To my chagrin, I'm one of the worst stereotypes out there: a girl who doesn't "get" math.
To my younger son's chagrin, the girl-turned-mom who doesn't "get" math can't help him with his homework.
Most times, I drag my older son, the math genius, from wherever in the house he's hiding so that he can offer his assistance, because even if I could help, I know I wouldn't want to explain a math concept the wrong way and undermine the amazing work his ever-patient and brilliant math teacher has done to get him this far the last three years. It's the same reason we don't even use sites like KhanAcademy or MathTrain for video tutorials because we've tried that, but the kid laments that "they" don't do it the "right way," i.e., the way his teacher taught him. He's very insistent and sometimes frustratingly indignant that Mrs. S. does things the "best way."
Which is why I often find myself wishing that Mrs. S. could give me a brief tutorial on the math concept du jour. And now I think she might be able to with the help of these DIY whiteboard apps I recently discovered.
Billing itself as the "easiest way to create and share lessons on the iPad," ShowMe allows you to create a video tutorial using your iPad screen as a whiteboard while you provide your own voiceover. I tested it out myself and found it to be as easy to use as a classroom whiteboard. There are thousands of tutorials across all subject areas already uploaded to the website for use by teachers and students. I discovered one teacher on the site who uses the app to flip her classroom: the students watch the lesson/lecture at home and come prepared the next day to work on what they just viewed. Take a look at the site to get some ideas of your own.
Again, this is another user-friendly whiteboard app. What I like about Educreations is that you can type text on the whiteboard AND you can upload an image from the iPad camera, the iPad photo stream, Dropbox, or the web. Like ShowMe, there are plenty of previously-created videos already on the site. They're arranged by subject area and by featured videos. I tried making my own video with text and images, and boy, did it look professional! Even better, once I registered, I received an immediate email from the support team checking to see if I needed any help getting started. Now THAT's user-friendly! And if you don't have an iPad, you can still create lessons using Educreations' online whiteboard.
If you're a little more advanced with your tech skills, I'd recommend Knowmia. Knowmia allows you to create "sophisticated animation sequences" with slides, images, graphics, video clips, and a video recording of your own face with voiceover. Don't let these state-of-the-art features intimidate you, though. The site provides excellent support resources for newbies. In addition, you can visit the Video Revolution Project to learn how teachers across the country are using Knowmia, and you can browse Knowmia's collection of "over 25,000 video lessons from great teachers."
Applications for Education: Teachers could create a short video tutorial about that day's lesson to which students could refer at home while doing their homework. Alternatively, teachers could create lessons for the flipped classroom. Create your own video tutorial or lesson, and add an image from anywhere to enhance student understanding. Whether you create a video for remediation or for flipping, your choices are pretty limitless. If you're not the creative type, you could certainly recommend video tutorials from other teachers to suit your needs.
So, Mrs. S., I hope you're reading this. I'd like to learn to do math the "right way." And my son would like me to learn, too!
Image by Educreations
Just to prove to you how easy these apps are to use, I had my older son create a sample video tutorial today in ShowMe. And it got me thinking...why not assign some of your more tech-savvy students to create these short videos for you? That's some serious ownership of learning AND collaboration!
Digital Learning Coach in Cleveland, Ohio, sharing innovative technology ideas.