This guest post is written by Kelly Wroblewski, a High School Math Teacher in Austin, TX. She and her coworker and fellow teacher William Kiker assigned a fantastic class project to their students, resulting an an entire website of support materials for their Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus classes. Check out the website here.
This past semester, William Kiker and I (Kelly Wroblewski) applied to be part of a pilot iPad program at our high school. As members of a small project based learning community within Austin High School in Austin, TX, we latched on to the ShowMe app pretty quickly. Some of our students use the Khan Academy website as a resource to supplement in-class instruction, but some topics were either unavailable or were not tailored to our courses or textbooks. Mr. Kiker and I determined we could use the ShowMe app to create videos similar to those found on the Khan Academy website, but specific to our courses at Austin High. Rather than having students hear their teachers yet again in video, we decided to design a project where the students create the instructional materials. Since we were implementing this project towards the end of the school year, it provided the opportunity for students to review for the upcoming state exam or reflect upon a specific topic from the school year, depending on the needs for that course.
This project required that students create a short instructional video supplemented by a video guide document to lead the viewer through the content and a quiz to assess the viewer’s knowledge over the skills that were taught in the video. The topics ranged widely from specific objectives from the state exam to specific Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus concepts. Though the concepts were quite specific, it was interesting to observe the unique ways in which the students decided to present the topics in their videos. Using ShowMe as a medium allowed for creativity and individuality while still guiding students to accomplish the overarching video creation task. What we have compiled as a result of student submissions is our significantly more customized AHS Academy website where students can go for Austin High specific assistance with their math courses.
Overall, this project was a great learning experience for all involved, especially the teachers. Mr. Kiker and I will be implementing version three of this project next school year in the hopes of expanding and improving upon the current content. For more information on this topic, or to provide feedback regarding the website, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Kiker at email@example.com.