Category: Quantitative Reasoning

Contemporary Algebra Collection (new resources 2/4/2019)

The Contemporary Algebra Collection now contains 28 activities spread from basic math to exponential functions. All of these activities are based on contemporary examples from the world (e.g. Snapchat, Facebook, Amazon, Spotify, tourism, apps, etc). All the activity links now point to Google Docs that will maintain their “freshness” over time. Whenever I update an activity, the published version will also automatically update at the same link. By publishing the activities as Google Docs, I hope this makes them easier for you to modify activities if you want a slightly different wording or conceptual focus. The collection has also...

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Add Graphs In The World to Courses

Now you can add Graphs in the World to your courses in the LMS! Create a new “page” in your course. Open the editor on that page. Go to the HTML Editor on that page. Paste the following text and then save the page: <iframe width=”750″ height=”1400″ src=”https://www.inoreader.com/stream/user/1004872044/tag/GraphsInTheWorld/view/html?cs=m” frameborder=”0″ tabindex=”-1″></iframe> When you’re finished, you should get a page that looks something like this. There are other ways to subscribe to Graphs In the World: RSS Feed: https://rsshub.app/instagram/user/graphsintheworld Facebook:¬†https://www.facebook.com/graphsintheworld/ Instagram:¬†https://www.instagram.com/graphsintheworld/ Thanks to Martin Brinkman for posting directions on turning any Instagram account into an RSS feed. Thanks to Laura Gibbs...

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Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day

I’ve been spending the first 5-10 minutes of every 2-hour math class discussing graphs in the news with my students. I’ll give you a few examples of what came up naturally week by week: Lots of social media graphs: Slope of the adoption rates for new users, the DAU (daily active users) and MAU (monthly active users) over time, and comparison of the adoption of new features in different platforms (Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) Tech industry: Growth of Amazon, Facebook, and Google, rise in employees at these companies, and comparison the money spent on Black Friday in the...

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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 Visual.ly 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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WolframAlpha: Recalculating Teaching and Learning

For at least a decade, we have had the ability to let CAS software perform computational mathematics, yet computational skills are still a large portion of the mathematics curriculum. Enter Wolfram|Alpha. Unlike traditional CAS systems, Wolfram|Alpha has trialability: Anyone with Internet access can try it and there is no cost. It has high observability: Share anything you find with your peers using a hyperlink. It has low complexity: You can use natural language input and, in general, the less you ask for in the search, the more information Wolfram|Alpha tends to give you. Diffusion of innovation theories predict that these features of Wolfram|Alpha make it likely that there will be wide-spread adoption by students. What does this mean for math instructors? This could be the time for us to reach out and embrace a tool that might allow us to jettison some of the computational knowledge from the curriculum, and give math instructors greater flexibility in supplemental topics in the classroom. Wolfram|Alpha could help our students to make connections between a variety of mathematical concepts. The curated data sets can be easily incorporated into classroom examples to bring in real-world data. On the other hand, instructors have valid concerns about appropriate use of Wolfram|Alpha. Higher-level mathematics is laid on a foundation of symbology, logic, and algebraic manipulation. How much of this “foundation” is necessary to retain quantitative savvy at...

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