by Elijah Johns|staff writer
Online sources like Khan Academy and Quizlet are becoming a part of daily classroom life. Many teachers are starting to rely on these resources as extra study tools and teaching lessons. Students feel differently on if they help or hurt them.
“They hurt me more than help me because I’ve been in classes that have online assignments, but the tests are based on textbook work. It was confusing and I didn’t know what to study because I could never figure out what to study,” senior Neha Chaudhary said.
Chaudhary has had a class in which the main lessons are based around Khan Academy lessons.
“The material either doesn’t follow the book or the book doesn’t follow the online material and the classwork is based off one or the other. I’m never really sure what I should be paying more attention to,” Chaudhary said.
There is also another side to online study sources, some of them are used as an extra study tool.
“I don’t think they have really helped me. When they are used as an extra help for studying, it’s nice to have,” senior Reilly Hanson said. “But when it is used to teach a whole lesson, it’s hard to catch on. When a teacher expects you to the information before it is taught in class because of an online source, I don’t like that.”
According to a USA Today study, 78% of students say it is easier to learn in a classroom. Even with the growing use of technology to learn, students like Hanson see the benefits of face-to-face interaction.
“If I’m being taught by an automated system and not a real teacher, you lose the personal connection. With a real teacher, it’s more personalized. It is harder to remember it when it’s not a face to face thing. That’s what sets online school and real school apart, if I wanted online school I would just stay home,” Hanson said.
Using both online and classroom resources opens up an extra help avenue for students who may feel in-class teaching is not enough.
“Sometimes kids will just zone out in class and they’ll need to reteach themselves the lesson later,” physics teacher Logan Shaw said. “Sometimes people can’t pay attention in class people they simply can’t focus.”
Khan Academy has often been used as a help tool, in rare cases, it is used to teach whole lessons.
“Khan Academy shouldn’t be used for the whole lesson. I think the whole reason it was started is for extra help, not to be taught everything. You can’t get the personal experience like you do in class.” Shaw said.
According to Khan Academy, their online lessons have helped students grades rise.
“I have seen a rise in grades in my class. It could be due to a lot of things. When I was in college this movement was starting, it it really helped me,” Shaw said. “I always provide my students with the sources they need, but in other classes it’s possible that Khan Academy could be that extra boost to get the, over the hump.”
There are many types of learners, and Khan Academy has made it it’s goal to try and reach and help a large number of people.
“It has a future, and I think it will become a huge part of how everyone learns. But I don’t ever see it becoming the full on teacher. There is something about learning from a physical person that helps information stick. It is more of extra help,” Shaw said.
According to Google’s blog, Khan Academy has received funding from Google, the U.S government and other education investment firms to further their progress as a leading online educator.
“Khan Academy can be great, it has helped me sometimes, but I think it needs work. Hopefully in a couple of years it can help people more than it has helped me,” Hanson said.