My Learning Journey-->

Category: edci337-app

Final App Review: Khan Academy Kids

(Photo retrieved from: )


Interactive multimedia applications are beneficial as they aim to support the diversity of student learners by promoting the use of various features. According to Arnold (2020), Khan Academy Kids increases literacy skills through its widely free and available surface. As such, Khan Academy Kids ties into numerous multimedia principles and demonstrates the use of various learning styles. Through its strengths, we will analyze the principles of multimedia, the pedagogy and the inclusion of diverse learners.

Photo created on Canva by Brittany

Principles of Multimedia 

Khan Academy Kids utilizes the modality principle of narration and images to convey meaning and instruction. As Mayer (2014) states, “students learn better when the associated statements are narrated rather than presented visually”. This is especially vital for low-experienced learners who need extra assistance when learning meaning. By doing so, young students are able to better interpret the meaning of the material instead of experiencing cognitive overload with the inclusion of words on the screen. Additionally, the multimedia principle is evident throughout the app as the incorporation of both pictures and words allows young learners the ability to connect meaning to text. This is especially evident in the reading activities where young students are developing literacy skills. Fletcher & Tobias (2005) state that “words and images evoke different conceptual processes and that perception and learning are active, constructive processes”. Thus leading to the conclusion that Khan Academy Kids is developed in a way that promotes active learning and cognitive growth. In regards to classroom use of the application, the collaboration principle which states “people can learn better with collaborative online learning activities” (Mayer, 2014) demonstrates the benefit of learning with the addition of technology. Using this app as an extension to classroom learning will reinforce concepts and allow students to practice their learning at home with guidance.

The voice principle explains that people learn better when words are spoken in human voice, rather than machine or foreign-accented human voices (Mayer, 2014). Khan Academy Kids does not completely satisfy this principle, as a lot of the activities are spoken by a machine generated voice. That being said, the machine generated voice is presented by Kodi Bear, who is an on-screen agent and displays human-like movement and gestures, which satisfies the image principle (Mayer, 2014). 

Khan Academy Kids’ Daily Circle Time ( feature is put on by members of the Khan Academy Kids team and thereby exhibits the voice principle. It also demonstrates the worked-example principle, as their drawing activities include drawings done by other students. The worked example principle is also shown in their math activities, which can be beneficial for many students’ learning styles. Research has shown that when learning a new task, worked-examples are more efficient because it reduces the working load memory (Paas et al, 2004).

Pedagogy of Khan Academy 

Khan Academy Kids goal is to “inspire lifelong learning” through fun activities that are widely available and academically engaging for all students (Khan Academy Launches New Educational Program For Children Ages Two To Five (2018, July 12)). Therefore, Khan uses content-centered video’s as it’s main form of pedagogy. This approach focuses on what the theme is, followed by the subject area and the aimed grade level (Di Blas et al., 2014). Through the application, students are able to use the features to best support their learning. According to Di Blas et al., (2014), another key pedagogy of Khan Academy Kids, is the Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model. This suggests that students use technology as a tool to understand the content, which helps teachers use this model to create a lesson plan that focuses on how to teach with technology. This is crucial as it recognizes the benefits of technology in the classroom. All in all, the TPACK model helps educators make purposeful lessons in accordance with technology. 

Photo by Annie Sprat on Unsplash

Additionally, video-based learning follows a student centered approach. This tool acts as a means to provide children with the opportunity to have choice in their learning. It thus also allows the students to learn at their own pace as they are able to rewatch, rewind, fast forward. As a result we address the personal needs of each student through an inclusive design for learning. 

Inclusion of Diverse Learners

One of the main benefits of Khan Academy Kids, for both teachers and students, is its ability to include diverse learners of many different abilities. An advantage that digital learning apps have over traditional methods of instruction is their greater ability to accommodate different learning styles and to consider prior student knowledge. While using Khan Academy Kids, the number of times the material is repeated, “the quantity and type of scaffold to aid learning, and the level of difficulty, can all be adjusted automatically based on the learner’s response” (Allen et al., 2016). Khan Academy Kids allows instructors to differentiate instruction with ease as the app enables students to learn and engage with the content at their own pace regardless of their grade level. One teacher in the United States who uses Khan Academy in her classroom regularly reported that the self-paced instruction that came with using the app allowed her to spend more time “working with individual students and less time on whole-class instruction” (Murphy et. al, 2014) something she preferred and believed benefited her students. This smooth transition can be critically important for language interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, where repeated exposure is required for learning (Allen et al., 2016). In addition, because of the app’s high engagement, it also supports learners with ADHD and ADD.

