Amy Forsythe is a high school math teacher as Mason High School in Mason, Ohio. Amy attended our inaugural Khan Academy Ambassador Summer Summit in July and we’re delighted to share this guest blog post!
By Amy Forsythe
My experience at the the pilot Khan Academy Ambassador Summer Summit—#KhanCon—was amazing!
My expectation was that I would learn some new tricks for using Khan Academy in my classroom and maybe even get some insider info on what changes will be taking place in the future, and that definitely happened. I not only heard things that will help me in my classroom, but I also got great tips on how Khan Academy can help others.
While those tangible learnings were huge, the real WOW moments for me were the connections I made with other Ambassadors and the Khan Academy staff. It is an incredible experience to be around others who share your passion for something. We realized how much we all have in common despite being from different states, different subject areas, different grade levels, and different types of schools.
I was also overwhelmed by how much the Khan Academy staff wanted to talk with us and learn about how we use their resources and what challenges we face. I was asked my opinion on things so many times! I was constantly talking with Khan Academy staff during breaks, lunch, and any other times we could find! I didn’t anticipate that.
A theme that kept coming up was looking at student growth over time rather than assignment scores alone, meaning we collectively valued looking at where a student started off and tracking their improvement. With Khan Academy, different students can have different goals for growth and mastery of specific skills—working methodically from the foundation up to more advanced learning—that they can keep track of themselves so that all students are appropriately challenged. In the past, I’ve focused more on individual assignments. But coming out of the Khan Academy Ambassador Summer Summit, I’d like to do more with growth and mastery.
It was so obvious that the Khan Academy staff wanted to do more than just make a great product. They really want to help teachers have a great impact. Seeing people working so hard to help me do my job more effectively made me so happy!
I left #KhanCon knowing more about how to use Khan Academy in my classroom and also knowing that there are so many people who really value what teachers do and want to help them reach as many students as possible, as effectively as possible.
That is simply amazing.