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Subject:   needed software
Author: Alice
Date: Apr 22 2003
Hi Don and others.
I look at the software that's needed to entice students to learn course
standards. It could be in the format of a popular game.
What I see out there is mostly math tacked on to a story, instead of the story
needing the understanding of the math concept to move forward.
For example, an exciting story about morphing could take graphing to a new high.

There's a program on NCTM's math illuminations that asks which volume is
greater: if paper is rolled the long way or the short way. Students put popcorn
into the "containers" and see which holds more popcorn.  This could be
incorporated into one big program at, say, a carnival, where you'd buy popcorn.

Students could type in an equation for a parabola, for example, at a certain
place on the screen(graph) and have something shaped like a parabola materialize
there. it could be an alien, or a food, or a friend like et. Then students could
invent a shrinking coefficient that would shrink the parabola, or a line graph
in the right place that would cage the parabola...the parabola could then morph
into a circle or a square that could  escape or go to sleep or...
People who design games could start with a story and a math course that could
branch as the students imagination for what happens next..they could be based on
math standards and math vocabulary.

A program could take a student through all the standards in a course. There
would be repetitive practice areas to master a skill.
Students might need to draw up schedules for trains that start out in two cities
and race towards each other. They would need to learn distance problems to solve
the scheduling problems, so that two trains would not crash....
You've got the idea. Teams of programmers and teachers could do it working
together... and I think it would sell well in the private sector.
How many parents would love it if their students were doing schoolwork on their
computers, and had to be pried away to eat dinner!

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