In an effort to improve the quality of education, Vietnam’s education sector has been actively participating in the national digital transformation process in recent years, as a result of the continuous advancement of technology.
The role of digital transformation in education is significant, as it facilitates the development of more effective educational methods. Among these is an advanced education model called Open School initiated by the Khan Academy Vietnam (KAV) team on the Khan Academy platform, which is currently being implemented in hundreds of elementary and secondary schools across the nation with initially positive results. This non-profit educational program is organized by The Vietnam Foundation (VNF) – the official representative of Khan Academy United States in Vietnam, which was founded by Vietnamese-American entrepreneur Pham Duc Trung Kien.
Khan Academy is a leading free online learning platform worldwide, with over 145 million users annually in more than 190 countries. It is supported by Google, billionaire Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and numerous other major foundations. This platform was developed by the United States-based non-profit organization Khan Academy in 2008.
Recognizing the excellence of this free online learning platform, Pham Duc Trung Kien, a Vietnamese-American entrepreneur and the Chairman of The Vietnam Foundation, had long desired to bring Khan Academy’s educational platform to Vietnam. It was not until 2021 that Mr. Trung Kien realized this plan, viewing it as a long-term strategy to support Vietnamese education. He stated, “I’ve been considering bringing Khan Academy to Vietnam for quite some time, beginning with the knowledge I gained in the United States about meeting the market’s demand for online learning. Back then, the internet infrastructure in Vietnam was inadequate, so this plan was not possible. In recent years, Vietnam has made significant investments in internet infrastructure. I am aware that the Vietnamese have a substantial demand for education; they are eager to study. Based on Vietnam’s improved internet infrastructure, now what we need is educational content. Therefore, we intended to bring Khan Academy to Vietnam, but students have an immediate problem with not having sufficient English proficiency to use the English content on the platform. Hence, the role of the VNF team is to translate the materials into Vietnamese so that students can easily access the open educational resources that are suitable with the Vietnamese educational curriculum.”
Over the past three years, Khan Academy’s online learning platform has seen increasing adoption by Vietnamese people. Recently, the Khan Academy Vietnam team expanded the implementation of the KAV Open School model, a powerful digital tool aimed at supporting schools in Vietnam in their digital transformation efforts, especially in teaching and learning management.
According to Do Ngoc Minh, an information technology expert from the Vietnam National University Information Technology Institute (Hanoi) and co-founder of the Khan Academy Vietnam program, the Open School is an education model that many countries are operating in parallel with physical schools: “The KAV Open School is a secure digital space for schools on Khan Academy platform. Each school, from primary schools to high schools in various provinces, has an account to manage and operate their open school. In each open school, there will be various classes created similar to those in the physical school, with complete students in each class, just like in a real school.”
Participating in the KAV Open School on the Khan Academy platform allows teachers to utilize a vast and quality source of learning materials, many of which have been translated to Vietnamese for the students to learn.
According to the expert Do Ngoc Minh, the distinctive feature of this educational platform is the Mastery Learning philosophy, aiming to enhance students’ self-learning abilities: “The Khan Academy platform allows each student to personalize their learning, depending on their ability to absorb knowledge. Students can identify which topics they have mastered and which they still need to study, enabling them to actively fill in the knowledge gaps or enhance their mastery of all the content they need to study. This is a crucial and distinctive aspect of Khan Academy.”
Khan Academy also serves as a tool for parents to accompany their children on their learning journey. Parents can monitor their children’s daily and weekly study progress, track their amount of time spent studying, and see their results, which will enable the parents to encourage and support their children timely. For teachers, Khan Academy helps them monitor the learning progress of each student. When using the Open School on the Khan Academy platform with a large class, managing learning progress becomes easier than ever.
These are the experiences shared by teachers and students when using the Khan Academy online learning platform:
“Usually, I spend about 30 minutes learning with Khan Academy. The learning programs here are enjoyable because they are a combination of study and play. I really enjoy it because I am able to learn many interesting lessons, engage in group discussions with my peers, and study on the Khan Academy platform.” said Nguyen Pham Khanh Linh, a student from Quang Minh A Elementary School, Me Linh, Hanoi.
“Thanks to Khan Academy, we can provide our children with enjoyable and educational content. When they complete exercises correctly, they receive badges and energy points on the platform. This accelerates enthusiastic competition among the students in the class, making our students really enjoy learning on the Khan Academy platform, eagerly waiting for the assignments from their teacher” said Ms. Le Thi Hien, a teacher.
“I also enjoy learning on the Khan Academy platform. Every day, I spend 30 minutes doing exercises on Khan Academy. It is convenient and fun because I can do assignments on the computer and phone. Khan Academy contains a wealth of new and fascinating knowledge. I am enthusiastic about learning with Khan Academy. There is a lot of knowledge that helps me review lessons after classes.” said Bao Han, a 4th-grade student at Quang Minh B Elementary School, Me Linh, Hanoi.
“Digital transformation is an extremely important task in Hanoi’s education sector, and at Quang Minh B Elementary School, we are effectively implementing Khan Academy’s learning platform during this digital transformation process. We have successfully communicated with teachers, parents, and students, receiving very positive feedback and high participation from parents at our school.” said Ms. Le Thi Anh, the Vice Principal of Quang Minh B Elementary School in Me Linh, Hanoi.
With a mission to enhance the quality of teaching and cultivate students’ self-learning skills, Khan Academy Vietnam actively supports schools by developing programs and training materials to guide teachers on how to use and operate the KAV Open School.
To date, there are nearly 700 KAV Open Schools implemented in Vietnam, offering an effective and practical digital transformation tool for both teachers and students.
Mr. Nguyen Quoc Viet, Deputy Director of the Me Linh District Department of Education and Training in Hanoi, stated, “The Khan Academy Vietnam program and its blended learning method are extremely beneficial. The Vietnamese version of Khan Academy platform makes it easy for students and teachers to access. In the process of digital transformation, this platform is very useful due to its diverse, high-quality learning resources in an internationally standardized bilingual format. We hope that more schools will access this platform to enhance the quality of education in Vietnam.”
Khan Academy Vietnam has expressed its commitment to continuing to develop technology solutions and localize educational content on various topics of current interest, such as probability and statistics, life skills, personal finance, growth mindset, and computer skills. The Vietnam Foundation and Khan Academy Vietnam aim to be a steadfast companion in Vietnam’s national digital transformation journey. Entrepreneur Pham Duc Trung Kien and the Khan Academy Vietnam team firmly believe that investing in education is the smartest and most meaningful investment in life.