During the 2017–18 school year, Silicon Valley Education Foundation(SVEF)’s iHub team partnered with WestEd and two of school districts in the region to conduct a study on what math EdTech products are in use in 7th grade, how they are being used, and if they have an impact on student achievement. The study used a mixed-methods approach to draw its conclusions, including classroom observation of product usage, focus groups with students, and test data from the annual California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).
One product that was used in the math classrooms we observed across all districts was Khan Academy, a personalized online learning resource. We conducted student focus groups on its usage as part of a six-month series of observations in 7th-grade classrooms. Fifty-four students participated in seven Khan Academy focus groups, facilitated by SVEF or WestEd staff. The students were given a chance to report their direct experience with Khan Academy in an open-ended question format. The common themes we heard across the schools and classrooms were: choice & control, support, and product design.
Image credit: Khan Academy