David Wees's blog

Presentation on Powerful Learning in Math via Programming

These are my slides from my workshop at Twitter Math Camp on Powerful Ideas in Math via Programming.

 

The medium is the mathematics

Mathematics is not medium neutral. What we call the mathematics that we can do with pencil and paper is different than what we can do with a computer and call mathematics, which is different again than the mathematics we can do with origami. The medium defines the mathematical space, in the same way that Marshall McLuhan talks about the medium being the message.

What changed my teaching

Adam Holman asks a really important question:

What have you found to be the catalyst that helped either change your mindset/practice or helped change a ‘traditional’ teacher into one that cultivates relationships and student choice?

Using Angry Birds as a Context for Quadratic functions

One of the teachers I work with used Angry Birds as a context for learning about quadratic functions. Whenever they wanted to introduce a new topic, they referred back to the context of Angry Birds so as to give students a representation of quadratics with which the students may be familiar.

Let's see what that could look like. Here's one angry bird shot.

 

Here's the data from the shot above inputted into Geogebra.

Six things about math education which do not work

There are six things (at least!) about mathematics education which do not work:

[Three Acts] Stopping Distance Makeover

Act One

Show this video. Ask students what questions they have. 

 

Act Two

Unsubscribe

I have for some time now been subscribed to too many sources of information. As part of my transition to a new job, I have been culling various items in my feed. This is based largely on the fact that my role as an educational technologist is greatly diminished and I have less need to know about such a wide variety of tools. My focus will be much more on mathematics education, and while I think there is a role for technology to play, I think the number of tools which have potential use is much smaller.

The Faulty Logic of Disrupting Class

I am reading Disrupting class, by Clay Christensen, Michael Horn, and Curtis Johnson. In the introduction of Disrupting Class, Clay Christensen, et al., give six possible reasons for why the United States education system does not appear to be doing well when compared with other OECD countries:

Introducing vocabulary in a digital book

Example from Complex Variables textbook

(Source: Complex Variables with Applications, Second Edition, A. David Wunsch)

 

Algebra with words, symbols or a computer

"If some one say: "You divide ten into two parts: multiply the one by itself; it will be equal to the other taken eighty-one times." Computation: You say, ten less thing, multiplied by itself, is a hundred plus a square less twenty things, and this is equal to eighty-one things. Separate the twenty things from a hundred and a square, and add them to eighty-one. It will then be a hundred plus a square, which is equal to a hundred and one roots. Halve the roots; the moiety is fifty and a half.

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