Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ch. 16 - Math Supported by Internet

When I read this chapter, I was impressed and quite shocked by the amount of opportunities provided with the use of internet within the classroom. My previous thought was that the internet could only really help with creating a course website that students could view from home for additional help with classroom material and expectations of the course. I never realized that there were so many websites that have interactive math activities on them. This could provide a great way for students to participate in a fun activity that will keep them engaged throughout the lesson. This is also a helpful tool for students outside of the classroom as well. When they are having trouble visualizing their homework problems, they can go back to the same websites that were used in class and redo the activities to better understand the material. Using the internet creates an accessible way for students to learn math and how it applies to real life situations. Some of these websites incorporate different ways to analyze data that is prevalent in today's society such as earthquake activity and marine data. This can allow the students to research a topic that they find interesting and report back what they found out by looking at and analyzing the data. This is a great way to implement group projects that require the students to not only learn the math concepts required to analyze data, but also learn how to work as a team to accomplish a goal.

Math Supported by Internet

This chapter describes the opportunities available to educators and students through the Internet. Many resources are provided that have lesson plans, curriculum materials, and interactive activities. These websites are very valuable in helping educators prepare lessons. The section then gives examples of data resources that give way to data sets, real-time data projects, and collaborative and group projects. These Internet sites help support mathematics learning in the subject of statistics, but also in other subject areas to show how mathematics works in everyday situations. As we have noticed in our class already, access to videos can make learning entertaining while still being educational. Also, the Internet provides opportunity for students who miss class to watch the lesson via video. Finally, similar to our Wikis, this chapter talks about the opportunity for teachers and students to publish their work online. This allows others to benefit from it, as well as the producer to benefit from criticism of others.

What I was most surprised by was that as I went to the various websites suggested in the chapter, I realized that in all of my 'google' searches for our previous class topics, I have not come across even one of those resources. I am actually bothered by this. I would expect to find reliable sources when searching the Internet. However, it seems that the unreliable sites come up instead of the good ones. Thus, I am glad I now have a list of reliable sources and I like the advice given in the chapter about selecting Internet resources. 

Did anyone else find it odd that all the book's supposedly well-known sites are not ones that come up in searches?