The Knewton Blog

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We Want Our M(ath) TV! – Part 3

Posted in Knerds on February 8, 2011 by

Welcome to the third part of “We Want Our M(ath)TV!”, 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. Our second post focused on YouTube e-classrooms: instructional videos featuring teachers speaking directly to the camera.

Today, we’ll talk about math educators who are less content to show their work or to be the sage on the stage, and instead have experimented with different formats for math learning.

We’ve picked a few to showcase below.

Lawrence Perez

Lawrence Perez, a San Diego professor, has created skits between him and his alter ego “Charlie” (something of a cross between Charlie McCarthy and Joe Bloggs), the kid who is always confused.

Lawrence’s videos definitely aren’t for everybody, but for those students who connect with his teaching style, his videos on the MuchoMath Youtube channel are great ways to learn math. Viewers have already requested Perez to make more videos and videos on different subjects. For many students, the MuchoMath instructional videos have proved an efficient and entertaining way to learn.

Alex Kajitani

Alex Kajitani (and countless others) have pioneered the “math rap” genre, which peaked and sharply declined in 2007, but lives on in the long tail of the web. These MathRaps videos may be dated, but they are hilarious, corny and, most importantly, very useful.

GED Academy

Although the GEDAcademy channel videos were created for students who needed help with the GED exam, many students who need help with math in general have found these animated videos a useful alternative to dry math textbooks.

The GEDAcademy videos almost have a “South Park meets French textbook illustration” vibe, don’t they?

It’s heartening to see more and more teachers exploring and embracing math teaching alternatives. By creating accessible online resources for students, teachers are enhancing their ability to connect to potential learners — and providing students with more relevant, exciting ways to learn important math concepts!