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Topic: Re: Customizing the School Intranet
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Kirby Urner

Posts: 4,713
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Customizing the School Intranet
Posted: May 29, 2009 6:57 PM
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> > Some of you following the action from my corner
> might
> >
> > remember I sometimes don a teacher hat and serve on
> > the front line as a low paid direct instruction
> > trainer for the still rather young (high school aged).
> >

> Kirby, I wrote you about the following earlier this
> month, but the erratic posting scheme placed my
> comment and question in a place where you might have
> missed it.
> In trying to find out how your 'stuff' would fit in
> the K-12 world, I had written (in part):
> "Thanks for responding Kirby. I went to the links.
> You didn't provide what I was looking for - and maybe
> it doesn't exist.
> The links talk about what you'd add: such things as
> avatars, programming language, object packing, number
> theory, RSA codes. You say that such things are
> motivational and will provide connections.
> All of the above take time; is there anything that
> you would no longer teach in K-12 math for everyone
> to create needed time?"
> Richard

You're right Richard, I actually hadn't seen your polite

A response to mine here:

I apologize for not making myself clear. The lobbying
goal on my end is to open a digital math track (DM)
through all four years of high school, and to offer this
as an alternative to the old "continuous math" track (CM)
that we all know about (pre-calc/calc).

Students will be presented with an alternative, kind of
like with IB (International Baccalaureate) except the
latter branches at junior year whereas we're branching at
grade 9 or even earlier (depends on the pilot).

So our question isn't what in CM to "throw out" as we're
leaving it to the competition (those math teachers) to
keep running their railroad however they see fit. We,
on the other hand, are looking the four years of green
field development, and only have to figure what from the
calculus we wish to leave in, and we have a fairly well
developed literature on that topic, with peer review in
this very archive e.g. me 'n Renfro yakking re this DM
track approach to The Catenary (somewhere back a ways):
(relates to arch in St. Louis)

The idea is Silicon Forest private sector companies are
willing to work directly with the Oregon legislature on
opening this 2nd track through math land, with teachers
coming forward on a self-selecting basis, looking for
training. We recruit from as far away as West Virginia
let's say, look for people with Perl experience, SVG,
other relevant background.

So far, we seem to be getting a receptive ear, as we're
the big employers in the high tech sector, so if we say
they'd be better off with fewer hours using calculators,
and many more learning a real computer language, they tend
to believe us. Academia is already maxed out on math
professors so its not like they're as big a group at the
table, can't offer nearly the number of well paying
careers we can.

So the question is, given a choice between DM and CM,
which will students choose? That's what we're waiting
to find out, once we've done the work to make both easily
available. CM teachers shouldn't have to worry, as we're
not here to rock their boat. Just keep doing what you're
doing, with the hapless dweebs that pick your track.

Paul Tanner III and I used to chat about the possibility
of a parallel "tech track" two or three years ago (more?)
and that's basically the strategy we pursued. He'd often
worry we'd dumb it down or leave out proofs or recitation
or the things that he cares about, but I'd say he needn't
worry about it, as DM is a different sandbox, and he's
free to keep plying his trade, as a CM guy, until the cows
come home. Likewise yourself, no pressure to upgrade.


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