If We Build It, Who Will Come? – An Online Algebra 1 “Textbook”
My plan is to deliver the traditional lecture portion of an Algebra class as the homework, thus freeing up class time to explore the mathematics and pursue some interesting problems, as well as provide time for guided practice and collaborative work.
Since Algebra is very much skill based, my hope is to provide short (less than 10 minutes), targeted instructional videos that students can watch (and rewatch if necessary) that focus solely on the skills, one skill at a time. Now I want to be clear that these videos typically will come after inquiry and exploration in class.
As I said in the comment of Karl’s post, I think this is a brilliant idea. I can’t think of one downside to this plan, other than it will challenge people’s existing beliefs of what education looks like. (That by itself is not a bad thing; the fallout of that challenge might cause some headaches though.)
Watching Karl’s ‘Proof of Concept‘ video, it’s pretty obvious that this is going to be a time-consuming effort. As is mentioned, there are tons of online resources already but they tend to have been created by individuals for their own use. I could use them in my classroom but they aren’t always at the right level or don’t always have enough practice or aren’t the right length.
So here’s my question: Is it possible for us, as a community, to create an online open-source Algebra 1 skills-based video textbook? What would we need to do so? Here are some initial thoughts:
- We would need to come up with an agreed-upon structure for each video. (I like Karl’s Five Part Plan: Learning Goal, Explanation/Examples, Guided Practice, Self-Check, and Closing.)
- We would need to come up with a generic list of skills that are applicable to all, regardless of state or national standards.
- We would need people to volunteer to create a video for each skill on our list. If two or three people create a video for the same skill, that’s not a bad thing: more choice for our students.
- We would need to come up with a structure for displaying or publishing our textbook. I’m thinking create a YouTube channel and use a wiki as some sort of Table of Contents.
Can we work together to share the time-consuming aspects of this idea so that we all spend more time focused on the ‘heavy lifting’ aspect: supporting our students effectively with our time?
Anybody interested in trying?
Image: ‘soccer practice‘