Thoughts from a reflective educator.
I'm currently enrolled in my Masters in Educational Technology at the University of British Columbia, and it's a wonderful program, I highly recommend it. One of the things we are currently looking into is something called the Jasper series, which is essentially a series of videos intended to bring real applications of mathematics into the classroom.
The series has a set up a problem in the real world (like rescuing an injured Eagle, etc...) and students are given a bunch of information in a video format. They have to decipher the clues in the videos and use them to help construct a mathematical solution to the problem, as well as justifying their final answers.
We've researched the videos quite a bit and found a lot of positive responses to the Jasper program. The videos have tended to motivate and inspire weaker performing students and have been shown to help improve test scores on standardized tests.
Unfortunately the videos are a bit out of date, and the content area of the videos is about 4th or 5th grade level only. Also the videos are quite expensive, running in at about $ 250 to $350 dollars EACH.
So I had a brainstorm which I wanted to share. What if each of us created a single video with one of our classes? I envision the students as the authors, actors, directors, and editors of their work.
The topics could be varied, certainly this technique is not limited to mathematics, we could do this in any topic area. We would then <b>share</b> the videos with each other, (plug coming up) on a file sharing site like http://pedagogle.com and then we would all end up with a series of videos.
David is a mathematics teacher and a learning specialist for technology at Stratford Hall in Vancouver, BC. He has been teaching since 2002, and has worked in Brooklyn, London, and Bangkok before moving back to Canada. He has his Masters degree in Educational Technology from UBC, and is the co-author of a mathematics textbook. He has been published in ISTE's Leading and Learning, Educational Technology Solutions, The Software Developers Journal, The Bangkok Post and Edutopia. He blogs with the Cooperative Catalyst, and is the Assessment group facilitator for Edutopia. He has also helped organize the first Edcamp in Canada, and TEDxKIDS@BC.