Based on the International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education’s App Checklist for Educators, we would rate Khan Academy Kids as a “five star” app because of its high student interest, design features, connections to the curriculum, and effective instructional features (Lubniewski & Mcarthur, 2018).


Overall, Khan Academy Kids acts as an interactive resource that aims to empower all learners. Khan Academy brings interactive and innovative ideas and resources through a free and accessible environment. Therefore these features allow children to learn by engaging with numerous multimedia principles and pedagogies in order to meet their individual learning styles and needs. As such, Khan Academy Kids fosters a fun interactive learning resource, which empowers them to be engaged through a student-centered approach. Thus, it provides them with the necessary tools to grow and further their knowledge and understanding. 

Post by Amanda, Clara, Stephanie and Brittany


Allen, M. L., Hartley, C., & Cain, K. (2016). IPads and the Use of “Apps” by Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Do They Promote Learning? Frontiers in Psychology, 7. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01305

Arnold, D. (2020). New Educational App Shows Promise for Improving Pre-schoolers’ Pre-literacy Skills. Retrieved from: 

Di Blas, N., Fiore, A., Mainetti, L., Vergallo, R., & Paolini, P. (2014). A portal of educational resources: Providing evidence for matching pedagogy with technology.Research in Learning Technology, 22, 1-26. doi:10.3402/rlt.v22.22906 

Fletcher, J. D., & Tobias, S. (2005). The Multimedia Principle. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (p. 117–133). Cambridge University Press.

Khan Academy Launches New Educational Program For Children Ages Two To Five. (2018, July 12). PR Newswire. Retrieved from

Lubniewski, K. L., & Mcarthur, C. L. (2018). Evaluating Instructional Apps Using the App Checklist for Educators (ACE). International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 10(3), 323-329. doi:10.26822/iejee.2018336190

Murphy, R., Gallagher, L., Krumm, A ., Mislevy, J., & Hafter, A. (2014). Research on the Use of Khan Academy in Schools. Menlo Park, CA: SRI Education.

Paas, F. Renkl, A., & Sweller, J. (2004). Cognitive Load Theory: Instructional Implications of the Interaction between Information Structures and Cognitive Architecture. Instructional Science, 32(1/2), 1-8. Retrieved from

Group Evaluation Multimedia App: Khan Academy Kids

Our group evaluated four apps according to the multimedia principles. We analyzed TedEd Talks , Khan Academy Kids, Bramble Berry Tales, Seesaw, All of which demonstrate various strengths and uses within the classroom. Upon discussing some of the benefits and uses of each app, we have selected to do Khan Academy Kids for our final project.

Something that enlightened our decision making is that we have all used Khan Academy both in elementary/high school and post-secondary. As such we have experience using the app and to this day still continue to use it. The other reason is that it is very interactive with the games and it fosters various levels. As such students have the opportunity to learn at their own pace.

Furthermore, I also believe that videos further engage students as such Khan Academy align well with multiple multimedia principles!

Here is a video of the way Khan Academy Kids works!

Although TedEd Talks are similar, I believe that the format of Khan Academy kids is more beneficial for learners as it focuses and aligns more thoroughly with curricular competencies.

Additionally, Khan Academy allows students to prepare for school as well as it helps students up to about grade 1 learn key concepts by fun games and videos! This platform can thus be useful during times like Covid-19 where school is online!

Here are some ratings (found online) from parents around Khan Academy in general and Khan Academy Kids App as well.

In regard to Bramble Berry Tales I believe it will be a very useful app for educators! However, since it is very new, I think that it has more developing and discovering to go but cannot wait to explore and learn more about it soon!

Seesaw is a portfolio-based app that connects students learning to the teacher and their families. Tools like creative thinking make it an interactive tool that helps teachers understand the child’s thinking. As such this tool serves many benefits as it looks at the thought process and uses various multimedia principles. There is so much to learn with Seesaw, however I believe it follows US and Australian privacy laws which doesn’t effectively align with Canada PIPEDA law. Whereas Freshgrade which is a very similar platform does as it is a Canadian based company.

All in all, the benefits of Khan Academy Kids can be described in the poster (I created on Canva) below and I look forward to further analyzing it for our final project.

