Lao Tzu’s famous quote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is a prolific call to action. And, in the case of Khan Academy India, it begins with a well-trained teacher.
Founded in 2007 as a philanthropy-funded non-profit, Khan Academy intends to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy India trains teachers across several national public and private school systems on the use of Khan Academy resources in their classrooms. By the end of last year, starting from an almost non-existent base, tens of thousands of students per month enrolled in pilot schools were coming aboard and using Khan Academy in their classrooms—something Vipul Redey, Head of School Enablement at Khan Academy attributes to the effective teacher trainings conducted over BlueJeans.
Their self-paced and customized model allows for the curriculum to span beyond any borders- gender, socioeconomic groups, and many disadvantaged populations. And considering they’re a small yet mighty team of three teachers based in India—with a population of over 1.3 billion people and 1.2 million schools—Khan Academy needed a solution that could scale to support its lofty goals of training hundreds of regionally distributed teachers at once (and subsequently an infinite number of students), while ensuring that low bandwidth issues didn’t compromise the learner experience. “That’s when BlueJeans came into the picture. We needed a way to reach out to these teachers, perform the initial training, and continue the ongoing education and hand-holding,” says Redey.
Previously accomplished by conducting phone or in-person training sessions, which required travel expenses, Khan Academy now uses BlueJeans Events to train teachers virtually via webinars. Providing the ability to host live interactive webcasts to upwards of 15,000 attendees, BlueJeans Events not only met the immediate needs of Khan Academy, but it addressed a pervasive and erratic problem—limited bandwidth. BlueJeans Events’ adaptive bitrate streaming allows the webcast to operate in low bandwidth mode without affecting the learning experience. “Over the past year, BlueJeans Events has proven to be the ideal platforms for offering remote education in developing countries with low bandwidth, as these webinar sessions have already drastically cut our travel and training facility rental costs, while still allowing for frequent touchpoints with teachers to reinforce their knowledge and keep them updated on new content—a blessing for a non-profit like ours that is exclusively philanthropy-funded,” said Redey. “Even for those with lousy internet connections, the quality of their live stream is never compromised.”
An Educational Journey Begins with a Single Teacher
By the ability to train the teachers via BlueJeans Events, Khan Academy will have a greater reach and impact to the educational journeys of their students. “One well-trained teacher produces hundreds of really good students. It’s a force-multiplier. Part of that effort is made possible by BlueJeans Events and our ability to reach classroom teachers through virtual training.”
Khan Academy plans to double, or possibly triple, the number of students using Khan Academy this academic year, something Redey believes will only be possible if they continue to scale up corresponding teacher training efforts to cover geographically dispersed state schools via regular webinar trainings using BlueJeans.
“By making up-skilling teachers across India possible in a very effective and fiscally-conscientious manner, BlueJeans is helping us to improve the effectiveness of our education system as a whole.” – Vipul Redey, Head of School Enablement at Khan Academy
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