The Math Forum: 2000 Summer Institute - sum2000

July 25 - August 11, 2000 - Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

2000 Summer Institute || Agenda || List of Participants

Day 2 Summary

Today we started the day by having a discussion to process a homework assignment given to the participants about 2 weeks before they met in Swarthmore. The homework assignment included going to the Teachers' Self Guided Tour and completing the following:
Task One - go through the Self Guided Tour and concentrate mainly on the following four areas:
Problems of the Week
Ask Dr. Math
Math Library
Web Units and Lessons
Maybe think about how these areas could be useful for your teaching and/or if anything is missing that would be useful for you and/or colleagues.

Task Two - Go to the Math Forum's home page and critique it - write down your first impression - list any good qualities that come to mind and list any constructive criticism that you might have.

Task Three - Go to the Teacher's Place; select your favorite level from:
Middle School
High School
and critique it - write down your first impression - list any good qualities that come to mind and list any constructive criticism that you might have.
For a basic outline of that discussion go to: Participants' Suggestions & Concerns

As part of the agenda all of the onsite participants were encouraged to write a reflection of how their second day went and here are a few quotes from those messages:
"Although I have used Netscape Composer (very little), a Claris works page maker and Page Mill, it always helps to hear it again, expecially in a slightly different context so that you have to think a little bit about what's going on. The more you think, the better you process. I also liked setting up the link page, because I can use it for what I envision as the product I would like to take home with me after three weeks here."

"It is my desire to truly make the internet a tool that is useful for the classroom and not just a place to play games and chat online!... Each day in the institute is a learning experience for me. I am finding that the more I know the more I need and want to know."

"As indicated, the POW site (especially the archives) would be more useful to teachers if it could be cataloged or indexed, so that teachers could search the archives for openended problems that are related to particular topics or concepts. The ability to download the problem without the solution would be beneficial to teachers for the archived POWS, as well as the current POW. However, I would like to maintain the solutions also."

"...we tried to brainstorm about the usefulness/practicality of the design/content of the many resources of the Math Forum. In response to the hour-long discussion several shared perceptions/realities were evident:
  1. The Math Forum has so many rich resources which are tremendously under-utilized possibly due to the overwhelming/confusing interface with the novice user...
  2. Streamline and simplify the home-page and opening screens...
  3. Standardize the frame/font/design/navigation bars...
  4. Possibly reorganize the problems of the week by topic list...
  5. Make the self-guided tour more prevalent...
  6. Make the power search more prevalent..."

"It was good to hear that a few of us had a similar concern about the cataloguing of the POWs according to topic. I use POWs throughout the year, but very often the POW does not coincide with what's being taught in a particular unit. If the archived POWs were categorized by specific topic, it would be much more useful to teachers."

"Two ideas come to mind...the concept of a 'kindler, gentler' Math Forum web site is a noble, and worthwhile idea. I can see myself helping to make this possible. (I'm a simple guy) Second, the simplicity of creating a web page is an epiphany for me. Using the template and ideas Suzanne supplied will be a great starting point for me. I use Power Point quite a bit for my math presentations. I can now see that there is another avenue of presentation. I can also see myself writing web pages not only for my classroom but for the Math Forum."

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