Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022
Brian Kim on the Art

Brian Kim Talks Virtual Connection: Is It Possible for Students to Really Learn Online?

The intrusion of COVID caused virtual learning to skyrocket, and the results of this shift were undoubtedly mixed at best. It’s caused many parents to wonder what it really takes to make online learning a success.

Brian Kim is a data scientist who financially supports virtual educational initiatives like Khan Academy. He discusses what it means to connect with another person online and why it’s so important to get it right.

The Nature of Online Instruction

There’s been no end to the debate of what it really means to attend a virtual class. Younger students, who may already have a difficult time concentrating even in a traditional classroom, can easily be exceptionally distracted by the lack of structure. How much a student learns (and ultimately retains) can vary widely, but it’s often due to how the individual teacher approaches the situation.

Brain Kim knows that the odds might seem like they’re stacked against the teacher — particularly if a student has not specifically requested a virtual learning environment. Kim also knows that there’s another side to virtual learning, one that can open doors for millions of people without sacrificing the quality of their education.

Leveling the Playing Field

For all of its criticisms, virtual learning offers a slew of advantages over traditional learning. (During the pandemic, it gave students and parents alike a fighting chance at education during an unprecedented time.) It’s also the best way for many students to overcome anything from location barriers to social conditions that might stand in the way of achieving their dreams.

Brian Kim on Connecting with Students

Brian Kim says that connecting with students starts with understanding the opportunities of virtual learning, and then committing to those benefits. Like traditional teachers, virtual professionals need to find a style that works for both them and their students.

This means coming prepared to class in a way that wouldn’t be required for traditional classroom instruction, where it’s easier to go with the flow in the case of glitches or hiccups. Links, files, programs: they all need to be ready long before class begins. It may also mean putting a higher priority on the quality of the relationships that are being formed. The teacher should feel like they have a fundamental understanding of their student’s strengths and what they’re struggling with.

Kim says that Khan Academy is a K – 12 learning institution that has thrived at all age levels precisely because the teachers are known for customizing their lesson plans based on the students they’re given. It might take a little extra work, but the results speak for themselves. What could be a chaotic experience is transformed into a formalized and effective classroom — even without the customary brick-and-mortar to hold everyone inside.

Brian Kim is a philanthropist who recognizes just how much primary and high school education can chart the course of a child’s future. Giving to this institution is an investment that enriches more than just one family or one academy.