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Topic: Question six
Replies: 8   Last Post: Mar 15, 2001 10:25 AM

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pat ballew

Posts: 334
Registered: 12/3/04
Question six
Posted: Mar 7, 2001 7:33 PM
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Tech Tools.gif (2.4 K)

Question 6: Should technology change the mathematical content we consider
My general response to this question is no, but with an exception:
I see technology as a tool to assist the student in either learning more
math, or learning the same math more deeply.
New technology should be used only when the time spent teaching the
technology is adequately justified in time saved in delivery of instruction.

I see things like dynamic software as expanding both the range and depth
of learning. Many students who have difficulty with geometric ideas are
able to be more successful with this type of interactive technology. A
student can say, "I see." and mean it very literally. I see graphing
calculators in much the same way. My students see more graphs in a year
than I saw in my entire HS education. I believe this increased exposure
enhances their understanding of the mathematical ideas at play. On the other
hand computer technology brings with it a downside that causes me some
concern. I see teaching postions being lost and replaced with "educational
technologists". I think that technologies that become pervasive in a society
do not have to be taught; we have no classes in "cell phone", there is no
"TV 102". I think teaching "computers" or "computer literacy" has little
effect on the use and understanding that students have of computers .

The exceptional case, in my mind, occurs when technology changes the way a
discipline is practiced, then it may need to become part of the instruction
for that discipline. In mathematics this may be happening when the idea of
"proof" expands to accept computer proof such as the four-color thm.
If practicing users of math employ the technology, and it seems they are
more and more, it may be necessary that there is some training in the
technology in schools.

Best regards,

Pat Ballew,
Misawa, Jp

"Statistics means never having to say you're certain."

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