On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 3:43 AM, Jim Kearns <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I need help. I am a 60 year old math teacher teaching 15 year old lower > middle 9th 10th and 11th grade students Algebra 1. I reckon this forum has > the cutting edge thinkers in k-12 math education. Question: Can anyone > give an old dog advise as to how to guide my use the mobile technology to > learn Algebra 1? I appreciate any help you can render. >
YouTube is a vast and growing stash of instructional videos, with Khan Academy the tip of the iceberg. Most smartphones of a certain caliber and above have a Youtube app and probably a generic browser. Tablets, same thing. You want continuity with home equipment, where the bigger screens are. You see some previews or sample on the smartphone, but don't watch the whole thing until in a less distractions-filled setting.
I've been a high school math teacher in a high quality college prep academy, and have followed the literature ever since, even though today I'm private sector (wait, that's not what's different, the school was private too).
Phillips Academy in Andover, universally well-regarded as a top caliber academy (college prep, quite expensive) offers an elective using 'Mathematics for the Digital Age and Programming in Python'. This would normally not be considered "Algebra I" but it would be accessible to your average 60 year old Algebra I teacher, even with no experience programming. Skylit Publishing, thumbs up. You may have no opportunity to share what you learn in a public school setting, or, on the other hand, you may see you have just the surf board you need, to ride the next tsunami of change (insert "yee hah!" if geographically appropriate).
The algebra is subtle and relates to "half life" and therefore log and exp. What's more interesting is the video satisfies a lot of student curiosity about an event they hear about (the meltdown at Chernobyl) but never get much of a story about. This documentary helps address that lack. Talking heads include Gorbachev and Hans Blix, important historical figures.
I should confess that I also taught world history for St. Dom's and continue to do so in the private sector. When I talk about fractals, it's more likely in the context of post Bourbakian graphicalism, a movement that swung against the abracadabra of the formalisms-only school. As Mandelbrot told me, Bourbaki was only that pathological because the better mathematicians had all died in the war (Bourbaki was not a real person so this is more a poke at a "corporate person", more like Exxon, which personhood does "pro math" commercials I'd consider "Bourbakian" in some ways -- lots of symbols flying by on screen, connoting "a cryptic language you may never crack but that we insiders know" ("crypto-fascist" some call it)).