If you are just getting started with technology integration in your mathematics class, then a sensible question is, where do I get started?

Here are four suggestions.

- Introduce a graphing and geometry program into your classroom, like
**Geogebra**or**Geometer’s Sketchpad**. These programs have the flexibility to allow you graph functions, explore geometry, and much more, all with the same program. Geogebra is a free install but your school may already have a license for Geometer’s Sketchpad. Both programs come with significant user communities and additional support resources.

- Learn about student blogging. When I started it eight years ago with my students, I had one student each day summarize what happened in class, and I would rotate through students in the class. Other students were asked to comment on each other’s posts. This allowed my students to have an ongoing summary of the class (which they really appreciated for studying for assessments, and when they were absent from class), synthesize what they were learning in class, and when looking at each other’s posts they had another opportunity to see someone else’s perspective on the mathematics they were learning. Each year I used student blogging in my class the explanations students created became better. I left a school one year, and halfway through the following year, one of my former students tracked me down and asked me to put the blog back up so they could use it to study for their exams at the end of their two year course.

- Use video recording in your classroom, either by
**recording experiments**, having**students create explanations**, or act as**hooks to problem solving tasks**. With today’s video editors, learning how to edit video is relatively easy, and most video format compatibility problems are far less of an issue than they used to be.

- Learn how to program a computer,
**with**your students. First, you will learn a useful skill, and so will your students. Second, your students (and you!) will learn more about decomposing problems, debugging problems, and**some potentially highly complex mathematical ideas**. There are**some excellent resources out there**which make learning programming much easier than it used to be so do not feel intitimidated by this task. This is an excellent opportunity to model learning for your students.

What other technologies would you recommend math teachers learn how to use early in their technology integration journey?

## Donna says:

Hi David, I started an Edmodo group with my yr 7 class half way through last year but couldn’t really get the kids posting or commenting as I would have liked. This year, with my new class and a fresh start, I followed your advice (probably read it on one of your previous posts). When students uploaded their first presentation to Edmodo, they were also required to view and comment on the work of at least three other students. I also have one student per lesson posting the review. It has made a big difference. The comments are still fairly simplistic from most kids, but I think we are off to a good start. It is encouraging to read that you found your students did get better at it over time. I also showed the students the Austin’s Butterfly YouTube clip last week and we talked about the value of persistence in their work, but also about how helpful specific constructive feedback was to help others improve their work.

March 10, 2013 — 10:38 pm

## David Wees says:

I found the comments at the beginning fairly simplistic as well for my students but like I said before, they definitely improved over time, as did the quality of the posts students produced. I should put that blog back up again so I show it as an example of what the final product looks like after two years.

March 11, 2013 — 12:23 pm

## David Wees says:

Looking through the posts of the blog I used in Thailand with my students, I can also see that I must have given them some writing prompts. If I were to start this process again, I might also ask them to document examples of mathematics that they encounter in their daily lives.

March 11, 2013 — 12:25 pm

## Donna says:

Yes, I’m prompting their blogs, which we also just started with ‘At least one thing I have learnt this week, something I still need/ want to learn, and one way I or someone else in the class has supported the learning of others’. Also stole those prompts from others, though I can’t remember who.

March 12, 2013 — 2:42 am