Screencasting as a Tool to Capture Moments of Authentic Creativity

  • Dana C. CoxEmail author
  • Suzanne R. Harper
  • Michael Todd Edwards
Part of the Mathematics Education in the Digital Era book series (MEDE, volume 10)


In the context of working with preservice secondary mathematics teachers (PSMTs) in a course on mathematical problem solving with technology, we tested the potential of technology to both inspire and capture moments of authentic creativity in the mathematics classroom. In a case study of two PSMTs working in partnership to solve a task using Interactive Geometry Software (IGS), we documented a rich narrative based on four episodes of creativity. These four episodes can be characterized as moments of creative insight because they represent moments that inspired either the development of new solutions or strategies (Problem Solving Insights) or spurred new questions (Problem Posing Insights). At the heart of the case is a task that requires constant negotiation and discussion in a digital workspace. Capturing an authentic narrative can be challenging with verbalized thinking alone, as the articulation of insight is not always possible. Screencasts are a tool that captures verbalized thinking as well as on-screen activity. This case study illustrates the power that this tool has in preserving the authenticity of those moments, but also in creating a record of practice to which both students and teachers might refer when making learning processes explicit.


Preservice teacher education Problem solving Interactive geometry software Screencasting Modeling 


  1. Beatty, R., & Geiger, V. (2010). Technology, communication, and collaboration: Re-thinking communities of inquiry, learning and practice. In C. Hoyles & J.-B. Lagrange (Eds.), Mathematics education and technology-rethinking the Terrain: The 17th ICMI study (pp. 251–284). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Bolden, D. S., Harries, T., & Newton, D. P. (2010). Pre-service primary teachers’ conceptions of creativity in mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 73(2), 143–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chamberlin, S. A., & Moon, S. M. (2005). Model-eliciting activities as a tool to develop and identify creatively gifted mathematicians. Journal of Advanced Academics, 17(1), 37–47.Google Scholar
  4. Chiu, M.-S. (2009). Approaches to the teaching of creative and non-creative mathematical problems. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 7(1), 55–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cox, D. C., & Harper, S. R. (2016). Documenting a developing vision of teaching mathematics with technology. In M. L. Niess, S. Driskell, & K. Hollebrands (Eds.), Handbook of research on transforming mathematics teacher education in the digital age (pp. 166–189). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dreyfus, T., & Eisenberg, T. (1996). On different facets of mathematical thinking. In R. J. Sternberg & T. Ben-Zeev (Eds.), The nature of mathematical thinking (pp. 253–284). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  7. Ginsburg, H. P. (1996). Toby’s math. In R. J. Sternberg & T. Ben-Zeev (Eds.), The nature of mathematical thinking (pp. 175–282). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  8. Graf, K.-D., & Hodgson, B. R. (1990). Popularizing geometrical concepts: The case of the kaleidoscope. For the Learning of Mathematics, 10(3), 42–49.Google Scholar
  9. Harper, S. R., & Cox, D. C. (2017). Quickfire challenges to inspire problem solving. Mathematics Teacher, 110(9), 686–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Harper, S. R., & Edwards, M. T. (2011). A new recipe: No more cookbook lessons. Mathematics Teacher, 105(3), 180–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hoffman, B. (2010). “I think I can, but I’m afraid to try”: The role of self-efficacy beliefs and mathematics anxiety in mathematics problem-solving efficiency. Learning and Individual Differences, 20(3), 276–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kaplan, G., Gross, R., & McComas, K. K. (1996). Mathematics through the lens of a kaleidoscope: A student centered approach to building bridges between mathematics and art. In K. Delp, C. S. Kaplan, D. McKenna, & R. Sarhangi (Eds.), Proceedings of Bridges 2015: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (pp. 573–580). Phoenix, AZ: Tessellations Publishing.Google Scholar
  13. Kwon, O. N., Park, J. S., & Park, J. H. (2006). Cultivating divergent thinking in mathematics through an open-ended approach. Asia Pacific Education Review, 7(1), 51–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Laborde, C., Kynigos, C., Hollebrands, K., & Strässer, R. (2006). Teaching and learning geometry with technology. In A. Gutierrez & P. Boero (Eds.), Handbook of research on the psychology of mathematics education: Past, present and future (pp. 275–304). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Leikin, R., & Pitta-Pantazi, D. (2013). Creativity and mathematics education: The state of the art. ZDM, 45(2), 159–166.Google Scholar
  16. Lewis, T. (2006). Creativity: A framework for the design/problem solving discourse in technology education. Journal of Technology Education, 17(1), 36–53.Google Scholar
  17. Liljedahl, P., & Sriraman, B. (2006). Musings on mathematical creativity. For the Learning of Mathematics, 26(1), 17–19.Google Scholar
  18. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  19. Moreno-Armella, L., Hegedus, S. J., & Kaput, J. J. (2008). From static to dynamic mathematics: Historical and representational perspectives. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 68(2), 99–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author.Google Scholar
  21. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common core state standards for mathematics. Washington, DC: Authors.Google Scholar
  22. Philipp, R. A. (2007). Mathematics teachers’ beliefs and affect. In F. K. Lester (Ed.), Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 257–315). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Google Scholar
  23. Silver, E. A. (1997). Fostering creativity through instruction rich in mathematical problem solving and problem posing. ZDM Mathematics Education, 29(3), 75–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tall, D., & Vinner, S. (1981). Concept image and concept definition in mathematics with particular reference to limits and continuity. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 12(2), 151–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tharp, M. L., Fitzsimmons, J. A., & Ayers, R. L. B. (1997). Negotiating a technological shift: Teacher perceptions of the implementation of graphing calculators. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 16(4), 551–575.Google Scholar
  26. Torrance, E. P. (1966). Torrance test on creative thinking: Norms-technical manual, Research Edition. Lexington, MA: Personal Press.Google Scholar
  27. Udell, J. (2005, November 16). What is screencasting? O’Reilly Media archive. Retrieved from
  28. Wagner, J. (1993). Ignorance in educational research or, how can you not know that? Educational Researcher, 22(5), 15–23. Scholar
  29. Wert, T. (2011). Creating a kaleidoscope with geometer’s sketchpad. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dana C. Cox
    • 1
    Email author
  • Suzanne R. Harper
    • 1
  • Michael Todd Edwards
    • 1
  1. 1.OxfordUSA

Personalised recommendations