ESCOT Summer Workshop 2001
Day 3

ESCOT Summer Workshop 2001 || Math Forum Workshops

Connections: Jody led us through connections.

Instructional Support Center: Mathematics

Vancouver School District has developed a way to help students do well on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning. They have a collection of problem solving prompts. The site requires a password but contact information is available here:

Group Reports:

NCTM Article

Write for the Middle School Mathematics Teacher. The goal is to alert teachers to the availability of the problems. David read the introduction. Jeremy shared the idea of including: good mathematics, technology used appropriately, drawing on what we've found learners need.

Suggestions for teachers. Background on ESCOT, experience of being on an integration team. Galactic Exchange, Fractris and Search and Rescue.

Sidebar box to provide technical requirements needed.

Jeremy will be writing a "welcome page" for the ESCOT site to give ideas for teachers to use.

Dual purpose article - this is happening but also here is what you can use. They shared the timeline.

Jeremy shared the idea of not over-promising so that they don't get frustrated.

Teacher Support

Suzanne described the suggested changes to the ESCOT site. The idea is to change:
to have links to the following:
  • first time user's go here (link to Jeremy's welcome page)
  • NCTM page
  • student version list (no navigation)
  • applet only page
  • link to what used to be
  • FAQ page (technical/pedagogical) [
  • ESCOT's real site

Problem Parameterization

We started by defining what we mean by paramaterization and why we would want to parametize.

Jim Kaput:

  • adjusting the level of difficulty
  • provide several variations on an activity (eventually having a pattern emerge)

First thought of actually doing it and then got to the point of writing guidelines that others might use when developing problems.

Reasons to paramaterize:

  • adjust level of difficulty
  • make activity more personalized or relevant
  • allow patterns to be inferred
  • allow choice - leads to feeling of empowerment
  • make activity more or less constructive
  • adjust use in social context
  • instrument for logging and assessment


Jeremy started his closing by reviewing the history of ESCOT. There are a couple
  • forming a testbed of educational technology development - a way to work together. Rather than working locally with one group, we have a very international and spread out group.
  • we did many things together rather than marching to our own drums
  • set up intellectual property rules so that vendors would feel comfortable.
  • we didn't get anyone really made at us. We wanted to develop a feeling of trust. AgentSheets and SRI have a combined project in the future. MathLab has a relationship with Geometer's Sketchpad that probably wouldn't have happened without ESCOt
  • we can mix and match components although at the beginning it wasn't apparent whether it would happen or not.
  • when the project began we didn't really have a focus on what we were going to make. The idea of using the PoW format was an emergent idea and now the integration team is now the most important part.
  • big surprise is how badly Java turned out as a tool. We feel it let us down.
  • what he is really struck with is how individuals found an opportunity to work with something and run with it:
    • Ann's research
    • the paramaterization theme
    • article for Mathematics Teacher
    • ways to use the problems in school
  • the feeling of ownership yet the feeling of community
  • He has mutual respect, connecting with each other, evaluation and reevaluation

We have before us a variety of directions. It's great to four or five ideas, but here are some more to consider:

  • This workshop itself has tremendous value - regenerative experience - maybe some rich person would fund the Swarthmove Developer/Teacher Workshop
  • There could be some kind of guild. We have learned a skill of knowing how to work together. A pool of freelances who are qualified to work with each other. The idea that the guild would continue to grow and admit more members.
  • There could be a school initiated version of this where they decide that they are going to be a leader in this area. This could be school-led rather than research-led project.

Who knows where this is all going to take us but thank you!

Day 1 || Day 2

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