This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Have Math Will Travel. BHS Series Part 2.

If Lahser High School Math Teacher David Brazle lived sixty years ago in 1952 he might had a TV Show on Saturday Mornings called Mr. Math. If the show were filmed (an expensive rarity for those days when most TV was shot live and forgotten) he might have got some international exposure. Maybe in Canada if the films were mailed. There were no such thing as satellites in those days. By being on TV however his face woul be recognizable and he like Mr Wizard a Television Pioneer of the era, would be a bit of a celebrity.

Today David Brazle teaches in Room 408 at Lahser High School but is his math lessons and problem solving skills go around the world. The United States and Canada, followed by the United Kingdom and the Phillipiines are where his biggest audience is. He is not despite a large viewership a celebrity.
Only his voice and hands penciling through a problem are seen on camera. His studio is his desk at home. His broadcasting abilities are self-taught, and his medium You Tube on the Internet, was chosen because it was a convenient collection point for his students.  

To see Math.TeacherDavid  Brazle's  Videos on You Tube  click here  

Brazle explained “I use an iPhone 4 to record the videos. The camera is held in place above my work space with a couple of wood working clamps rigged at a 90° angle and attached to the desk. I try to do just one take on camera after working through the notes prior so I have an idea of how I will address the "why" behind what I'm doing. I've corrected some mistakes by putting text boxes over top of my work on YouTube. I use a desk lamp for lighting the page from the opposite side that I sit to address the shadows that might be created from overhead lighting. I record the videos in my home while my son is asleep to try and keep ambient noise levels down.”

There are many Math tutors on You Tube, but Brazle’s un obtrusive direct problem solving technique is rather unique. Instead of Brazle the viewer can easily imagine himself sitting at the desk trying to solve the problem as Brazle show how verbally an video.

How does this play with Bloomfield Hills School System ? Brazle and his principal Charlie Hollerith were recently invited to make a presentation at the Principal’s Instructional Showcase always an anticipated and featured item at school board meetings.

A Brazle “You-Tube” lesson was shown but it was decidedly second banana. Instead parents, teachers, and school board members focused on Brazle’s even more startling concept of the Flipped Classroom.  In the flipped classroom students work in groups to complete home work assignments and then watch Brazles’s You Tube Videos or do related reading  on line at home. Students like Morgan Squires like the concept which allows them to work at the their own pace and rewind when necessary. Brazle believes the flipped classroom concept provides a very rich instruction that is effective for independent learners and allows students to talk about the “why” when doing problems which would not happen if they did the problems at home alone.

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