The Math Forum: 1998 Summer Institute - sum98

July 6-11, 1998 - Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

1998 Summer Institute || Participant Projects || List of Participants || Sum98 Staff || Agenda

Jon Basden - Onsite Participant

Highland Middle School, Highland, Illinois

Jon Basden currently teaches five sections of seventh grade math, only one of which is a pre-algebra curriculum. His room is equipped with two PowerPCs, one of which has an LCD panel, and he often integrates the Internet into his lessons, using it as a resource for problems and activities. He also finds the Internet to be a good resource for scientific data and statistics, and tries to use these where they apply in his curriculum. His students regularly submit answers to the problem of the week, and he plans to mentor the Forum's elementary problem of the week at some time during the coming school year.

As compared to other rural districts in Southern Illinois, Jon says his district does well with technological resources. Each of his students has an e-mail account that can be used as a return address for the Middle School Problem of the Week and other online challenges. Jon is considering opening his own daily problem web page for answers, so that the students can respond to these challenges.

Jon's experience designing resources for the Internet includes publishing daily problems and designing an online trip-planning Webquest, designed as part of the master's program in Instructional Technology he is working toward. He publishes his daily problems for his students to work, as supplements to his instruction, selecting problems that are challenging but relate to current topics. He uploads one for every day of the school year. He has also put together a list of links to problem and puzzle sites appropriate for 7th grade, and has recently put some information on the Web about the activities his classes did this spring with Soma Cubes and their geometric properties.

A slightly larger project Jon wishes to pursue involves teams of students writing and responding to math problems via the Internet. The ideas for formats and contest scoring this project come for the most part from existing Web sites, many of which Jon's students already use on a regular basis.

Jon's overall focus is to make his materials more student-friendly, interactive, authentic, and deep. He would like to explore innovative ways of involving students in Web-based activities and to learn strategies for integrating Internet resources more smoothly into his classes. He is specifically interested in settings where there may only be one or two computers in the classroom, with no access to a lab. He wants to use technology where it is appropriate, not just "for the sake of technology," and believes that learning better ways to design resources for the Internet would be a great way to do this.

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