Do Screencasts Have a Place in the Math Classroom?

Last November, I wrote a short blog post titled, Screencasts of Student Math Thinking. In this post, I also included a link to a glog I created containing four screencasts that were created by grade 6 students explaining their group’s multiplication strategies after an initial multiplication lesson. Since that post, there has been a lot of attention around the world on Kahn Academy where students learn from concepts and strategies from videos (screencasts).

I love the idea of screencasting and I think what Kahn Academy is attempting to do is pretty cool. However, I love screencasts even more when they are created by students. When students create math screencasts it enhances their metacognition. It forces them to think about their math thinking not once but multiple times since they can play back their video, watch and listen to themselves explain their strategy or solution. They can edit and record multiple times until they feel that their screencast is appropriate for their classmates to view. The rest of the class can also benefit from screencasts because they can be exposed to different solutions and strategies to the same problem. In addition, the screencasts are more engaging by virtue of them being created by students and using student language. Also, with websites like screencasts are not limited to the hard drive of a single classroom computer but can be accessed via web link from any computer with an internet connection. This would allow students and their parents/guardians to view them from home.

I truly believe in the benefits of screencasting for students in the math classroom. For the past year, I have been religiously promoting it in my school board as a great tool to enhance student metacognition and math communication. Many teachers seem to like the idea of it but I haven’t really seen it fully implemented in classroom. I’ve mainly seen teachers create their own screencasts similar to Kahn Academy and no disrespect to Khan Academy or to teachers but I don’t find teacher/adult generated screencasts very interesting or engaging. I would argue that students prefer to create the screencasts themselves and watch other student created screencasts. So I ask the question Why? Why isn’t screencasting being implemented in the math classroom? Is it too difficult? Too time-consuming?

I would love to know your thoughts on screencasting and how you would implement it in your classroom.


9 thoughts on “Do Screencasts Have a Place in the Math Classroom?

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  4. That’s great to hear @mseo! I can’t wait to see some student generated screencasts and to hear your thoughts on its effect on your students’ learning. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Have you seen the ShowMe app for the iPad? If you have an iPad available for use in the classroom, I’d definitely recommend this for a pseudo-screencast. The Livescribe Pens are also great for recording both what students are doing and the discussions that they’re having during math problem-solving activities. Students could also use the Livescribe Pens to create a pseudo-screencast using pictures and audio to show students how to solve different types of math problems.

    Thanks for another great post!

    • I have the Showme app on my iPad and think it’s a great screen casting app. I also found another one called Screenchomps which does the same thing but doesn’t require an account setup. It just automatically generates a unique URL to the screencast that can be shared. I love how you can upload a picture from your camera roll and annotate on top of it while recording. Thanks for the comment!

    • Yes. This is a great site to see student generated screencasts. They have a great Mathtrain app too that was created by one of their students. Amazing! Thanks for commenting.

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