What does the popular video game Temple Run have anything to do with algebra? Just a few clicks into CK12's free educational content site, you'll see it's leveraged as a real-world application of using algebra to compare the difference between the top scores of the game.
The simple tactic of using references like Temple Run in explaining math concepts is one of CK12's new offerings to its open education resources -- free content that teachers can customize for their classes. The company, which has been offering its online digital content through FlexBooks for several years, has recently added more interactive resources to its offerings, including quizzes, videos, and real-world application examples.
In the Biology category, for example, under Proteins, students and teachers will find written explanations, practice exercises, discussion questions, and relevant links to many more online resources. They'll also find a short video of an educator explaining what proteins are created by MindBites, and one of the better built-out multimodality resources on the site. Other concepts include Khan Academy videos, as well as content from PBS's NOVA, and any other content that helps explain subjects. Check out these series of video that explain how Egyptian pyramids are related to congruent triangles.
"We give kids all these big concepts, but they don’t know what it means," said Founder Neeru Khosla. "If you start showing them how they’re applied, it becomes more meaningful."
Khosla says the more advanced iteration of CK12's offerings is meant to help educators and students find all the resources they need in one spot, and to help them contextualize it. Each broad
subject is broken down into concepts -- smaller, bite-sized chunks -- and so far, the site provides more than 5,000 concepts. Educators can also create a dashboard and see how students are developing along each of the concepts.
"It’s provided in one container so you can learn it many different ways," Khosla said. "And it’s in smaller chunk, which kids prefer. What we’re moving away from is that grade-based, artificial separation to a lot more fluid system, going at your own pace."
CK12's offerings will be piloted in Leadership Public Schools in middle and high school grades in California. Khosla says the content is aligned to the Common Core, and some of the CK12 content is available on iTunes as an app.