Date: Dec 30, 2012 8:32 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: Students Watching Youtube Videos for Help

On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM, Math Is Hard <> wrote:
> How does everyone here feel about students watching youtube tutorials to help them with their math homework?
> Do you think is this is effective?

Youtubes make a definite positive contribution to the experience of
many a home-worker.

> Do you think this is real learning?

Of course. Audio-visual (A/V) aids have been a component of math
education since the beginning.

> Do you think this is better or some students then going over class notes or reading the textbook?

The barriers to using Youtubes are myriad, chief among them being that
"day dreaming" has been the perpetual enemy of the "I need your
undivided attention" front-of-the-room classroom school teacher.

Youtubes are effective in-classroom aids in that so many of them are
shorter than two or three minutes. There's no commitment to viewing a
half hour documentary and using up most the class time.

They're also effective as homework and may be assigned as homework.

Finally, we must not overlook the pedagogical opportunities that go
with making A/V materials oneself. Students themselves can make

These may be head shots of themselves talking, the classic "web cam"
share, but they may just as well be computer animations or captures of
natural phenomena illustrative of whatever principles.

No one is suggesting a diet of exclusively Youtube is required, nor is
watching Youtubes necessarily at the cost of never reviewing class
notes. It's not either / or.

I've used Youtubes frequently in my classroom, when given the
opportunity to lead a class. This summer, I taught a class (called
Martian Math and Python Programming) wherein Youtubes played an
essential role.

Here's one that we watched: (Mandelbrot Set)

Here's another: (Mandelbulb Set)

The examples I give above are not so much explanatory as aesthetic.

Using mathematics to drive artistic renderings might fall under the
heading of "inspirational". I have nothing against using Youtubes to
inspire, as well as instruct.

And again, lets not forget to nurture talent and showcase student
productions. Help them build their portfolios.