Mathtrain

Maths teachers – have you seen Mathtrain.tv? It’s like a mini-Khan academy filled with fabulous short videos explaining maths concepts except all the videos have been created by students. Here’s a sample:

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From the About us page:

Mathtrain.TV is a free educational “kids teaching kids” project from Mr. Marcos & his students at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, CA. Mathtrain.TV was created by middle school mathematics teacher, Eric Marcos. It is part of the Mathtrain.com Project and was created to host our student-created math video lessons all in one place. It is Web 2.0 friendly with its ability for users to generate “ratings” and “comments”. Our middle school students use a tablet pc and screen-capturing software, Camtasia Studio, to create the math tutorials. The site is powered by PHPmotion, a free video-sharing software.

Students at Lincoln Middle School create math video lessons (screencasts or mathcasts) which are used for classroom instruction and posted onto sites such as Mathtrain.TV, Mathtrain.com, iTunes, YouTube, TeacherTube and Google Video. Our students work hard at creating the content and construct the best explanations they can in our unscripted format. The videos are offered free, “as is” (under a Creative Commons agreement) and we take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or errors which may exist in the content or site. All videos are reviewed (and sometimes further edited) by a credentialed math teacher. In an effort to make our videos available to many different learners, we are in the process of closed captioning (CC) our videos. At the moment, there may be two versions of the same video lesson on this site; one with and one without captioning. On other videos, we may “burn” the captions right onto the video itself. As technology progresses, we hope to offer our viewers not only the ability to toggle on and off between closed captioning but also alternative language subtitles. For more information about how to caption your own videos, go here: www.dcmp.org/ciy.

We invite students, teachers, parents and educators to join us and help contribute to this global collaborate effort. We are especially interested in student-created mathcasts, hence the “kids teaching kids” motto.

My motto is “Learn, do, teach” because it is through the act of showing someone else how to do something that I truly consolidate my knowledge. The content on Mathtrain.tv is fantastic and there is plenty to be learned there but wouldn’t your students’ mathematical skills benefit from creating similar explanatory videos? And what about other subjects? There is enormous scope for learning by teaching. Steve Wheeler has recently written about the value of Flipping the teacher (as opposed to the classroom) and has some other useful suggestions for how this can be done. The tools used are becoming more widely available and there are plenty of great examples out there. Let me know if you and your students have created any of these videos and they can be featured on Bytes. Or if you’d like to give it a try but don’t know where to start please get in touch.

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