Educational video project helps students learn from their peers

mathtrain2Research suggests that peer teaching can be an effective instructional strategy, both for the students being taught and those doing the teaching.

In that spirit, Mathtrain.TV is a free educational “kids teaching kids” project from sixth-grade math teacher Eric Marcos and his students at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, Calif. Lincoln students create math video lessons that are used for classroom instruction and also posted to Mathtrain.TV and other web sites, such as iTunes, YouTube, TeacherTube, and Google Video. The students use a tablet PC and screen-capturing software from TechSmith, called Camtasia Studio, to create the math tutorials. Anyone can use the tutorials as is, free of charge, under a Creative Commons license. All videos are reviewed (and sometimes further edited) by a credentialed math teacher, Marcos says. The Mathtrain site is powered by PHPmotion, a free video-sharing software platform, and viewers can rate and comment on the videos. Topics range from completing the square and prime factorization to finding the missing angles of a triangle.

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