Discussion:  Traffic Jam Applet tool 
Topic:  exponents 
Related Item:  http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/10/ 
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Subject:  RE: exponents 
Author:  gene 
Date:  Oct 5 2004 
My experience has shown me that current students are much more attuned to
working (as well as playing) in front of a monitor than we are. They can make
use of a wellconstructed software to go through material at their own
pacewhich is not to say one should simply put the book on the computer!
We are beginning to understand something about how to design for learning with
computers. This is not necessarily an improvement to standard lectures (except
in the case of bad teachers, of which there are a few), although computers
really do bring wonderful possibilities in terms of visualization and other
valuable teaching aids.
As I mentioned, there are no explanations or proofs in the software I suggested
and I agree with you that “much better is a systematic approach with
increasingly more difficult examples and practice problems”. Unfortunately, I
didn’t find anything with this. However, from my own experience I would expect
what I did find could help students who are really struggling with
exponents.
The teacher who wrote is desperately looking for “anything at all, that helps
students with problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication,
division, power of a power, negative, and fractional exponents.” What I found
might well help some students, even though one can imagine better tools.
Gene
 
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