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Topic: Open-source math teaching supplement
Replies: 1   Last Post: Jul 15, 2009 1:37 PM

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Kirby Urner

Posts: 4,713
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Open-source math teaching supplement
Posted: Jul 15, 2009 1:37 PM
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> We have created a sample topic page at
> and would be
> most grateful for any feedback on your part. As
> teachers, would you ever use this resource? How might
> you use it? Is it a good idea?
> Regards,
> Austin

Having a large library of video shorts about math topics was
a long term goal of mine, starting with my 'Videogrammatron'
TV show idea, submitted to Childrens Television Workshop in
the 1980s, based on the idea of 'Sesame Street' (basically
a compilation of video shorts).

YouTube and Google Video are your chief competition at the
moment, though your monthly subscription fee is negligible
i.e. almost free. Any well organized teacher group might
comb through Youtube and find some stellar presentations
on Fractions (I just watched a few, comparing with yours).

Per Whitman's famous saying "The teaching is to the
teacher and comes back most to him", our newer goal is to
have the students themselves learn video production
skills, maybe not in math class, and to leverage these as
a means to improving student comprehension, i.e. if you
teach, you will learn.

The school intranet may be the primary repository though,
not YouTube. We don't want to force students to publish
in a world readable venue if that's not their preference,
have more freedoms to "assign" (strongly encourage) the
making of teaching videos, if we don't insist on making
them public.

Keeping it short and pithy is a skill in itself.**

Students seeing others about their own age, speaking a
same language, displaying mastery of mathematical
concepts is itself a motivator. We counter peer pressure
to "dumb down" in this way, work against other stereo-
typing e.g. having native Americans teach one another
Python helps cut out the middle man and/or frustrates
some hidden agenda of wanting to slow it all down
(education for ethnic minorities has sometimes lagged
where it has the potential to competitively outstrip,
move to the other side of the bell curve if ya know what
I mean).


** re Pithy, we sometimes tap Youtubes to teach
"vocabulary words" per this blog post:
(a skilled spelling teacher, one of the best
imaginable for some learning styles)

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