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Discussion: Dimenxian tool
Topic: First Impressions of Dimenxian
Related Item: http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/24326/


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Subject:   RE: First Impressions of Dimenxian
Author: Mathman
Date: Sep 23 2006
On Sep 23 2006, Suzanne wrote:
> On Sep 15 2006, Mathman wrote:
> How?  Time is of the essence.  If
> the course has been covered, there
> is no time to do it again
> using the software.

>These statements make it appear that once
> students cover material in a specific course that they never have
> time to think about it again.


Not so.  I claim that if they master it, they don't have to think about it
again.  They simply do it while the then apply their thinking to the higher
level learning, new material they are then doing.  My claim is that a
well-designed curriculum covers a specific amount of material within a
specific time frame.  Otherwise, the material covered is not enough, or the time
is not enough.  I am suggesting that traditional methods of teaching do not fail
in general, any and all will fail for some, and there is not sufficient time to
do one and then another if the one fails.  It may be a viable alternative on a
second run, but not within the same time-frame.


>Might a video game like
> Dimenxian strengthen mathematical understanding before or after the
> content is being formally presented in a classroom setting?

Again, how would this affect the time-frame? Time spent on one is lost on
another.  I say this with the thought in mind that the very young here are
taught to throw dice, the pretention being that they are being taught how to
understand the basics of probability for work done later on in that subject.  In
the meantime, some have yet to master the times table by the time they reach 9th
grade.

>I
> wonder if all learning takes place only in a classroom with a
> certificated teacher?


Not all, but hopefully the best, aside from the real learning one does with head
down into some rigorous problem-solving.  I have seen no statistical argument
to the contrary.  The art of teaching of a subject is distinct from the tools
available.  A good teacher will use one or another as the situation demands.
However, if to study a particular topic there is a long period of time used with
one pedagogical method, it will take reasonably the same amount of time with the
other.  There is not enough time for both.  I deal with cancer, and would prefer
a certified teacher as I would prefer a certified doctor, but you can take your
chances with alternative medicine if you wish.  Life is nothing if not constant
decisions.

David.

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