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PBS Math Club (YouTube show)

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Nov 1, 2014
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Company: PBS Learning Media, youtube.com/user/PBSMathClub?feature=watch, pbslearningmedia.org/collection/pbs-math-club, pbslearningmedia.org. Email contact forms are available on websites.

Price: Math Club is a free, subscription web-based service from PBS.

Audience: Math Club is developed for sixth through ninth grade classes, especially seventh, dealing with Common Core standards for math

Format: PBS Math Club consists of YouTube videos, either about 15 seconds (Instagram) or full episodes, 8 minutes in length.

System Requirements: These are pretty much the same for any YouTube and most PBS resources. Broadband is required as well as one of the following browsers: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Firefox 3.6+, Safari 5.0+.

Speakers are needed as well as the latest version of several free browser plugins, depending on resource and electronic device used, including Adobe Flash Player 9 or higher, Windows Media Player, Flip4Mac, Adobe Reader, and/or QuickTime. Finally, JavaScript must be enabled to use this service, and pop-up window blockers must
be disabled.

Description: PBS Math Club is a series of short videos in YouTube format, essentially a YouTube “channel” intended to work like a casual, after-school study club. It is social-media intensive since it is a vlog (video blog) of sorts and allows students to comment. Users with YouTube accounts subscribe to the program.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: Installation involves setting up a YouTube account and subscribing to the channel. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: PBS Math Club is basically a series of YouTube videos starring attractive kids in casual settings, explaining various math concepts. Math problems appear on the screen in a number of ways as needed. Currently there are about 10 of these videos, with another 10 or so Instagram videos, which very briefly explain a single concept. Each episode has an interactive quiz as well.

Subscriptions are an important part of accessing these videos. If there are specific channels that a teacher or student likes, they subscribe to them. Once done, users receive updates whenever new videos are uploaded. Playlists are collections of videos that users have created.

As stated earlier, PBS Math Club is social-media intensive in its use of playlists, comments and YouTube. In addition, students can communicate and share what they’re doing and learning via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.

Subjects include the distributive property, proportions, dividing positive and negative numbers, and more. Everyday activities such as making friendship bracelets and baking cookies are used to illustrate
the concepts.

Just to be clear, since it’s a little confusing, PBS Math Club is produced for PBS Digital Studios and is created by Radiant Features using YouTube tools and resources. In general, PBS Math Club is an excellent, user-friendly resource that appeals to students and enhances student digital literacy.
Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Once a few navigational issues and YouTube procedures are mastered, PBS Math Club is very easy to use. A brief introduction by the classroom teacher would probably cover these issues. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Product support is a bit limited, consisting of a small, online help section and using the site is a bit confusing until users realize that it is a very basic, free resource. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: As are most PBS resources, this is an excellent, inexpensive supplement to middle school math classes. I highly recommend it for use in these classes and supporting librariesHighly Recommended

Reviewer: Charles Doe is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Hastings, Mich. For the past 15 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools. (charliegd@sbcglobal.net)


 
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