Some time ago, I was introduced to Eric Marcos from mathtrain.tv. He is a middle school math teacher in California who’s students make math videos and post them online. Since moving into my new position as a technology staff developer I am starting to play with students making videos for each other. I really think this is one area in the flipped class which we need to explore more deeply.
As I was discussing the flipped class with one of my middle school math teachers we decided to see if we could get some of her “advanced” kids to make a video for those who are struggling with the content. I agreed to help them out and see what they could produce.
One afternoon I took five of these students into a room with a SMART Board and we attempted to make our first video. It became quite clear that not all students were going to be good at making this math video. Some of the brightest math students were making the worst video. When they went to solve a problem, they skipped steps and didn’t explain what they were doing. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Sometimes the brightest students jump three steps ahead, all in their mind, and don’t make the best teachers.
But as it turns out, two of the students really got the knack for making the video. They explained it well, were able to get over the insecurities that often come with being thirteen or fourteen years old, and they made a really good video.
In the near future, I am planning on starting a video club at my school where I will be coaching students on how to make videos. They will make content videos, and also fun videos. My thinking, as of now, is to have 8th grade students make videos for 7th grade students, and 6th grade students make videos for 5th graders, etc. Once I get this started I will start sharing their videos with you all.