Friday, July 31, 2009

Kids Teach Kids with Mathcasting

At the Building Learning Communities Conference in Boston this week, I had the opportunity to meet an impressive teacher and two of his students who are engaged in exciting work involving kids who are psyched about math because they get to teach other kids how to get smarter. Eric Marcos is a middle school teacher who had created a video using Jing to help a struggling student understand a math concept. A few days later, another student happened to see the video and when he came across a difficult math concept he asked Mr. Marcos if he would make him a video too. Word got around and then something new happened. A student asked if she could make one of these videos about a math concept she was good at. Mr. Marcos said, "sure!." The next thing he knew he had his MATH students asking to stay late to make math videos. It was previously unheard of at this school that students would be staying late to do math.

The kids were excited to make their own math video and the concept took off. Mr. Marcos’s teaching began a transformation as he started using the student videos as a powerful tool in his classrooms for instruction and assessment. Next he had to determine a place to host the videos. He set up a site called The site has the student video tutorials on various math concepts. They are just fantastic and popular. Soon there were kids around the globe watching these videos asking Mr. Marco’s students how to do math concepts and requesting more videos. Then students began discussing the math concepts they watched in the videos. Of course, not only is this a fantastic and motivational instructional tool, it is also a terrific assessment tool to determine if students have mastered a particular math concept. All videos have popularity rating, quality rating, and comments not only from educators, but also from their peers. BTW...this is all free.

Visit the site at and check out all the great existing content you can share with your students OR your students can create and contribute their own content.


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! My students had such a great time. I plan on uploading the presentation and links to the resources we showed. I'll come back and post some info here in case anyone reading your story has any questions or is interested in any more details about screencasting. Thanks again!
    Eric Marcos, "Bob" and "Billy Billy"

  2. Eric,

    How can I access this site? I clicked on the link and couldn't get through.. please advise.


  3. Eric, thanks so much. I look forward to seeing the links and resources. You can comment here or I'd be happy to share a post from you on my blog if you'd like to write one.

    L, I'm not sure what the issue is wit the link, but you can just type in

  4. Hi,
    The link seems to be fine. Are you clicking the Mathtrain.TV link in the post?
    Let me know, because all seems to be fine. Thanks again!

  5. Marcos, Bob and "Billy, Billy" inspired me to start an after-school club for students who are advanced and who are willing to share their knowledge with others using jing and perhaps camtasia which appears to be easier to use and has more features. For inspiration I'll take them to Mathtrain.TV.

  6. PLCJP,
    Very cool! Please let me know how it goes. And of course the students and I would be happy to assist if you have any questions along the way.

    Did you happen to attend our Friday BLC session?


  7. The Innovative Educator,
    Thanks again for everything!

    As promised, here is a link to our presentation from the BLC 09 Conference in Boston. This presentation is an extended version of what we showed during our session. Since my two students ran much of the session, I added "NOTES" to some slides explaining things deeper when appropriate.

    Also, I used Google Presentation to convert our PowerPoint, so some slides are a little squashed. If anyone wants more information, please contact me at mathtrain @ Thanks!

    "Kids Teaching Kids: Empowering Students through Screencasting" Presentation:

    1. Hi Eric, I loved this idea that I found on Lisa's blog. I would love to learn more so I just requested access to


  8. Mr. Marcos and class,

    Let me begin with WOW!!!

    I am a secondary education/math student at The University of South Alabama. Currently, I am enrolled in EDM 310, Technology in Education. This course has opened my eyes to the technology aspect of teaching. I have been so excited about it for the past 11 weeks.

    And now, I stumbled upon Mathtrain.TV. This is really fantastic. You all should be very proud. I've watched some of the podcasts and have been very impressed. These were some of the things I had envisioned doing in my class when I get there, and you all have shown that it not only can be done, but that it is truly fantastic.

    Thank you for sharing your podcasts! Keep up the super work!

    Jackie Gorski
    University of South Alabama
    Secondary Education/Math
    My Blog :