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:
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.
Educause* regularly publishes new “7 things you should know about…” While developed for higher education many of the topics covered, especially those in the Learning Technology Topics series, are very relevant for those of us working in secondary and even primary years. From the site:
Use these quick reads to get essential information on emerging technologies and practices, including potential implications and opportunitities. These resources are great to share with teams or faculty considering a new technology.
The seven things are always answers to these questions:
- What is it?
- How does it work?
- Who’s doing it?
- Why is it significant?
- What are the downsides?
- Where is it going?
- What are the implications for higher education?
and come as a downloadable Pdf or ePub file. Some issues also include a podcast about the topic.
Recent topics have included
- 7 things you should know about games and learning
- 7 things you should know about competency-based education
- 7 things you should know about gesture-based computing
I highly recommend having a browse at Educause, you never know what you might learn!
*EDUCAUSE is a US nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology.
There are a wealth of resources available to inspire and assist you in using the applications that make up Google Drive, lots of them are from teachers sharing their experiences and ideas for classroom use.
Here are three of my favourites:
2. Google Docs, Sheets and Presentations might not have all the functionality of Word, Excel or Powerpoint (but lets face it, who even uses 20% of that functionality?) but the key thing that makes it so worthwhile is the potential for collaboration. Here are 20 great ideas to get started with:
3. In this article Keith Hamon describes the process he uses for teaching writing; how his students create and share their Google doc with him from the beginning of the task so that he can monitor and advise as they are writing. As he says:
Because I have access to their documents so early, I learn much more about my students’ writing and the issues that they need to overcome. This positions me for better teaching. It positions the students for better learning. That’s a win-win.
Have you used Google Drive with your students? Will you try one of these ideas?
I’d love to hear your feedback on any experience you have using Google Drive in the classroom and share some success stories. Please share in the comments.