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Are Public Schools Ready to Integrate Math Classes with Khan Academy?

Ferman, Bruno and Finamor, Lucas and Lima, Lycia (2019): Are Public Schools Ready to Integrate Math Classes with Khan Academy?

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Abstract

We study the impacts of the program Khan Academy in Schools using a randomized control trial in Brazilian primary public schools. Once a week, teachers would take their students to the school's computer lab and teach using the computer-assisted learning platform, instead of their standard math classes. We find positive effects of the program on measures of attitudes towards math, which were not translated to a positive average treatment effect on students' math proficiency. We explore treatment heterogeneity by quality of implementation. This provides suggestive evidence that the program may have positive effects when there are no infrastructure problems and when the implementation modality is based on one computer per student. These results highlight the implementation challenges associated with educational tech-interventions in developing countries and help explain the mixed results found in the literature.

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