Article: Leaders in Learning Sharing Adds Up

Subjects: Math, Technology
Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12
Source: Cable in the Classroom

Wanting to reach beyond traditional methods for teaching complex algebra concepts and equations, high school math teacher Dan Meyer turned to his camcorder for help. What his camera documented has not only helped him explain algebra in a new way to students struggling to understand such concepts, it has introduced Meyer to a world-wide community of educators collaborating on and disseminating innovative teaching techniques via high-speed Internet connections.

Last year, Meyer spent three weeks working with students to help them understand a single algebra equation. From this experience, Meyer came to the conclusion that using video as a teaching tool was the answer. So he produced ten short videos that were coupled with his lesson plan. When presented to the students during class, Meyer was shocked at the speed with which they were able to learn the once foreign algebraic equation.

While Meyer was surprised by how quickly his students were now able to grasp the algebra problem, he was stunned at the response he received after posting the video and lesson plan on his blog, which at the time was averaging 30 visitors a day. In just two weeks, the videos and lesson plans were downloaded more than 6,000 times by Internet users from all over the world, a feat that would have been impossible years ago on dial-up connections.

"Online lesson planning sites came into existence during the dial-up dark ages, permitting uploads no larger than a few megabytes and nothing more complicated than a Word document or a PDF file.. Broadband Internet has succeeded in completely redefining teacher mentorship, communication and learning in the 21st century.

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