Reitz High School

Reitz High School
Evansville, IN

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How do You do Digital Math?


             I have found and shared out many ways that teachers can use technology in a 1:1 environment.   I have shown ways that just about every teacher in every subject area could go paperless except for one.  I have tweeted and written blog posts for help to find resources and ideas to for this one subject area and have gotten pretty much next to nothing in return.  The subject I am referring to is math. 

            For ELA, Reading, Social Studies, Science, Art, Foreign Language, and Music we can use many programs and webtools.  Students can type papers, do research on the web, read books online, create presentations and interactive photos, find pictures, make infographics, create scripts and direct there very own videos on multiple topics, they can even let Google pronounce and define words for them.  The possibilities to teach, learn, research, and present all of these subjects are endless without ever passing out one sheet of paper. 

            Now lets get back to the math.  How do you work out a good old multi-step math problem without good old-fashioned paper and pencil?  I know students can watch good instruction from a teacher made video or from Khan Academy.  Students can do some drill work by playing a math game online, which is great for reinforcement.  They could even create an avatar or a movie with a script in which two characters explaining the steps of a math problem.  But my big question still is, how do realistically have students show their work for big math problems such as long division or multi digit multiplication on a tablet or computer.  And if you have a way, is it easier and quicker for the teacher and students than just using a pencil and paper?

            I want to win over my math teachers, but this is one of my biggest obstacles if not the biggest.  Again, I know there are ways to incorporate technology, but not as often as the other subjects.  Math gets the short end of the stick and it is not as fun as the other subjects because of the limits of the technology.  All students do not have wireless slates they could use to show work for a math problem.  Does anyone have some great ideas, tools, or methods out there that hey would be willing to share that work?  If so, please share with me.  

1 comment:

  1. Of course this is coming at it as an English teacher, but what about this:

    Geometry - After working through the process of a particular equation about some sort of formula, find a picture of a building. Use Google to find dimensions, weight or other type of info that fits into the formula that they just worked through. Then in Paint or other drawing program, illustrate the image with the formula, including the math. Do some comparisons, using buildings of different shapes or sizes or dimensions. This would, in my mind, help make the math real as well as show that the student has grasped the concept of the formula.

    Then to extend, use that formula for a different application.

    Let's start with a tower. Using the area and volume formulas, let's figure out the math of this tower. Then, assuming that the tower was to come down in a demolition project, use the math to solve how much clearance is needed to bring it down (triangle perimeter) and how many dump trucks will be needed to haul it away (volume).

    Of course there are other variables to include, so throw in some YouTube videos of tower demolitions to see how they come down in a controlled fashion in a smaller footprint. Figure that new area and use the math to find out where the charges would have to be to accomplish that (smaller triangle perimeters).

    Rambling, but am I going in the right direction?

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