Discussion:  Traffic Jam Applet tool 
Topic:  adding to the Conversation vs. restatements of same 
Related Item:  http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/10/ 
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Subject:  adding to the Conversation vs. restatements of same 
Author:  grc 
Date:  Apr 20 2003 
check it out. By the way, I am not a teacher, a researcher, a developer or any
such thing.
When I think of winwin, I think of something that has a broad application of
ages. Now, I know for a fact that this is possible with toys, because I make
math toys that mathematicians, physicists and threeyearolds all like
equally well, the exact same item, made in such a way that it speaks to
different people in different ways.
In math, notations can be used to strategic advantage, to include a broader
range of users. And, isn't one of the games of math to be able to look at the
same 'value' or 'object' in as many different ways as possible, to put values
and objects into forms where you can do something with them, where one form may
give you nothing but another opens vistas of possibility. So this should apply
not only to solving math problems but to the presentation of mathematical ideas
as well. Instead of, as you mention, making yet another polynomial program,
effort should be made to ADD to the conversation, in ways that will have meaning
to the broadest possible range of people, that will hopefully speak to people
independent of their ages.
Reading this message, it may sound as though I haven't said anything. It does
happen that I have an idea for a software program for a standard and highly used
mathematical topic, that approaches it in a different way that opens it up to a
younger audience, so that I do have an example to offer that is at least decent,
but will not offer it up in a public forum. My guess is that any program that
only meets the needs of an isolated group (age group, academic group) where only
a few members of that group are going to be accessing the program, is going to
be a dead end, no matter what group it is that you're making happy at the time.
And if written for 'a' group, you're going to be dependent on them not changing
their minds and going another direction.
 
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