I just visited Pepperdine University in beautiful Malibu, California, as an external consultant on a fascinating research project. Professor Eric Hamilton is teaching teachers how to produce their own short videos, with each video designed to teach a specific math lesson. Producing videos sounds hard; but there’s some great new software (Camtasia) that makes it very easy to capture what you’re doing on the computer screen, and when you use tablet computers, you can also write on the screen (with a stylus) and capture that, as well.
Prof. Hamilton’s goal is to foster teacher creativity–to get them to think creatively about math concepts, and how to best present math concepts to students. I fully support this approach, because creativity research suggests that effective creativity is always based in a deep understanding of a domain or discipline (in this case, math). The key is to master a deeper understanding of math that will support and enable creative thinking; producing short videos can do that.
You can watch some of the videos that teachers made at teacherscreate.org.
Other videos that teachers can use are at TeacherTube.com
(A quick note about title of this post: Malibu is North of Los Angeles and Hollywood, just up the Pacific Coast Highway and stretched out along the Pacific Ocean.)