Nune Aghasaryan is a mathematics teacher at Yerevan School No 199. She is an active user of the free Khan Academy website in the Armenian language.
“I was a good student at school, perhaps a little better than just a good one. In my last year at school, my parents told me I was free to choose any profession I liked, but they would still wish to see me as a doctor or an educator. However, I decided to apply to the Polytechnic University and got enrolled at the Department of Radio Engineering. After graduation I worked for about 10 years at the Scientific Research Institute of Mathematical Machines named after Mergelyan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, I decided to work at the school in our neighborhood; owing to the neighbors’ kids I tutored, I hadn’t forgotten mathematics,” she laughs.
“During the first year of my work at school, I felt I still lacked pedagogical knowledge. I rummaged through books, for there was no internet or Khan Academy back then, and was able to overcome the obstacles, despite difficulties. I had a colleague who always willingly answered all my questions and taught me one of the most important principles in life and work, which is self-improvement and self-education.
"I entered the Pedagogical University at 40 and graduated with a qualification of a teacher of mathematics and computer science.
"If I ever envy youth now, it is not because they have a whole life ahead of them, but because they have the ability and numerous opportunities to study. We used to register at the libraries and wait for days to learn where and in which book we could find anything we needed. Now, it’s a matter of seconds; you just type in anything you want, and it is all there before you. This was how I discovered Khan Academy, quite by chance. Truth be told, I never searched anything math-related on the internet in the Armenian script, for I never thought there could be any Armenian platform out there, where both the teacher and students would find answers to most different questions they might have.
"I remember how amazed and later thrilled I was as I came across Khan Academy’s website in the Armenian language. I can state without reservation that Khan Academy assists me, working together with me and often instead of me.
"Khan Academy designs and checks tests, tutors and draws lesson plans for me. I don’t feel bad about it; it’s great when someone assists you, meaning I can focus on doing something else for the children, which I wouldn’t manage otherwise, if it weren’t for Khan Academy’s free website in the Armenian language. Khan has become my best assistant.
"Naturally, one can’t just play a video and have the students watch it. I should first explore the platform and then organize the educational process.
"Within this context, I would also like to mention that Khan Academy is particularly effective from the point of view of individual studies. I have two very different fifth grades, and this platform helps to develop individual educational programs to meet every child’s needs.”
The sixth-graders. To my question as to who explains the lesson better, Ms. Aghasaryan, or Khan Academy, they answer in chorus, “Ms. Aghasaryan!”
“The children love learning with Khan Academy! From day one, they took writing tests or watching videos with Khan Academy as an incentive. No matter how hard I tried to explain that it was a part of our lesson, there was so much excitement about it that Khan Academy was still perceived as a treat.
"I used Khan Academy at every lesson during the pandemic, as I knew that the half hour wouldn’t suffice to introduce the new lesson, do the classwork and check the homework.
"Now that we are back to school, I still continue to use the opportunities availed by the platform and encourage my colleagues to do so, too.”
Arsen is in the 6th grade; he has decided to become an accountant. He particularly likes Khan Academy’s video materials.
“We should be ready to switch to the 21st-century education. We should be technically equipped in the first place; even the electronic register causes us inconvenience because we don’t have computers. We are living in a digital age; want it or not, education is developing in this direction. Every beginning is difficult, but all issues should get solved in due course of time.”
Ms. Aghasaryan’s 7th-graders
Do the kids like math?
“Yes, they like math; it interests them. The other day one of the kids solved the problem in such a way that I felt ashamed I had never thought of it before.
"The children understand that they can have a bright future thanks to education. Programming is a particularly popular choice these days, and they know they need to learn math for it.”
“The future of all of us depends on what education our children will get, what specialist they will become and what country they will build. That’s why I am interested in contributing to their good academic performance.”