Some math help for everyone

Technology delivers on so many levels when you think about it.

How many of us can remember when “multimedia in Mathematics” meant using coloured chalk on the chalkboard?

And things like chalkboard protractors, compasses,  and straight edges to develop a solution on said chalkboards.  The two tools, combined together, were great in the hands of an experienced Mathematics teacher.  I can still remember some of the very best having the skill to draw a circle freehand, without the assistance of a compass.  I was so impressed with their skills.

As a teacher, you could start at one side of the chalkboard and work your way across the room.  Maybe there was even back to back Mathematics classes and the words P.L.O. would be left in big characters so that you could reuse the artwork!  But, when the class ended or when the chalkbrush did its thing, the multimedia went away.

Hopefully, that’s just a long ago faded memory.  With today’s tools, there are so much better and effective ways.

MathHelp is a commercial service that retails its services for those who need a little more help with Mathematics.  It may come to that.

However, in the category of multimedia, check out its YouTube channel.

Here, many Mathmatics concepts have been reduced to short, digestible videos .Click through and sample some to get the concept.

Using this strategy, the multimedia doesn’t go away.  Using any device, anywhere you have connectivity, the videos can be played and reviewed to assist in the learning.  In the privacy of their own learning space, students can play and replay and enjoy the learning without the embarrassment of having to interrupt the lesson and ask the teacher to repeat the concept again just for them.  How many students just don’t ask the question to avoid the situation of admitting to the entire class that they don’t understand.  Similarly, teachers who are looking for a different approach to a concept can see other teachers in action.

In these “days of the link”, it offers powerful support for learning.

But I’d suggest that you don’t stop there.  

The learning is in the making.

Why not create your own Mathematics channel?  You could do it yourself but, even more powerfully, have it created by students.  We know that we learn best by creating content; why wouldn’t it apply here?  

Instead of your typical mindless set of problems given for homework with the hope that solving the same problem five times will reinforce the learning, have the student create a short video explaining and developing the concept to be learned.  I think it’s obvious that it wouldn’t apply everywhere but certainly could be used in many cases.

It’s not an unheard of concept.  Check out Kyle Pearce’s collection.

Some resources:

There would be a learning curve to get started but, when you evaluate the benefits, it’s learning that’s good and will serve you and your students for years.


One thought on “Some math help for everyone

  1. This is one of the strategies I really liked from Alan November’s book “who owns the learning”. As we feel like we’ve grasped a concept in math this year, I’m going to challenge my students to make a video.


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