Khan Academy for Teachers is Now Free in US

Announced on May 21, 2024, the press release titled “Khan Academy and Microsoft partner to expand access to AI tools that personalize teaching and help make learning fun” by Sally Beatty discusses a new collaboration between Khan Academy and Microsoft to enhance educational tools through AI. The two companies are providing free access to AI-powered teaching assistant Khanmigo for Teachers to all K-12 educators in the U.S., using Microsoft’s Azure AI-optimized infrastructure.


Brief Overview of Khan Academy and Microsoft Announcement

The article highlights how Khanmigo aids teachers by suggesting creative ways to teach abstract concepts using everyday items. Teachers can utilize Khanmigo to generate custom lesson plans, create student groupings, and adjust text difficulty for various learners, potentially saving teachers five hours a week.


Additionally, Microsoft and Khan Academy are exploring the development of small language models (SLMs) like Phi-3, which are more cost-effective and scalable for tasks such as math tutoring. This initiative is part of a broader effort to make teaching more sustainable and to bring personalized learning to more students.


The partnership also involves integrating Khan Academy content into Microsoft’s Copilot and Teams for Education apps, further extending the reach of these educational resources. Teachers and students at Hobart High School have already experienced positive impacts from using Khanmigo, noting its ability to encourage critical thinking without giving direct answers, thus supporting a more inquiry-based learning approach.


The Takeaway

The stated aims of this collaboration are to provide high-quality, personalized educational experiences while addressing teacher burnout and supporting resource-constrained schools globally. The real business aims are more likely to take some of the school market share away from Google and seed the education market for stronger adoption of Khanmigo for Students– and Open AI.

This writer loves the concept of Khanmigo and the idea that each student can have a personal tutor. When Sal Khan did his TedTalk in April of 2023, I had goosebumps!

Sal Khan TEDTalk April 2023

But it’s a year later and I have many, many reservations about schools adopting the technology and its systemic impacts before any independent research has been completed. When I watch the video below, I’m once again persuaded, as was its intent, to believe that Khanmigo is idyllically transformative in the classroom. However, I’m older and wiser now.

I’d like more proof from sources other than sophisticated marketers– wouldn’t you? Luring teachers to use something unproven with their students and potentially harmful to their own livelihoods seems right on brand for the Silicon Valley crowd, but I am very wary of the entire world being their beta testers. Are you??

Khanmigo for Teachers video



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