This was written by Steve Weimar (email@example.com), one of the institute leaders, as his outline of the Forum Institute. I will be posting a schedule of our activities in a separate posting.
As many who read this know, the Geometry Forum will be conducting an institute next week from the 28th to July 3rd. Our purpose is to develop ways in which the Geometry Forum community on Internet can be a good resource for teachers, particularly in secondary geometry education. In this context we will investigate topics such as:
Cooperative Learning in the Geometry Classroom, Writing and the Geometry Classroom, Computer Software for Geometry, Online Education, Electronically Linked Classrooms, Geometry and Practical Applications, Geometry and Assessment, NCTM Standards and Changes in the Math Classroom
Throughout the institute, though we will have plenty of fun doing geometry, we will continue to return to questions such as: What does the Internet have to offer geometry teachers? How can we make use of the Internet and telecommunicated links between people working on geometry and education? What is needed for this electronic community to be truly active and useful?
During our institute we will post descriptions of our work, summaries of presentations, interesting problems, and our musings so that this institute itself contributes to the immediate resourcefulness of the Geometry Forum. In turn, we hope that fellow travelers on the nets will join us and share their insights and resources.
In an effort to warm up this conversation, let me pose a few questions now.
What are the main ways in which the Internet can be useful to geometry teachers? From the topics listed above you can see that we've anticipated a number of them:
facilitating writing about math; access to a wide range of expertise about geometry; collaborative problem-solving at a distance; a public archive of lessons, software, articles, and information on geometry; support, feedback, and ideas for teachers who are often isolated; connections to people using geometry in other fields and professions; pen pal relations and other forms of electronically linked classrooms.
1) So, what are other ways in which the Internet could be useful to geometry teachers?
And then there are many questions we can turn to within topics. Here are a few starters:
2) What are the ways in which use of networks like the Internet can enhance cooperative learning?
3) What are the unique challenges and opportunities presented by cooperative learning in the geometry classroom?
4) How can an electronic community such as the Geometry Forum become a viable resource for teachers and increase communication, both on the nets and back in our local teaching environments?
5) What is the place of writing in the math classroom and can telecommunications play a significant role in supporting it?
6) What are resources, both human and material, that the Internet offers to math teachers, particularly teachers of geometry, that could easily be missed by the casual Internet traveler?
7) What are new and current favorite resources, both mathematical and pedagogical, being used by leading teachers?
8) What have we learned about creating electronic communities of educators?
9) Who's actively using geometry in their work and how can the Internet help teachers make connections to these people? What do people think about the relative importance of "real-world" applications to teaching geometry?
10) What is the relative value of networks such as Internet for math classrooms that are developing along the lines of the NCTM standards or other reform efforts?
11) What alternative forms of assessment are proving effective and how can networks play a role in enhancing these?
We'll be in full swing by Wednesday the 30th. Check on us from time to time. But let's not wait; let's get this conversation rolling!
Steve Weimar firstname.lastname@example.org
Annie Fetter | The Geometry Forum | Voice: 215 328-8225 Project Coordinator | Swarthmore College | 800 756-7823 email@example.com | Swarthmore PA 19081 | Fax: 215 328-7824