Because Hamiltonians Teach Digitally: Kristen Eignor DiCerbo ’95
During the COVID-19 quarantine, Kristen Eignor DiCerbo ’95 foresaw the impact of technology in education. “There was a huge increase in usage as teachers and learners looked for online tools,” says DiCerbo, chief learning officer for the Khan Academy. “As we move back into classrooms, we hope people take the things technology can do for learning and weave them into the in-person experience for better outcomes.”
A nonprofit in Mountain View, Calif., Khan’s mission is to provide free education for everyone. “We offer digital multi-discipline instruction for grades K-14,” DiCerbo says. “We have 121 million and 5.5 million registered learners and teachers [respectively] who use us daily. Others use us more informally to dive into new things they want to learn.”
A lifelong proponent of engaging students, DiCerbo honed her learning skills at Hamilton. A psychology and sociology major, she studied principles covering learning and assessment, including multiple chances to complete assignments to reach mastery and only then moving forward.
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“Mastery-learning approaches are foundational to our work at Khan,” she adds.
After Hamilton, DiCerbo earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology at Arizona State University and eventually joined Pearson as a research scientist. In 2020, she started her current post, leading Khan’s content and product management teams and bringing what is known about learning science research into the design of its offerings.
Among her Khan colleagues is Hamilton trustee Julia Cowles ’84, who serves as general counsel.
“I look forward to helping teachers and schools embrace mastery learning to improve outcomes and engage learners,” she says.