I listened to a Wes Fryer and Karen Montgomery’s podcast last week where they spoke about creating online vodcasts as tutorials for solving math problems which are called Mathcasts. They spoke with Tim Falhberg the originator of Mathcasts. As VoiceThread is probably the easiest way to post a vodcast, they felt that it was the way to get started. What intrigues me is that these online tutorials put students into the role of teacher working to design the vodcast and produce it for an audience of fellow students. We know what that means for quality learning on the scale of effective learning (i.e., Lecture> Reading> Audio-Visual> Demonstration> Discussion> to the most effective Practice by Doing). With a public audience, we also know it pushes students to do a better job in completing and publishing their work.
Here are links to resources to help you learn more about Mathcasts:
Patty O’Flynn shared how she is using Mathcasts with HS students. Check out her blog on mathcasts.
The Mathcasts I looked at centered around pen and number drawing on the screen with voiceovers. Looking to expand on this especially with one’s more lateral thinking students, think about challenging students to find other ways to use visuals to teach the skill or concept. I can see story telling students illustrating their voiceover using cartoon characters dealing with situations that involve the use of math. It might be a reach but for older students, the TV show “Numb3rs” is a big hit that uses math to solve mysteries. They might find themselves as actors in their own Mathcast drama! It is all about making connections and application to new situations to really reach profound understanding with total student engagement.