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What Math Teacher

Indian Creek School
Crownsville, Maryland

Next year: 6th Grade Math

Who Don Link

After 30+ years in the high-tech software field, I left that world to become a 6th grade math teacher, and after two years in the classroom, I totally love it. My focus in the business world was using technology to solve customer's real-world problems, as well as using it to help us run our company. I learned that using technology is easy, but using it well is a real challengeone that requires creativity and clear objectives. When done best, technology-based solutions bring new insight, illuminate concepts and issues, and provide a deeper understanding of one's world.

Needless to say, as a new teacher, I quickly discovered that blackboards, overhead projectors, and even graphing calculators and various manipulatives had their limitations. In business and industry, information is almost always communicated to an assembled group using presentation software. Most ubiquitous is Microsoft's PowerPoint. I've used it for many years in all sorts of settings and found it an exemplary tool. But like all tools, it can be used both well and poorly. Unfortunately, the latter is often the case. A particularly effective PowerPoint presentation is always memorable, because they're not the norm.

So, my passion is to use PowerPoint to teach mathematics effectively. I don't want simply an electronic overhead projector. My goal is to use the capabilities of this technology to present concepts, methods, relationships, and solutions in ways that enhance understanding and mastery. Features such as color, animation, sound, video, and selective branching equip the lesson planner with a powerful set of tools for innovation and ingenuity.

During ToolFest, I plan to develop a series of PowerPoint-based lessons that will showcase how its features can be used most effectively in teaching mathematics. I'm open to suggestions from all participants on particular math concepts to tackle.


© 2003-2006 The Math Forum @ Drexel, part of NSF's NSDL
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DUE-0226284.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s)
and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.