Developing Student Agency with Numbers and Video

Have you ever thought about how you might develop a little more agency in your students?

This is something I’m constantly thinking about - it’s definitely a step by step process!

Video can be a useful tool to help with this but a lot of my students think videos are only for entertainment and so it’s taken awhile to shift this thinking.

One way I have found to help change this mindset is to give them a task that engages them, then show them how to create their own versions, giving them a series of videos that unpack the ‘How to’ one piece at a time.

Recently I created a self marking Keynote maths task - if they got the answer correct the text box (which was actually a cell from a table) would turn green. It really engaged them and they wanted to know how I did it.  

My next step was to share a Numbers activity with them. Again this was a maths task with conditional formatting. If they got the answer correct the cell would turn a certain colour - eventually revealing a 'magic image'.

Again they really wanted to know how I did it.

Finally, I shared another Numbers task that stepped them through each step with a video tutorial so they could make their own versions - and they loved watching the videos and working through it with a buddy.

They chose their own images to pixelate. (Some students used to pixelate the image and some used Canva.)

A few students realised they needed a more simplistic image to use than the one they initially chose - but that was a great learning curve about pixels and how they work.


Examples of the students work.

This task created such rich discussions between students. Not only did it generate fantastic maths discussions but there was so much computational thinking happening and they also learned a lot about Numbers as they went.

They collaborated so well together and made ‘Magic Reveal’ Maths tasks of their own choice - another step towards building those awesome student agency skills .

How might you use this idea with your students?



3 replies

January 18, 2023

What a fantastic example of how to engage students' discrete skills through a creative medium. I'm sure they had a blast working through this activity, and that they learned a lot along the way!

January 19, 2023

I love the way you scaffolded students all the way to building their own pixel math images, rather than stopping at them solving what you had created! Such a great way to create space for students to build multiple math/tech/creativity skillsets!

January 20, 2023

This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

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