When using Khan Academy, it can be helpful to consider the following items to ensure that learning environments are properly equipped. If you or your school/organization is new to using technology, check out the tips below.
Bandwidth and connectivity
- For video watching, adequate bandwidth is necessary to ensure a smooth connection. Most Khan Academy videos require less bandwidth than live-action content, but we still suggest ~1.5 Mbps bandwidth per device playing standard-definition video. Even though it's rare for an entire class or group of students to watch videos simultaneously, it's best to plan for >1 Mbps per student or device.
- If students are focused mainly on exercises, bandwidth required is closer to 150 kbps per user.
- When considering network setup for portable devices, ensure every device has a strong wireless connection. When many devices are used simultaneously, the wireless network often becomes weaker (or saturated). To ensure a good connection, it's safest to place a wireless access point or router in each room that will be using Khan Academy.
- Check out this article if your organization is looking into purchasing devices.
If you have limited technology access and want to find out ways to increase that outside of the regular budget process, consider these ideas:
- Teacher Tal Sztainer's suggestions on finding resources for technology.
- Consider a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in your classroom (Reference: article on sample policies).
- Khan Academy videos are hosted by YouTube so it's necessary to unblock YouTube for Khan Academy to work properly.
- If your organization blocks YouTube videos, work with your web filtering provider directly or check out YouTube for Schools which filters non-educational content.
- To track student progress and take advantage of data reports, each student will need to create an account, which requires an email address.
- If your learners are under 13 years old, you can create accounts if you have the parent's email address and permission.
- For large organizations or schools, consider using Clever or Google for Education to help create Khan Academy accounts for students.
Passwords and consistent usernames
- Educators should track learners' usernames and passwords, especially for younger learners.
- If learners create their own accounts, you may want to provide username guidelines. From the coach perspective, consistency of accounts makes it easier for a teacher to recognize everyone on the list. Consider assigning usernames in alphabetical order consistent with your gradebook (e.g., if organized by last name, assign account names lastinitial_firstname).
- You may encounter technical issues such as computers not working, difficulties accessing the network, or needing to create an account for a new student.
- Check to make sure that you have the relevant contact info regarding who to reach out to for help in these situations.
- In addition, if you have access to IT or technical expertise, ask them for suggestions on basic troubleshooting steps like how to reboot the computers or routers if you are not already familiar.
When maintaining technology, make sure IT is aware to keep up-to-date on the following items to make usage as smooth as possible:
- Antivirus protection (for PCs / Windows devices)
- Software updates
- Browser updates
- If your organization is scaling up usage, increase bandwidth and number of access points accordingly
Download these IT worksheets to help you think through your IT set-up.