Written on March 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm , by Christina Tynan-Wood
My kids have frequently used the Khan Academy to improve their grades, catch up on classes and complete their homework. So the announcement (above) that this free online classroom has partnered with the College Board to make SAT prep free to everyone made me very happy.
My son has taken the SAT three times and plans to take it again. Every time he does, he plans to study. But somehow he never manages to get in enough studying before test day. Next time, he won’t be trying to drag himself through a book. And I won’t feel guilty if I can’t afford to buy him an expensive test preparation class. Because, according to David Coleman, CEO of the College Board, the Khan Academy will be the best place to prepare for this exam going forward. “To be clear,” explains Coleman in the above video, “this will be the only place in the world—and free to the world—besides on our own website, that students will be able to encounter materials for the exam that are focused on the core of the math and the literacy that matters most…There will be no other partnerships, so this will be the best there is.”
So that’s where my son will be taking practice tests, watching Sal Khan work through actual SAT questions, retaking tests, practicing with real SAT reading and writing problems provided by the College Board, and doing it all from whatever tablet, smartphone or computer he happens to be in front of. To make sure he’s on track, I can act as coach and check his progress online.
For 2016, the SAT will be completely redesigned to put the emphasis back on testing knowledge rather than mastery of test-taking tricks. The Khan Academy is working in partnership with the College Board to create study materials—available for free to everyone!—to go with the revamped SAT, too.
Free test prep for college, free college classes for all students. I love the democratic, egalitarian place the Internet is taking education. All we have to do is dial up learning instead of silly cat videos and we can change the world. It gives me hope.
Christina Tynan-Wood has been covering technology since the dawn of the Internet and currently writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle. You can find more advice about buying and using technology at GeekGirlfriends.com.
Written on May 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm , by Christina Tynan-Wood
My son took the SATs last summer. I encouraged him to study in advance. But he declined all my generous offers of tutors and SAT preparation classes. I know him. So this was all predictable. In fact, that’s why I insisted he take the test before he was a sophomore. I figured that he would be disappointed in his score and learn – for next time – that studying is good. (I know, I’m probably delusional but I persist anyway.) He didn’t do too badly on the test so I’m not sure he learned that lesson. But I’m pretty sure he’d like to do better next time. Who doesn’t want a better score?
I’m signing him to take the test again. So, once again, I’ll be encouraging him to study. This time, though, I plan to set him up with a prep course that he can do while slumped on the couch staring at a screen — his favorite activity. I’m looking for a class that will come to us and is taught by an engaging, interesting teacher who really knows the subject matter. I want the class to be individualized and focus on questions that will be on the test. I want it to offers quick refreshers on topics he has forgotten, not bore him by going over stuff he already knows, but to go in-depth into material he doesn’t know or didn’t understand. Oh, and I’d like to get the class for free.
If you are laughing at me right now, then you aren’t familiar with the Khan Academy.
This free online school offers quick classes in a variety of subjects – from art history to organic chemistry. In fact, there are 3,100 courses at the moment — and more in the making. And they are taught with a depth of knowledge, interest in the subject, and sense of fun that is often lacking in school.
The Khan Academy, naturally, offers a complete (free) SAT math test prep course. To take it, all my student needs is The Official SAT Study Guide ($12.99) and an internet connected computer or tablet. The first lecture tells him to start working through the problems in the book until he hits one that gives him trouble. Then he is to come back to the Khan Academy Test Prep class and watch the video that goes with that page in the book. If he needs more help with the math than a reminder, the teacher will direct him to an in-depth Kahn Academy lecture on that area of math.
Targeted, quick, and just about free. Just what I’m looking for.