Using the Math Forum's Ask Dr. Math Site
as an Instructional Tool

presented by Suzanne Alejandre

at the 39th Northwest Mathematics Conference
Math For The Millennium
in Victoria, British Columbia
Session 217
University of Victoria
Maclaurin D282, Computer lab with 28 iMacs
Saturday, Oct. 21, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Goals of the Workshop:
  • To provide an overiew of Ask Dr. Math, a service of the Math Forum.
  • To show that technology, particularly the Internet, can be used as a tool for teaching mathematics effectively.
  • To help mathematics teachers think of places in their curricula that could benefit from the Ask Dr. Math service.
  • To provide a hands-on opportunity to learn how to make an Ask Dr. Math link page.
The History of Dr. Math:

In fall of 1994 the Geometry Forum (now the Math Forum) discovered a dormant project called "Ask Prof. Maths," where K-12 students could send in math questions and get personal answers. It was decided to revive the program, using Swarthmore College math students as 'Math Doctors' - they were called the 'Swat Team' - students who loved to answer questions from other students.

By the fall of 1995, the rapidly increasing volume of questions required that new members of the staff be recruited from other colleges around the country. By the year 2000, there had been over 300 volunteer 'Doctors' from all corners of the globe. The service continues to grow in popularity and has received a number of Internet awards.

Questions, Answers, and Archive:

Students submit questions to Dr. Math by filling out a Web form. Answers are sent back by e-mail, and then the best questions and answers are gathered into a searchable archive organized by grade level (elementary, middle school, high school) and topic (exponents, infinity, polynomials, etc.). It is recommended to use the Dr. Math searcher and also the Dr. Math FAQs before actually submitting a question since there has been a lot of information written and archived on the Ask Dr. Math site.
 Ask Dr. Math:

  Index Page
  Classroom use
  Search the Archives
  Browse the Archives
      Elementary School
      Middle School
      High School
      College and Beyond

 Link Page Samples:

  Index Page

  Elementary School

  Middle School

  High School

 How-to Resources:

  Link Page Template
  ClipArt/Gif/Jpeg Resources
      Icon Bazaar
  Color Resources
      Color Palette Map
  Writing HTML
      HTML: Basic Tags

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