Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chapter 23 Technology-Supported Math

Using technology in the classroom can greatly enhance a student's learning experience. A more hands-on and visual approach to different concepts will aid in a student's understanding of complex ideas. Through all of my math classes throughout grade school and high school, we always learned the longest, most in-depth process of a problem first in order to learn how and why it worked. After mastering this process, my teachers would usually show us a much shorter, one- or two-step process that came up with the same answer in less than half the amount of time. With the continuous enhancement of technology, tools are being developed that can help students learn different processes. Hopefully, these technological advances will help students grasp concepts more quickly and speed up their education, allowing them to learn more in their twelve years. Even being introduced to a graphing calculator increased the speed and quality of my learning experience, allowing me to actually see what I was learning and produce it by myself. With technology being used more and more, it should give a new, more interesting way for students to be eager to learn.

4 comments:

Jess Madigan said...

That's interesting because in my high school classes, we learned the easy, graphing calculator way to solve problems. Thinking about it now, I wish we had done the long and detailed way first. Especially in my Algebra class, we relied very heavily on the graphing calculator way of finding answers that I lost sight of the big picture AND the details. Not good.

Ben D. said...

My high school sounds a lot like yours Jen. My teachers would teach us the long way to do a problem, but would then teach us the simplified way using a calculator. Although it was very helpful, I feel we should have spent more time understanding the concepts without a calculator in order to fully grasp the math methods. However, I did find it important to learn the calculator method as well since technology is becoming more prevalent in today's society.

Katie Dietrich said...

I definitely agree that technology is vital towards understanding complicated math processes and theories. However, I would use caution to not rely too much on those given examples and not to forget how to solve the problems by hand as well. After all, technology is not always readily available, and I know that I learn things better when I actually do them myself, rather than just watch how they are done.

Danielle said...

Commenting on Jen's response as well as the other comments, I believe that there is no "right way" to teach using technology. What I mean is that using technology before or after the longer "by hand" method depends on the classroom and the lesson. Sometimes it is useful to show students what they will be solving my hand so they can grasp the concepts. Other times it might be bad to teach technology first because it will make students unmotivated to learn the long way. Thus, when we start teaching, I believe it is important to consider the situation before making generalizations about the use of technology.