Furthermore, the following to articles provide great insight on more of the benefits of Khan Academy.

Khan Academy Website article

Khan Academy Kids article

Multimedia App Evaluation: TedED

Ted Ed

Multimedia Principles

Ted Ed Talks are typically a live PowerPoint presentation. Sometimes you see an individual presenting, an individual talking and sharing their slides (pictures) or other times you hear their voice in the background and just see the slides. The benefit of using Ted Ed is that you can learn from various sources through videos! Accordingly, I will evaluate how Ted Ed videos align with many of Richard Meyer. The use of this format of videos aligns with the idea of a multimedia principle as video provide learners with a means to listen, read (closed captions) and have a visual. Since it is a video, the material being presented is always in movement and therefore the pictures are temporary, but you can also review and replay it as needed. Therefore, these 2 concepts parallel the split-attention and the segmented principles. The segmented principle focuses on the need for it to be learner-paced rather than continuous units. As such Ted Ed supports this idea as they are typically individual videos with no specific chapters or order.

Video Components: Narration and image

The modality principle suggests that “people learn better from graphics and narration than from graphics and printed text” (Meyer, ch.9, 2014). As a result, the slides and narration of Ted Ed videos supports learners. Additionally, Ted Ed videos typically include a real live presentation, this makes it, so it is not acting but rather true movement and conversation. Having a real human present their personal experience around the subject follows the personalization principle. Along the same lines, the speakers tend to talk to the audience using the second person “you” thus making things more personal as well. The voice and image principles go hand and hand with this claim as it is a real human presenting rather than monotone computer reading, it is more of a story (voice) and when the presenter is on screen it is a very genuine and natural conversation and movements (image). On the contrary, some videos do only have the slides with a voice, therefore they follow an embodiment principle as the speaker’s image is not on the screen.

As you can probably decipher each video on Ted Ed follows a different format. Therefore, one video may follow certain principles and others will follow different ones. Some videos include the signaling principle where important information is demonstrated using cues and tactics like colour, stars, bold text. One thing that stays consistent is the use of audio and video, the modality principle. As well as the multimedia principle as it includes both verbal and non-verbal representations. Moreover, each video includes activities to enhance learning and further knowledge. As a result, the Ted Ed learning surface follows a collaboration principle. All in all, this resource addressed various principles and supports the diversity of student learners.

Although Ted Ed videos do not always align directly with the K-12 curriculum, there is a lot of life skills and learning objectives. Currently on the Ted Ed website there is an Earth School section. This section was made to support educators during the Covid 19 pandemic. Here is an example of one of the videos in that collection.


According to SAMR model of technology integration, Ted Ed Talks would fall under the augmentation category. Since Ted Ed Talks are widely available and free which according to the rubric addresses accessible. As such, I believe that the videos provide children with various lenses and learning experiences. As such, I do think that it serves as an asset and can be used in the classroom. In regards to the following rubric (, Ted Talks effectively addresses all functionality categories. The Hypermediality is the key factor as it ties into learning styles and how Ted Ed videos allows students to use audio, video and text to support their learning. Furthermore, its accessibility, technical and mobile design are also very efficient.

Personal Reflection

Ted Talks Methodology speaks to its purpose around learning and “ideas worth spreading”. Starting off sharing these in the classroom is thus powerful! These videos are also empowering as students are able to create their own Ted Talks. The following article (Click here).addresses the benefits of Ted Talks and Ted Ed clubs. As such, these videos extend beyond just learning but also creating! I have used this resource since I was in elementary school and still to date learn valuable information based off of numerous details (research and experiences). Cocchio (2015), article makes a valuable claim that Ted Ed engages learners and we as teachers can learn to support and use this method in our classroom through engaging our students instead of just lecturing them. The format and framework of Ted Talks thus supports learning and interactive education!


Cocchio, C. (2015). What can we learn from TED talks? American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 79(6), 92. doi:10.5688/ajpe79692

L. (2017).SAMR Model: A Practical Guide for EdTech Integration. Schoology Exchange.

Mayer, R. (2014). Introduction to Multimedia Learning. In R. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology, pp. 1-24). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139547369.002

Should students learn how to give TED talks? introducing.TED-ed clubs for students worldwide: School-based program helps students learn, share ideas through their own TED-style presentations. (2014, ). PR Newswire