4.18.2010

Web Tools Only: Creating a Math Screencast

(Note: this Emerging Technology Mini Project assignment is for my Master’s course at K-State, EDCI 718: Learning Technologies, taught by Dr. Rosemary Talab) 

Project Purpose
To develop a project for students in my content area - math - using web tool(s) I haven't yet used. I'll do this using Dabbleboard and Screencast-O-Matic.

Project Overview
I created this project intending that it be used by a high school algebra class. In it, a student (or group of students) will demonstrate his/her (their) ability to solve a system of linear equations using substitution by using the following web tools:
Notice the f-word (FREE!!) in there on all these web tools. Being an educator myself, I know the importance of this word's presence.

Project Steps
  1. Review solving linear equations using the substitution method by visiting this page on the PurpleMath web site and by watching either of the following informative videos on YouTube: "Solving Systems of Equation[s] via Substitution" by Hansen48066 or "Watch Video on Solving Systems by Substitution - Math Help" by YourTeacherMathHelp.
  2. Experiment with the interactive whiteboard web tool Dabbleboard.com. Practice inserting text and using the pen function by guiding it with your mouse. Watch this "tour" video for help on the basic features: http://dabbleboard.com/tour. It's fairly easy and we only need to use those features with which you feel comfortable.
  3. Practice recording your screen with the screencasting web tool Screencast-o-matic.com. Again this tool is pretty easy... make sure the area you're recording is big enough (don't zoom in too far).
  4. Combine your new skills in using both web tools and practice further (are you seeing a theme here with all this practicing?). Maybe type a fake note to a friend and record your screen as you type. Or draw a picture of your awesome math teacher using your mouse and record yourself doing so. Or not.
  5. Solve the following system of linear equations problem ON PAPER and have the teacher check your work (the accuracy of your demonstration is one of the most important aspects):
x = 7 - 2y
2x + y = 5
6. Solve this problem using the Dabbleboard web tool and record this using the Screencast-o-matic web tool.
7. Save the video. Be sure to re-watch it and make sure it's accurate and clear.
8. Email the video's URL to your teacher. Send it to your friends too if you wish!
9. High-five life because you just made a math screencast about one of the harder aspects of algebra: solving linear equations! CONGRATULATIONS!

Project Description
  1. Curriculum Use - designed for the study of solving linear equations using substitution in a high school algebra class. 
  2. Student Learning Goals - students will more fully understand solving linear equations by substitution, will be able to teach others the same, will learn to use a web-based interactive whiteboard, and will create a screencast. 
  3. Role of Technology - students will use 2 web tools: Dabbleboard.com to demonstrate the substitution method and Screencast-O-Matic.com to record themselves doing so.
  4. Active Learning - this project allows for much creativity on the part of the students. They can go quite in-depth with their explanation and demonstration of this particular method and for those who wish to take their production a step further, they can even spend some time editing their video after the screen-recording is done. This would not be a requirement however as video-editing can eat up a lot of hours; enjoyable, but very time-consuming. 
  5. Teacher's Role - the students may not have much experience with using interactive whiteboards or screencasting so there will need to be plenty of guided instruction before students get too far into the project. It is vital that students have a strong understanding of the math behind all this too if they are to create a successful video that could serve as a study-aid to other students. Modeling the use of these web tools, serving as a technician, and overseeing a class of students all surfing the web will be a few of the duties a teacher using this project will need to perform.
Project Background - why I've done this the way I have
Our professor, Dr. Rosemary Talab, directed us to this post about a summer technology camp for low-SES students on Kelly Walsh's EmergingEdTech blog. Well I explored the blog a bit more earlier today and read Walsh's post about interactive whiteboards and decided I'd use one of them which he'd reviewed.

I tried scribbling on ScribLink but decided I'd prefer to dabble on Dabbleboard. On a related note I'm not above puns.

And to add more mayhem to this project, I decided I'd throw in some screencasting action. I've done quite a bit of this with creating math videos for the high school at which I currently teach and I've spoken and led professional development activities on screencasting in three whole cities.

Now if that extensive impressive mediocre screencasting background doesn't get me anywhere then nothing will, I tell ya.

So anyways to determine which screencasting web tool to include I did what any thinking man or woman does when faced with a question today: I googled it. And I came across a piece from the folks at Digital Inspiration regarding web-based screencasting. Their first entry was about Screencast-O-Matic so I gave it a whirl and it worked well so I chose it.

Project Sources

Agarwal, A. (2008, December 15). Web based screencasting apps: create screencast videos sans software. Retrieved from http://www.labnol.org/software/web-screencasting-apps-create-screencasts-online/6038/

Big Nerd Software, LLC. (2009). Screencast-o-matic: record screen captured video instantly for free. Retrieved from http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/

Dabbleboard, Inc. (2009). Dabbleboard: interactive whiteboard software. Retrieved from http://dabbleboard.com/

Hansen48066. (2007, April 22). Solving systems of equation via substitution [sic]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYqBzPK5qfU

Stapel, Elizabeth. (2010). Systems of linear equations: solving by substitution. Retrieved from http://www.purplemath.com/modules/systlin4.htm

Walsh, K. (2010, April 18). 6 free online interactive white boards. Retrieved from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2010/04/6-free-online-interactive-white-boards/

Yourteachermathhelp. (2007, November 07). Watch video on solving systems by substitution - math help. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNwwu5wjcaA

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