Khan Academy maths symposium to assist Irish teachers, 27 Sept

16 Sep 2014

Managing director of SOSVentures and entrepreneur, Sean O'Sullivan.

The world-renowned Khan Academy, which provides a free online maths resource, will be coming to Dublin for a symposium on Saturday, 27 September to impart knowledge to Irish teachers and students.

The event being held in Eircom’s head office in Dublin will bring together leaders in education technology and will provide practical workshops for educators, parents and volunteers on Khan Academy with the aim of helping students develop the confidence and competence to excel in maths.

Despite not yet being aligned with the Irish curriculum, there are currently over 300,000 Khan Academy users in Ireland including a number of teachers who have used it as part of their class activities.

Founded in 2006 by the American educator, Sal Khan, the Khan Academy offers free online maths education to over 10m monthly users with 4m practice problems solved each day to provide “a free world-class education for anyone anywhere”.

Students and teachers of Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Claregalway, Co. Galway celebrate their win at the MATHletes Challenge 2014 National Championship at the CHQ building in May 2014.

Improving STEM performance in Ireland

Chairman of Microsoft Europe Jan Muehlfeit will be attending the event and managing director of SOSVentures and entrepreneur, Sean O’Sullivan, will also be speaking at the event having invested a huge quantity of his time, and US$5m in funding, to the academy.

For those who will be attending the symposium, it will offer an opportunity for parents and teachers to prepare their students for MATHletes 2015, which will launch in January and will be open to fourth class through to pre-Leaving Cert students.

Speaking of the boost the event will bring to the Irish maths education system, O’Sullivan said: “This year’s Leaving and Junior Certificate results show even more students interested in STEM fields and taking higher level mathematics.

“However, despite these gains, the percentage of high achievers on these exams remain stagnant and Ireland is continuing to languish in the middle of the European tables when it comes to student performance on STEM subjects. There is no reason that Ireland cannot be number one.”

Registration costs €20 with those looking to go needing to register by Sunday, 21 September.

Disclosure – SOSVentures is an investor in Silicon Republic

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic