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Discussion: Research Area
Topic: Virtual Manipulative in the Mathematics Classroom

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Subject:   RE: Virtual Manipulative in the Mathematics Classroom
Author: Don Link
Date: Oct 10 2006

I'm a little surprised by your strong condemnation of virtual manipulatives.  I
guess I don't understand why you're a part of the MathTools community if you're
opposed to one of the main purposes of that community--namely, to implement
and test effective virtual manipulatives, sharing what we discover.

I for one find virtual manipulatives very effective for teaching 6th grade math.
They often allow students to see relationships that are otherwise difficult for
them to grasp.

A tool like Geometer's Sketchpad allows us to build our own virtual
manipulatives that can be useful in middle school, high school, and
college-level mathematics.

I guess our experiences are just worlds apart.

Don Link

On Oct 10 2006, QMF wrote:
> I'm a little suspicious about this.  If you Google Jennifer Dyson's
> name, you find a business analyst in the information technology and
> services area.  Coincidence?  Cheap market research for a company
> marketing a virtual manipulative product?  In any case, why not use
> computers in the classroom for what they are really designed for -
> i.e., interactive functions, charting scores on math tests, allowing
> teachers to track student's performance and save themselves time
> grading tests, doing homework online via remote access to the school
> metwork, etc. etc.  What is really the point of "virtual
> manipulatives", when manipulatives really should only be used up to
> 2nd grade anyway?  Beyond that kids should learn math facts and move
> on from manipulatives.  I seriously hope that virtual manipulatives
> never get introduced into classrooms!  This would have a very
> negative impact on the development of the mathematical mind in young
> children!

Margaret Groves
(Montessori-trained educator with
> experience teaching math to very young children)
On Oct 10 2006,
> JenDyson wrote:
> Hello,

I am a graduate student at Texas A&M
> University, Corpus
> Christi.  I am conducting research for my
> master's degree in
> Curriculum & Instruction, specializing in
> math.  Specifically, I
> created a survey regarding the role of
> virtual manipulatives in
> today's mathematics classroom.  I am in
> the process of distributing
> this survey to as many mathematics
> teachers as possible.  Your help
> would be greatly appreciated.
> Below is a direct link to the survey:

PLEASE forward
> this message on to any teachers you know who are currently teaching
> > mathematics-- elementary, middle, or high school.  With your help,
> I
> hope to receive results from all over the country.  

> help you
> can provide in publicizing this survey is greatly
> appreciated.
> Thank you for your time.


> Dyson

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