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Idaho Khan Partnership

Posted on Mar 5, 2013

Paper pointing arrows at the words A,B,C, and D.In a partnership with Khan Academy, the state of Idaho is about to become the first state to engage in a “coordinated statewide effort” to implement online learning. Thanks to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, Khan Academy will be providing content in 47 schools. The schools range from large districts, such as those in Treasure Valley, to small, rural districts, thus covering a wide variety of students.

As of right now, the plan is for Idaho schools to implement a flipped learning model. Video instruction from Khan Academy will serve as homework so that in-class time can be used for one-on-one learning experiences.

Previously, Khan Academy has worked with schools in California and recently partnered with Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim to translate classes into Spanish. This Idaho experiment, though, is the first of its kind. Khan explains that “Instead of a one-size-fits-all lesson, teachers will be able to focus their attention on specific students who are struggling while the rest of the class engages with materials appropriate for them.”

This effort could represent a key step in deciding whether or not it will be feasible to implement online learning programs on a wide scale for K-12 learners. If this experiment is generally found to result in success, it is likely that other states will attempt to replicate Idaho’s results. As of right now, Khan Academy is perhaps the only well-known provider of free learning materials, but if demands for materials increases, this could also change. The more success that states experience in implementing online learning programs, the more financially rewarding it will become for entrepreneurs to attempt to enter the online learning arena.

Josh Luthi is a computer science student at the University of Kansas and has a penchant for politics.

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