Region W1 Report - Summer 2011

 

Summer 2011 News for Western 1 Region
Richard Seitz, Western 1 Regional Director
Summer 2011

Powerful Professional Development for Western Region 1!

All of the mathematics education leaders in the Western Region should be planning on an exciting professional development opportunity in mathematics this fall. NCSM and NCTM are coming to Albuquerque New Mexico! NCSM hosts the Fall Regional Seminar November 2nd and this is followed by the NCTM Regional conference and Exposition through the 4th of November. The Fall Leadership Seminars will focus on three compelling areas:

  • The major advances in the CCSS that your implementation needs to address
  • Implementing the CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice
  • Ready-to-use tools and strategies, including the NCSM Instructional Materials Analysis Tools

I hope to see you all there.

Technology Tips for Western Region 1 Leaders.

Tip 1: Position Papers to Consider

Leaders of Mathematics should examine two documents that offer real guidance to the use of technology in mathematics. I have included a short quote from each one below. The NCTM position paper highlights the types of tools that have a place in the curriculum for building sense making and reasoning. The NCSM position paper gives guidance to supervisors how to develop a policy of technology review and guide the implementation process for teachers. The full position papers may be accessed at www.nctm.org/about/content.aspx?id=14233 (NCTM) and www.mathedleadership.org/docs/resources/positionpapers/NCSMPositionPaper8.pdf (NCSM)

The Role of Technology in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics (NCTM Position Paper)

"Calculators and other technological tools, such as computer algebra systems, interactive geometry software, applets, spreadsheets, and interactive presentation devices, are vital components of a high-quality mathematics education. With guidance from effective mathematics teachers, students at different levels can use these tools to support and extend mathematical reasoning and sense making, gain access to mathematical content and problem-solving contexts, and enhance computational fluency. In a well-articulated mathematics program, students can use these tools for computation, construction, and representation as they explore problems. The use of technology also contributes to mathematical reflection, problem identification, and decision making."

Improving Student Achievement in Mathematics by Systematically Integrating Effective Technology (NCSM Position Paper)

"One way to support teachers to gain the skills, views, and dispositions necessary to successfully bring technology into their mathematics teaching is to create time for teachers to work with technology outside of formal workshops. It takes time to play with and use technology; and as teachers are ready, it takes time and opportunities for teachers to work together to discuss, recommend, and explore technology with their colleagues The process teachers go through as outlined in the PURIA model often helps deepen their understanding of mathematics."

Tip 2: Cutting Edge Technology to Investigate

The latest technology trend emerging across the nation is the new tablet-size computing devices. The Apple IPad, the Motorola Zoom, the Samsung Galaxy, and the Dell Streak are just a few of the newest items you will see for sale this summer. What makes this technology enticing for education is a wide range of applications that can be used in teaching and learning mathematics.

The hardware to look for is 5" to 12" touch screens, rear and facing cameras, wireless and/or mobile connections, and fast operating systems capable of showing videos and handling video conferencing. The hardware also includes operating systems that run Apple's OS, Windows 7 and the Android Operating System along with other mobile choices from current mobile phone leaders.

The software applications (apps) that are currently available (or expected by this summer) include graphing calculators, spreadsheets, book viewer (especially for textbooks), fractal generators, optical illusion demos, spreadsheets, word processors, video players (everything from full length movies & podcasts to you tube videos on almost any math topics you could think of), and connections to the world of internet and social media.

Tip 3: Grant Resources to Support Technology

If you are looking for sources that will support teaching and learning how to implement new technologies, look at your local telephone companies and your cable companies. These two types of organizations will usually have a foundation and a mission that supports the integration of technology into the classroom.

Once you find sources, share them with educators in your area and you will be able to build a cadre of highly innovative professionals who can share their expertise at state and regional workshops and meetings.

One example of this is in Montana where the Qwest foundation (now combined with CenturyLink) supported two years of grants to bring together teams of STEM teachers grades 7-12 to investigate, learn, share, and develop plans to implementing technology in teaching. Teachers learned how to create videos, podcasts, online lessons, pencasts, recordings and social media sites to create a new extended classroom available to students 24/7.

Tip 4: Plan for the Future

We do have a choice. We can plan for the future or we can just let it happen. The advance of technology has become a reality that is pretty hard to ignore. While a few brave souls ignore change, most people are living with it, and a few visionaries are dreaming and planning for the future.

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