Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

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MathCast Voice Thread Project

About 4 years ago I met Tim Fahlberg at a conference. He was selling eInstruction Classroom Performance systems and I really wanted to win a system. So I sat in on his presentation. I didn't win a CPS system, or Clickers, as my students call them, but I was greatly inspired by another idea. Tim is a math teacher by training and he had created a series of "Whiteboard Movies" to use as tutorials for his math students. His idea was have a library of tutorials that students could take home on a disk to use at home when they had questions. Students could use the scrub bar to move the tutorial as slowly as needed and to review sections as needed. This idea inspired another idea with me. The idea of having a set of teacher tutorials was great and I saw great potential especially for parent communication as to how things were being taught and explained in class. But I saw even greater potential in having students record their own "Whiteboard Movies". These movies consist of a recording of students solving math problems on a "whiteboard". In this way, students become teachers. They are sharing outloud their problem solving strategies and their thinking. This can be used as communication, assessment and diagnostics. Since then, Tim, I and others have been playing around with this idea. My students have created movies, I have presented this idea at conferences, and my Qwest team has incorporated this into our Mathlincs grant project. We have used a variety of tools and had a variety of success. (The main issue has been the ability of students to get comfortable enough with the tools so that the math is the challenge and not the tools.) Tim and his collegue Colleen King of have recently begun a new project using a new tool. Tim and Colleen have created a series of stranded math problems grades k-7. They are using an online program called VoiceThread. This is a nifty program where several people can comment and annotate on the same image. In this case, the image is a math problem. In this way, you can see several people solving the same problem. Each using their own words and strategies.

(Incidentally, 3 years later at another conference I did actually win an eInstruction Classroom Performance System for my classroom. More on that in another post.)

Take a look at this project and consider joining. Here are the details for joining the project.

How to become a member of math 24 7

Step 1: Create a PBwiki Identity at This involves setting up a username/password of your own. It will also enable you to create your own wiki(s) if you'd like to.
Step 2: Email Tim Fahlberg at with your name, school name, state (or country if outside of the USA), grade level(s) that you teach, and how you learned about us. Please include a link to your school's website so that we can verify that you are an educator and give you access to the Educators' Only area. You will receive an invitation to join by email.

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