In the dynamic landscape of 2023, the world witnessed an unprecedented surge in the development of generative AI tools, setting the stage for a transformative era in education. But can we keep up? At the end of 2023, we saw the release of the PISA 2022 results, a crucial benchmark for education systems around the world. Unfortunately, for Bulgarian students, the revelation was disheartening as their academic performance on mathematics had regressed, positioning Bulgaria at the bottom of the EU ranking.
In response to the sobering PISA 2022 results and the growing imperative to bridge the educational gap, Education Without Backpacks is ushering in the new year of 2024 with 2 transformative initiatives.
"For Math Teachers With Love" initiative is geared towards expanding the organization's reach to more schools, with a specific focus on enhancing math education outcomes – you can learn more about this endeavor in the link below.
Simultaneously, the "Digital School Leaders" program is set to equip schools with the necessary skills to navigate and embrace digitalization, ensuring a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to education.
We can help improve Math results for Bulgarian students!
With the support of the Unicredit Foundation, we trained the teams of 2 schools on smart digitalization in the classroom and launched a 3-years mentoring program for introducing Khan Academy’s platform in the math classes. Students already use Khan Academy for 30 minutes per week to enhance their understanding of fifth grade mathematics with the support of their teachers. In 2024, we plan to expand this program into 10+ schools around the country.
Do you know how many Bulgarian teachers are using AI tools in school?
In December 2023, we conducted a survey among teachers and school administrators in our network on the topic of Artificial Intelligence and digitalization in schools. The results of this non-representative survey provide an interesting snapshot of the digitalization processes in education and the level of usage of artificial intelligence in schools.
Here are some of the more intriguing data points from the survey:
- 72% of teachers do not regularly use tools like ChatGPT or Bing Chat in their work, and 41% have never used such tools.
- 83% of schools do not have a defined strategy for digitalization. 53% of respondents indicate that their school has appointed coordinators or ICT leaders.
- In 47% of schools, the advantages and disadvantages of teaching and learning with digital technologies are discussed extremely rarely, "less frequently than every month."
If you want to know more about the survey, check the link below.
Education Without Backpacks at the Ministry of Education forum
In December 2023, we participated at the Ministry of Education and Science forum "Education for Tomorrow" aiming to present the Ministry's vision and solutions for digitalization and improving educational outcomes, as well as best practices for the effective use of digital technologies, tools, and content to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. The event was opened by the Minister of Education and Science, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria and other key political figures.
Our CEO was under the participants in the second panel "Digital Educational Content", presenting Khan Academy as the best free platform focusing on Math and Science combining learning content and unique features and tools such as mastery learning, even integrating AI with its newest instrument Khanmigo (to be available in Europe in 2024). Our work, our whole team and Khan Academy were presented also at the exhibition - part of the forum - where various organizations demonstrated digital and STEM-based resources, tools etc. to support the school system.
4-th grade math exam prep course launched
In November 2023, thanks to Fantastico's support, we finalized a new Khan Academy mathematics prep course for the national external assessment in mathematics after the fourth grade.
To promote the new content among primary school teachers, we organized an informational webinar attended by nearly 500 teachers from across the country. Following the event, the participants expressed extremely high satisfaction and readiness to teach their students using Khan Academy's content.
As of December 2023, after only one month after publishing the new course, the total time students have spent on this educational content is over 16,000 minutes. During that time they mastered over 8000 math skills!
New courses on Khan Academy
In September 2023 we launched two new courses on Khan Academy Bulgarian site with the America for Bulgaria Foundation & Cargill Bulgaria’s support:
- Biology course for 7-10 grades – aligned according to the Bulgarian curriculum in help of all teachers and students in Bulgaria
- Khan for Educators course – a hands-on course to prepare teachers to use Khan Academy in the classroom. Teachers who pass it develop skills to best implement Khan Academy in their classrooms and receive a Khan Academy certificate for their skills.
Khan Academy localization for the period September 2023 – December 2023
Translation: 130 words and 24 videos (256 minutes) in Art history, Informatics, Mathematics, Health and edicine and Resources
Proofreading: 214K words and 178 videos (1137 minutes) in Art history, Health and Medicine, and Informatics.
THANK YOU for supporting us on this journey and helping us expand our impact!
If you have 1 extra minute, you can check our 2023 summary below.
2023 in numbers
- 1.7 million words translated/proofread and 640 translated/proofread video lessons across Art, Math, Computer science, Natural science, and Teacher resources.
- 7 new courses on Khan Academy: two preparatory math courses – 4th grade and 7th grade, two art history courses – Ancient Art and Modern Art, two courses aligned with the Bulgarian curriculum – Biology and Chemistry, and one course aimed at teachers – Become a Teacher with Khan Academy.
- 2 schools with significantly low math results, where we started providing long-term training and mentoring for math teachers to improve students' math outcomes.
- 16 teacher ambassadors of Khan Academy reaching 500 other teachers.
- 80+ teachers who helped their students develop a love for mathematics through competitions in Khan Academy and Khanoniada.
- 20 teachers who completed the 6-week Introduction to School Digitalization program.
- 1 practical toolkit for teachers in 3 languages focusing on digital technologies like Khan for STEM education
- 15+ events for teachers such as webinars, trainings, workshops, and meetings.
Supporters of "For Math Teachers with love"
Our team at Ministry of Education conference
Teacher Training to improve children's results