The Knewton Blog

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We Want Our M(ath)TV! Part II: eClassrooms

Posted in Knerds on January 27, 2011 by

Welcome to the second part of our “We Want Our M(ath)TV!” blog post, all about some of the online video formats, past and present, that people are using to teach one another.  At Knewton, we’ve always thought that online video has tremendous power as an engaging educational tool; recently, we used YouTube to create an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure quiz. Luckily, we’re not alone in seeing video’s potential for engagement – and instructional power.

In our first post, we discussed “First Person Shooters,” where the “teacher” is not visible and the teaching takes center stage. Today, we’ll talk about teachers who use YouTube to create instructional videos as if they were talking face to face.

With the rise of online classrooms, video instruction is getting a boost.  When teachers create videos of themselves teaching, they become a more accessible resource to students not only in their classroom, but to anyone wanting to learn.  Video archives allow students to access their teachers’ knowledge anywhere they are connected to a computer and/or the Internet.

Class Acts

Marshall McLuhan, an educator and media theorist, said that when a new media is invented, initially, the content of the media is composed of the older media; he noted that in television’s infancy, it played live events, such as theatrical plays and live concerts. When a teacher teaches on the net by standing in front of a whiteboard, McLuhan is winking from the great global village in the sky. That’s not to say that the format is ineffective; for one thing, it is used by cutting edge tech pioneers such as TED and MIT Open Course Ware, as well as countless terrific internet teachers. This format is especially effective for putting personalities up front; Rebecca Newburn’s new-aginess, Miss Kirkbride’s straight shooting, and Tyler Tarver’s rock star drawl are on full display in these second person videos. It’s like having your favorite teacher… teach everyone.

Rebecca Newburn

Newburn has been a math and science teacher for over 10 years and creates YouTube instructional videos as resources for students and teachers to use whenever they need them.  Newburn’s videos have been a hit among students who use YouTube as a resource for studying and we’re excited to see more clear and concise content from her in video form.

Miss Kirkbride

Many students who enjoy Miss Kirkbride’s math videos on her YouTube channel prefer studying with her rather than with a book.

Tyler Tarver

Tyler Tarver adds humor to his instruction to keep watchers engaged in his videos.  For a relatively new YouTube channel, Tarver’s videos are already developing an impressive following.

These are three examples of individuals who are using technology to enhance their instruction and reach a wider student audience.  In the last part of this series, we’ll look at teachers who are using YouTube in innovative ways to create a different kind of instructional environment for students.  Stay tuned!