Albertson Foundation backs online learning pilot

With the support of foundation money, 47 schools in Idaho are set to participate in the first statewide pilot program of the Khan Academy online learning program.

Officials with the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation announced Thursday they will provide $1.5 million for technology, technical assistance and assessment to schools participating in the pilot program.

Launched in 2008 by MIT graduate Sal Khan, the Khan Academy is a not-for-profit online learning program offering more than 4,000 video lessons covering math, science, history and computer science.

The video lessons are available for free on the Khan Academy website, and Northwest Nazarene University will provide support for implementation.

An independent review committee selected the 47 schools that will participate in the pilot program from an application pool of more than 75 schools and programs. Foundation officials estimated the pilot will reach 10,000 K-12 students in Idaho.

“In Idaho, we hope to see educators using Khan Academy to individualize their instruction,” Khan said in a foundation news release announcing the pilot. “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 material appropriate for them.”

Last year, Khan visited Idaho as part of a speakers’ series and two-day workshop for teachers, both of which were sponsored by the Albertson Foundation.

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“Idaho has the students, the schools and the determination to succeed in showing the nation how to innovate within our public education system,” foundation executive director Jamie MacMillan said in the news release. “Khan Academy is a demonstration of the learning revolution in Idaho.”

Check the Albertson Foundation news release for a complete list of the schools set to participate in the pilot.

Disclosure: Idaho Education News is funded through a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.