Spring into Technology Conference

March 24, 2012
Presenter: Kathy Post
Organization: Right Reason Technologies

Mathcasts for the Classroom

Mathcasts are math videos. They are created using many different tools and are used to communicate math content online using visuals, audio and demonstrations.

Math continues to be a subject that students struggle with. We know that topics in mathematics build upon each other. We also know students need review or extra help on older concepts in order to understand new concepts. We know that most students learn best by a combination of visual and auditory learning. We also know that students learn even more when they teach each other.

In this session, you will learn about mathcasts, which are online math videos, that can be used to supplement instruction, or as primary instruction as well as for student assessment. Several methods of creating mathcasts will be shown as well as a means for sharing mathcasts in an online wiki. We will be using the Livescribe smartpen, to create mathcasts as well as Jing screen capture software and PowerPoint along with a tablet PC or external tablet plug-in such as a Bamboo. Ipad Apps will also be discussed.

Mathcasts can be used help students understand math more readily than just reading about math in a textbook or re-reading notes taken in class. Mathcasts offer a way for teachers to capture math content with audio and step-by-step problem solving in a visual way. There are many ways to create mathcasts and the technology has become simple enough for teachers to create mathcasts daily to supplement their instruction. Then, these mathcasts can be embedded in the class wiki or webpage so that they can be shared with students outside of the classroom, leading to learning outside of the math classroom as well. Mathcasts are also effective means of assessing students’ math understanding as we ask students to explain their process in words as they solve a math problem. As students explain their work and teach their peers through their mathcast, they are learning even more.

Defining a Mathcast:

Mathcasts are podcasts, videos, screencasts (screen movies of writing with voice) that focus on mathematics.
Tim Falberg: Math247

What Others Say About Mathcasts:

Parent: "I can help my child now with their math homework."
Student: "I like yours better..."
Parent: "Your voice is so soothing. My kids could listen to you all day."
Student: "It's like having my math teacher come home with me."
Parent: "I still remember your videos (this is after 2 years) - it helped me when I tried to help my son with his homework. My son still talks about how he loves Mrs. Post's videos because that was when he "got math."
Student: "I am a very visual person, and need to see examples of equations to understand. Whenever I'm having trouble remembering how to do a problem, or can't recall what you said about something, all I have to do is find one of the videos you created and it always helps me understand. I really appreciate the time you take to post them, because they honestly are a great help to my education."
Parent: "The videos are a wonderful approach to studying math. My son gets to view the lessons before they are done in class and has a better understanding of what is being taught. He can also go back and review any concepts that may arise as he does the work. I highly recommend "Mathcasts". My son is currently pulling an "A" in class and loves doing math."
Student: "I love the videos because if I am doing a lesson at home and I forget a concept I am able to go to any video that is on that specific concept."
Parent: "There is no excuse...my child has resources available 24-7 online. The videos are great because if my child is absent, he can catch up right away by going online. We can re-watch the videos, stop and pause them. The videos are a great resource."
Student: "I never knew how much I needed the math videos until one day. I was working on an equation, and I could not grasp it. I kept getting these bogus answers, I was so frustrated that I was tugging on my hair to relieve the pain from a head ache, and almost in tears. A little dramatic but it was an important concept that I needed to learn. After trying over and over to solve it, I had a light bulb moment when I remembered to go find the video that went a long with that equation. Being able to watch the formula worked out and solved correctly helped so much. After that, all the relative equations suddenly became easy. The math videos helped me understand something that I could not, and expanded my knowledge of math."

Created by KLPost 2012