Monday, April 03, 2006

Eyes Wide Open

A couple months ago my wife invited me to attend a mathematics technology conference with her. I sent my fees and registration form to be included in the T3 Regional Conference. Last Friday we arrived at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington where we spent from 2 PM to 8 PM in Leutze Hall and on Saturday from 8 AM to 5 PM in a variety of sessions to learn more about graphing calculators and classroom learning systems. These classes were taught by public school teachers of math in schools throughout North and South Carolina.

As an outside observer, I can tell you there are exciting things happening in technology and the math classrooms. Texas Instruments (TI) is bringing much help to math and science teachers to enable teaching and learning comprehension. I predict that young students of today and tomorrow will learn and understand mathematics to a level much beyond my generation. TI has partnered with CBS network and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) to produce the weekly TV program Numb3rs which uses math to analyze crime to reveal patterns to predict behavior. Teachers can opt to download classroom activities coordinated with each show episode.

Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint are being used to demonstrate quadratic equations and polynomial functions.

There are learning systems to teach algebra, geometry, probability, statistics, and much more without the laborious detail many of us attempted in the past to grasp these concepts.

If you have children or grandchildren in school you should find out how up-to-date their classes are with instrumentation and technology. Some schools and teachers are offering amazing instructions to students of mathematics.

I thank my wife for inviting me to this conference.

Have a good day!

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