Making a Math Music Video

My sister, Si-Si, and foreign exchange sister, Annie, are both high school students who get very creative with assignments their given. Annie was asked to create a Prezi on different formulas relating to her current math topic in Honors Alegebra. As part of the assignment, she also needed to embed a video.

When she first told me about the assignment I was critical of it because it seemed like the teacher was asking them to use technology just for the sake of using technology. The students were asked to make the Prezi without really understanding the features of Prezi and how it related to the content they were sharing. The notion that images and sound could enhance how math was understood was never really conveyed.

My perceptions of the project became more positive however, when I saw my sisters working on the the video. They decided to do a music video. Annie was much more excited to create the music video in comparison to the Prezi and Sierra, who was not even in the class the project was for, was eager to help.

The girls wrote a script, used Garage Band to record their song, edited the sound of their voices in Garage Band, then used Photo Booth’s video feature with built in special effects to film themselves. To bring it all together, they edited the project in iMovie.

Annie received a 100 on the assignment, but the other students did not get to see the work because the projects were not shared in class. The girls did not let this stop them however, and shared video outside of class. Si-Si added it to her YouTube account and Annie posted it on her Facebook wall.

Reflecting on the overall learning benefits of the music video, the girls:

  • Understood the math concept well enough to convey it in a song
  • Worked collaboratively
  • Employed a high level of creativity
  • Used a high proficiency of English (especially for Annie)
  • Conceptualized all the components needed for production
  • Explored the capabilities of the technology and worked with the resources they had
  • Were eager to share their knowledge through the dissemination of their end product
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