Monday, August 15, 2011

Students Teaching Students - Embracing Technology in Teaching

Thanks to Joanne Jacobs for posting the video above on her blog and inspiring me to do the same today.

Eric Marcos is an American teacher who embraces technology and the idea of students learning through teaching other students.  He has his students create you tube videos to explain math concepts. They use their words, their voices and their own explanations. As you can see from the video above, it seems to work really well.

I'm also a big fan of peer-to-peer tutoring and teaching, and know for a fact that it works really well in my classrooms.  "Think-Pair-Share" is a phrase I learned in teacher's college and again while teaching in London, England.  I'm also a fan of using technology in the classroom, although I may not go so far as to embrace the use of mobile phones in class.

I imagine that there are heaps of teachers doing this kind of thing in London, England although I haven't personally seen it myself.  What do you think?  Would you have your students create you tube videos to explain difficult concepts whether in math or any other subject? 

I have used plenty of you tube videos to explain algebra to my students, but never videos by students themselves.  I'm not sure why that is but I suspect it's just that I do a simple search on you tube for the concept I need and pick the first one that comes up - which tends to be a fairly slick little video with a simple instruction that my students can understand.  But if I had the choice between a child explaining the concept, and an adult - I must admit, I'd choose the child first.

So perhaps we need to take Eric Marcos' example and start applying it in our own classrooms?  If our students make their own videos, won't they be more inclined to actually watch their peers and learn from them?  That's the thinking behind peer-to-peer tutoring anyway.  Why isn't this more common?  Am I missing something obvious for why we aren't embracing this simple technology? 

Resources for Teaching in London

Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
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