This course will provide students the opportunity to learn how technology and media can be used to enhance students’ understanding of mathematics when used appropriately. Students will explore appropriate uses of the calculator, graphing calculator, spreadsheets, and mathematical software packages such as The Geometer’s Sketchpad and Fathom. Students will explore the use of the Internet (WWW) to support middle and secondary mathematics education. The course will review national and state standards on technology and New York State regulations regarding the use of calculators on state examinations. In addition, the course will review other software and multimedia products, and will focus on particular areas of interest to those enrolled.
A fundamental goal of the course is to become familiar with some of the technology tools available and appropriate for enhancing and extending the teaching and learning of middle and secondary school mathematics. Much of our class time will be invested in mathematical explorations using calculators or computers and in discussion of those explorations.
Technology is changing the nature of the mathematics classroom and in some cases the mathematical content taught. Some of the technology we explore and the methods we propose may be new, provoking another goal of the course: to consider the implications of available technology. It has been argued that because of technology, some mathematics may be more accessible to learners, some mathematics may be available for the first time to learners, and some mathematics may become obsolete to learners. Throughout the course, we will consider questions such as these:
• How does technology influence decisions about what mathematics should or should not be taught?
• How does technology impact our teaching?
• How does technology affect our students’ learning?
• How do technology-intensive mathematics classrooms differ from the classrooms in which we may have learned mathematics?
Active participation is crucial to the success of the course. We can all expect to share findings, methods, observations and opinions. The course activities are designed with this in mind.