The Reflective Educator

Education ∪ Math ∪ Technology

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It’s The Skills

So a student of mine just mentioned me in this tweet.

Teaching ppl how to use google docs. Never thot Id be using it after high school. Thankyou mr. davidwees

So the background to this story is that this is a student of mine, and that I taught her IB Mathematical Studies and Calculus in school a couple of years ago. The calculus class was taught using much lecture (unfortunately) but had this huge project we worked on about trying to figure out if a mission to Mars would be possible, using some calculus to help answer the question. One of the tools that I taught them how to use as part of this project was Google Docs.

Apparently she is working in a children’s television and thought that they might find using Google Docs useful for writing scripts.

davidwees I'm working at a kids TV company and their writing scripts so I told them that google docs will be very useful and they love it!

So she’s actually using something she learned in my class and applying it to her work. Very cool. Notice though that it’s not the calculus that she’s applying, or the ability to sit in a lecture and listen quietly. Nope. It’s one of the technology skills that I taught her that she is finding useful.

So I decided to ask her if she had used any of the mathematics I taught her. I actually had this student for two courses and one of those courses was an applied mathematics course so you’d think that there might be some chance she’d used some of it. Here’s her response.

davidwees um no, sorry :(

This is just more anecdotal evidence for me that the most important things we teach in our classes don’t lie between the pages of the textbooks we use. It’s the skills, not the content.