NAMPA -- Lone Star Middle School in Nampa was recognized as a leader in the future of education during a segment on the PBS show "NOVA" Wednesday night.
It all revolves around a free online learning software called Khan Academy. Anyone can access the site, and teachers at Lone Star have been using it to motivate students.
The Nampa school was chosen to host the kickoff event for LearnStorm, a competition which allows students to earn points as they master skills on the Khan Academy website. And even when they fail, they earn more points for perseverance, as they work to get the right answer.
Sal Khan, the creator of the online learning tool, says education is more reliant on technology than ever before.
"I think the cognitive science and the tech will only become more symbiotic," Khan said on Wednesday night's episode of "NOVA."
Lone Star Principal Greg Heideman credits teachers for realizing how much the site was helping students. He says they also push kids to use it to gain knowledge and confidence.
"We often talk about having a mindset that is a growth mindset that things are hard but we can overcome that if we're willing to put in the time and effort and learn," said Heideman.
For the LearnStorm event, Idaho students competed against students in other states and countries and performed well. Heideman says even though the competition is over, the momentum and energy to help students succeed continues.
Parents like Elizabeth Eisenbrandt agree.
"It's so helpful because so many kids need that extra reinforcement and this way you can do it at home as well as at school and parents can be involved," said Eisenbrandt.
The Nampa School District is taking the idea a step farther. They're working on a personalized learning initiative to get a mobile device for every single student to use both in school and at home.
The "Future of Education" episode can be viewed here.
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