MET:Youtube: Math Tutor

From UBC Wiki


  • We all learn at varying speeds and in an array of different ways. That means that we all need very different kinds of supports to be successful. Using Youtube as a math tutor, provides students a chance to review past learnt material, hear a different way of looking at a question, and mostly, take their learning into their own hands.
    • This traditionally begins as students transition from elementary school to high school. Secondary school students typically have trouble within mathematics classes as they are transitioning into higher level thinking. Introductory topics such as integers, fractions, and percents consistently give students difficulty in courses such as mathematics 8 & 9. Every teacher will have their way of explaining how to approach the problem, and every learner may understand it in their own way as well. Teachers therefore struggle trying to teach these topics to students, typically offering ‘wordy’ descriptions and procedures that lack pictures and diagrams. Visuals and models are a great way to achieve higher learning in Math and therefore, video's are a perfect place to start!

      Link to picture

      Plans & Goals

      • Since students typically learn best by way of pictures and diagrams I plan on offering various media in support of student learning of concepts such as integers, fractions, and percents. For instance, some popular websites such as youtube typically get overlooked by students who simply rely on this particular site as a source for entertainment and not education. Not only does youtube offer great videos on numerous math concepts, user videos also give students a chance at learning concepts from various teacher perspectives at an international scale. Each course in highschool has one teacher and students are therefore limited to adopting their teachers individual style of instructional delivery. This approach may work well for some students but not all.
      • The typical scenario of one teacher for 30 students creates this two-way struggle. In one sense teachers fumble around in trying to think of different ways to describe the same concept to students who are having difficulty understanding material presented in class. Secondly, students are continuously searching for someone to explain concepts in a different way.
      • Enter[1], where numerous videos are presented on the same concepts such as fractions, integers, and percents. Students can therefore choose the video that makes the most sense to them, which helps to personalize learning and make it more meaningful.

      Prescribed Learning Outcomes Focus

      With regard to prescribed learning outcomes, these resources offered will hopefully support students in meeting the following goals:

      • Demonstrate an understanding of multiplication and division of integers, concretely, pictorially
      • Demonstrate an understanding of multiplying and dividing positive fractions and mixed numbers, concretely, pictorially, and symbolically
      • Demonstrate an understanding of percents greater than or equal to 0%

      Link to BC Ministry Page of IRP's for Mathematics 8 & 9.

      Youtube Video Links

      The following are links to youtube videos that help students learn integers, fractions, and percents:

      Screenshot of a Reducing Fractions Video
      Screenshot of an Adding Fractions Video
      Screenshot of a What is an Integer? Video

      Perspectives from Academia

      • ‘Schools need to be restructured as communities in which the construction of knowledge is supported as a collective goal, and the role of educational technology should replace classroom discourse patterns with those having more immediate and natural extensions to knowledge building communities outside school walls.’ (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1994). I do not think that technology should entirely 'replace' classroom discourse patterns but it should definately serve to break tradition in moving the teacher away from the sole bearer of information. Students should be able to and encouraged to seek information elsewhere if their learning needs have not totally been met.
      • ‘It is only when students “own” these problems that they will be engaged’ (Barab & Duffy, 2000). Yes, students must 'own' their problems in order for them to take repsonsibility for their own learning. When searcing various educational videos within youtube they are typically alone, focussed, and determined to uncover answers. It is very distracting in a secondary school setting with 30 other peers in a room. Searching the internet and more speicifally 'youtube' is typically a solo activity which can create high levels of focus and educational stuborness to find out how to properly add integers or fractions.
      • ‘Students also need opportunities to reflect upon their own thinking; automacy is a useful and necessary skill for expert thinking, but automacy without reflective capacity greatly limits learners’ capacity to transfer their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts or to develop new knowledge structures.’ (Anderson 2004). Again, students need time for personal refelction on their own learning away from the school group setting. With individual relflection, learning can then become more self-directed and positively selfish in a sense.

      Stop Motion

      An explanation of the benefits of using youtube as a Math tutor, done in stop motion!


      The following is a list of sources used or referenced above.

      • Anderson, Terry. 2004. Theory and Practice of Online Learning. Athabasca University.
      • Barab, Sasha A. and Thomas Duffy. 2000. From Practice Fields to Communities of Practice. Center for Research on Learning and Technology, 1-98.
      • Scardamalia, Marlene and Carl Bereiter. 1994. Computer Support for Knowledge Building Communities. The Journal of Learning Sciences. 3(3), pp265-283.