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 http://www.mathtrain.tv. 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 http://www.mathtrain.tv and check out all the great existing content you can share with your students OR your students can create and contribute their own content.




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