Category: Future of Math

Recorded Webinar: Teaching Math in 2020

Just realized I never shared this webinar video from 2014 (you know, back when 2020 still seemed pretty far away). What Does Teaching Math look like in 2020? With every new iteration of technology, we create a generation of students whose primary media “language” for learning and interacting with the world is different than the one before it. In the last 5 years, technologies like free online videos, personalized learning software, and mobile devices, have been chipping away at the corners of education and traditional teaching. Technology-enhanced learning is here to stay, and it will alter the face of...

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What does Math Teaching look like in 2020?

This is from a presentation today looking at the future of teaching math from a K-12 perspective. Here are my predictions for math teaching at the K-12 level in 2020: (1) Learning math becomes a team activity, where technology is one of the team members. (2) Teachers shift from the role of an instructor to the role of a learning coach. (3) We solve the mobile devices and assessment problem. (4) Students can move seamlessly between in-person and digital experiences. (5) Teacher planning periods shift from lesson planning to examining analytics and choosing digital / in-person learning activities.  ...

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WolframAlpha Facebook Report

This is a delightful exercise that everyone seems to love. WolframAlpha will provide you with an extremely detailed analysis of your own Facebook data including visualizations, world clouds, graphs, and more.       Here’s how: Go to Type “Facebook Report” and execute the search. Allow WolframAlpha to have access to your Facebook account by clicking on “Analyze my Facebook Data” and following the directions. Wait while the data is analyzed. Note: Sometimes the report seems to stall after 100% of the data is analyzed. If this happens, simply repeat steps 1-3. The second time, the report seems...

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Data Sleuthing

Khan Academy Idaho is a grant-funded initiative to help K-12 teachers in Idaho integrate digital devices and the Khan Academy program into their math classrooms. Yesterday I gave a keynote there called “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” about (1) the challenges facing math educators and (2) Data Sleuthing, a way to encourage math curiosity and data literacy in students. Resources from this presentation: Wolfram Alpha Gapminder Google Trends Many Eyes Google Fusion Tables Google Public Data Homework from the Presentation TED Talks: Hans Rosling Flowing Data CoolInfographics Guardian Data Blog Edward Tufte Measure of America InformationIsBeautiful...

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Giving up Calculation by Hand

This is scary stuff for math professors, but with the arrival of amazing programs like Wolfram Alpha, we’re going to have to start paying attention to the signs of change.  I talked to Conrad Wolfram (at Wolfram Alpha Homework Day) when he was still formulating what he wanted to say at this TED Talk.  I think it’s worth 18 minutes of your time to watch Teaching kids real math with computers. Here’s an outline of the Conrad Wolfram’s argument (which I am paraphrasing/quoting here): What’s the point of teaching people math? Technical jobs (critical to the development of our economies) Everyday living (e.g. figuring out mortgage, being skeptical of government statistics) Logical mind training / logical thinking (math is a great way to learn logic) What IS math? Posing the right questions. Convert from real world to mathematical formulation Computation Convert from mathematical formulation BACK to real world The problem? In math education, we’re spending about 80% of the time teaching students to do step 3 by hand. Math is not equal to calculating, math is a much broader subject than calculating.  In fact, math has been liberated from calculating. Should we have to “Get the basics first”?  Are the “basics” of driving a car learning how to service or design the car?  Are the “basics” of writing learning how to sharpen a quill? People confuse the order of...

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