Hi EmailTuna EmailTuna,
Just dropping by to fill your inbox with some light summer reading about all the awesome things you made happen! Your support powers a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. We couldn’t do it without you.
In this newsletter, we’ll share links to the new content that we’ve added; talk to Dr. Clifton Luke, our new VP of Product Management, who is responsible for making sure that everything we make helps users learn; and finally check out the conversation Sal had with US Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona.
Community Giving Manager
New content for you, because of you 🥳
One thing Khan Academy is known for is our math and science content, and we just keep adding more! All because of your support.
Earlier this spring, we added more units to:
We’ve also added two new Get Ready For courses:
We created our Get Ready For courses to provide an easy way to make sure students understand the prerequisite concepts they will need to be successful in the next grade level. See all the courses and learn more
Faces of Khan Academy: Dr. Clifton Luke
Clifton Luke, PhD, is in charge of Khan Academy’s Product team. He joined the team in May, and we caught up with him to learn more about what he will be working on at Khan Academy.
Welcome to the team! Let’s start with the basics. It might not be obvious why Khan Academy would have a VP of Product. What things would be considered “products?” What does the Product team do?
People are most familiar with the videos. Then, we have practice which allows our learners to apply what they’ve learned and get direct feedback on how well they’re doing. The Product team is responsible for making sure that the services we deliver meet learners’ needs and are aligned with our mission of providing a free education to all.
I know as a former teacher you are excited about our work with schools. Can you talk more about that?
I am excited about it! We make our services available through schools because we recognize that it’s the school environment that can help us reach as many students as possible. By supporting teachers with the tools they need, we’re able to make sure that in the everyday classroom, students are benefiting from the support, instruction, and practice that Khan Academy offers.
And yes, I’m a former teacher. I started out teaching middle school math and was a math department head, but I’ve taught everything from young kids up through higher education. Most recently, I’ve been working as a substitute teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District as a way of having awareness of what’s happening in our schools, what those environments are like, and the students that we’re serving.
What did you learn by working in San Francisco Public Schools?
I’ve been substitute teaching in schools where it's largely students of color, many of them on free or reduced lunch and many of them where performance measures are weak. The last year has exacerbated learning gaps, especially for students of color and low income students.
I think it’s wonderful that Khan Academy can be available to families and to schools. It can be integrated into the school life of students. It can be a part of their school day so that they get extra practice or they are able to have some extra time working on material that either they need or that they are interested in. It includes not only additional support if they need to fill some gaps they have, but also means the agency to continue exploring and advancing in topics or subjects they might have an interest in.
Why is it important to partner with teachers?
Teachers are our front line workers, making sure students have the basics so they can be ready, prepared, and eager to learn.
I realize that while the learning part is a very important piece of what Khan Academy is doing, it's not the full picture of students’ needs. But teachers see the whole picture, so it's really important to me to make sure that they participate in helping us make products that help kids learn.
What is your favorite subject to study or to teach?
I enjoy teaching math at all ages. And really, what I enjoy most about tutoring math is being able to make the light bulbs go off. That is really the joy I get in working with students and just knowing that I helped make a connection for them.
In their own words
Here’s how your support helped Jenae, a teacher, through this pandemic:
"Khan Academy has changed my life by having a training program for Educators, especially during this global pandemic, which is far from over. In addition, you have Professional Development opportunities that we can access anytime in order to help the students as well as their families and teachers. The sky is the limit, and we can learn anything so that they can learn anything." —Jenae
Curious about the training program Jenae mentioned? Check out Khan for Educators (US)
Homeroom with Sal: US Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona
Sal welcomed the US Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, on Homeroom to discuss a variety of topics including the The American Families Plan; Dr. Cardona’s journey from teaching to being the most influential educator in the country; how we can apply the innovation that came out of this pandemic to reshape education; and most importantly, what this means for parents, teachers, and students. Watch the interview here
Khan in the news
Sal was featured on the People I (Mostly) Admire podcast
from Freakonomics Radio where he talked about how Khan Academy started and what we’re working on next.
Sal was on CBS This Morning
to talk about the importance of summer learning and share suggestions on how to create joy in learning.
featured Khan Academy Kids Circle Time and lessons about race and identity.