November LSAT, the most recent test for which we have data, 44% of respondents said they had used it.

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And when we started digging into the numbers, we got even more excited. Based on the early data from the first four LSATs, the free, high-quality test preparation resources from Khan Academy and LSAC are seeing particularly high use among women and students from underrepresented minority groups.

Based on our survey(1) of candidates who took the LSAT for the first time in November 2018, we found the following:

- 52% of African American respondents reported they use our Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep to help prepare for the exam.

- 47% of Puerto Rican respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare. 

- 42% of Native American and Alaska Native respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare.  

- 41% of Hispanic respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare.

- 38% of Asian respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare.

- 46% of women respondents reported using Khan Academy to prepare, compared to 41% of male respondents.

We hope this is the beginning of a new and exciting trend. One of our top goals is to expand and diversify the pipeline of candidates who can see themselves pursuing a career in law and advocacy. Providing the right tools and resources to attract more women and minority students to law school is a critical part of a broader effort to create a legal profession that truly reflects the full diversity of our society.

Based on responses to surveys of all first-time LSAT test takers between June and November 2018, students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds are recognizing the benefits and opportunity of our Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep. Students who rated their family income as “below average” or “far below average” compared to other members of their communities had the greatest proportion of test takers who prepared using the free LSAT prep.

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Another huge issue we wanted to help address with free LSAT Prep was the burden of student debt, which affects so many young people today and can have a chilling effect on their educational and career choices. It’s hard to envision spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars for commercial test preparation services when you’re already saddled with huge student loan debt. So, we hoped that free, high-quality, individualized LSAT prep through Khan Academy in collaboration with LSAC could be a game changer for many students. So far, survey response data appears to support our hypothesis. In general, the survey responses indicate that the higher the level of student debt a candidate has, the more likely they are to use Khan. For example, for respondents who reported some undergraduate debt up to $39,999, about 37% of them reported preparing with our free Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep. For respondents who reported $40,000 or more in debt, the number was even higher—41% reported using it.

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While the survey results reflect use of the free LSAT Prep among first-time LSAT test takers, prevalence among candidates taking the LSAT for the second or third time is somewhat lower, as we expected. Khan Academy LSAT Prep wasn’t available when many of those candidates started to study and prepare for the LSAT. But even among all LSAT test takers, we see a similar pattern of an increasing trend toward using Official LSAT Prep to prepare for the LSAT.

This has truly been a groundbreaking partnership. In less than a year, our investment in free, high-quality online LSAT prep resources and tools is helping thousands of students—particularly women, minority students, and economically disadvantaged students—get the practice and individualized help they need to demonstrate their full capabilities on the LSAT and pursue a career in law.

It’s amazing to realize that 40,000 students are using our free online LSAT Prep tools and resources every month. And we know that behind every number and every data point, there is a real person. It’s gratifying to know these tools and resources are expanding opportunity for all.

If you or someone you know is considering a career in law, please let them know about our free online Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep resources.  

(1) Based on the November Post-LSAT Questionnaire, which was completed by 7,450 first-time LSAT takers of the November 2018 LSAT, for a survey response rate of 38.2%.

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The app your Baby Shark will love

Good news! Khan Academy Kids, our educational app for children ages two to six, is now available  for Android devices. You can find our apps at Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

With thousands of personalized, interactive activities—like counting with Baby Shark from Super Simple Songs—books, and educational videos, we think Khan Academy Kids is an app that parents will love and kids will love to use!

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Khan Academy Kids takes a holistic approach to learning by tackling early literacy, language, and math while also encouraging creativity and social-emotional skills. We’ve been getting terrific feedback from parents and critics alike. Common Sense Media gave us a 5-star review, we received the Parents’ Choice Gold Award from Parents’ Choice Foundation, and we won an Editor’s Choice Award from Children’s Technology Review.

And, yes, the app is 100% free—no ads, no paywall, and no strings.

Find the Khan Academy Kids app in Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and iOS

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You make all the difference

It’s been quite a year at Khan Academy! From the launch of our Khan Kids app for little learners and LearnStorm growing to cover three countries—the United States, Brazil, and Mexico—to the introduction of our new mastery learning features, we have made important strides toward providing a free, world-class education to everyone, everywhere. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.

Your support enables millions of people from all around the world to access the educational resources they need to reach their full potential, but there are many more learners we need to reach.

      - 265 million children around the world lack access to school.

      - 617 million lack basic math and literacy skills.*

      - In the US, 60% of eighth grade students are not proficient in math.†

      - Fewer than half of low-income four-year-olds are enrolled in a high quality preschool.‡

We know that Khan Academy can transform classrooms and lives. When students use Khan Academy for at least 30 minutes a week they are two times more likely than their non-Khan Academy-using peers to meet grade-level standards in math.§ Data shows that using Khan Academy’s free Official SAT Prep for 20 hours is associated with an average score gain of 115 points.

A great education is life changing, and—since we’re a nonprofit—your donations make all the difference. With your support, we’re able to hire teachers, engineers, and designers, cover rent, and pay for tech that brings Khan Academy to learners worldwide. And, we get to keep Khan Academy free.

There’s still more work for us to do, and with your help we’ll get there. If you haven’t donated yet, please consider giving a little or a lot by visiting khanacademy.org/donate today.

From all of us—thank you!

*UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) 2016 report

†U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress 2017

‡“New Report Shows Greater Need for Access to High-Quality Preschool for America’s Children”, U.S. Department of Education

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