Eric Marcos, a sixth-grade math teacher at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, and his students continue to receive “rave reviews” for their “mathcasts,” student-generated podcasts in which Marcos’s students teach other students math lessons, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials said.
Since Marcos and his students were recognized by education technology guru Alan November in a keynote address at the Los Angeles County 21st Century Learners Symposium in October, many more opportunities have presented themselves, district officials said.
In early March, Marcos presented MathTrain and the student-generated mathcasts to a packed room at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education’s 19th International Conference in Las Vegas.
After his presentation, Marcos said he was approached by several university professors who expressed interest in developing a partnership with him, the Lincoln students and the universities’ school of education teachers, as well as possibly co-authoring a publication with Marcos regarding technology in the classroom.
This summer Marcos plans to present “Kids Teaching Kids: Empowering Students Through Screencasting” at the 2008 Building Learning Communities Conference in Boston. According to the conference Web site, the conference is a forum for “leading-edge thinkers,” international leaders in education, and colleagues from around the world to share ideas about improving teaching and learning.
Marcos says the workshop will demonstrate the powerful effects of integrating student-created math video lessons, which are used as tutoring tools, a form of authentic assessment, and for creating an enhanced kids-teaching-kids classroom culture. During his workshop, Marcos will teach the audience how to create student-generated curriculum videos themselves and how to share them online using screen capturing software.
In October, Marcos will do a presentation at the Innovative Learning Conference in San Jose, which is aimed at advancing student achievement through innovative education strategies.
“Recently, I was listening to an Australian podcast while driving home, and they mentioned my students’ mathcasts, including the name of the middle school,” said Marcos. “It’s exciting to watch the academic work of our students attract a global audience.”
Marcos said the Mathtrain .com link receives over a quarter of a million hits each month. As a result of Marcos’s innovative work, other Lincoln Middle School math teachers have also started their own student-generated mathcasts, district officials said.
To watch the student-created mathcasts, www.mathtrain.com/.