Using multimedia in the classroom can enhance instruction exponentially if used in an effective way. The video below describes some benefits of using multimedia in the classroom. I apologize for some of the stumbling within the video…this was my fourth attempt, so I had to kind of stick with it.
Category Archives: 3.1 Media Utilization
Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning.
According to the National Council of Teaching Mathematics, (2000, p 24), “technology is essential to teaching and learning mathematics; it influences the mathematics that is taught and enhances students’ learning. Teachers’ attitudes play an important role in using technology in teaching and learning mathematics.”
Math is such a visual subject. Technology can enhance the visualization of an otherwise complex topic. For example, in geometry, Geometer’s Sketchpad can help students explore geometrical relationships and develop reasoning skills. Olkun (2005), suggests that it is effective to integrate math content and technology in a manner that enable students to make math discoveries in a game or playful environment.
Obstacles to Integrating Technology in a Math Classroom
- Getting teachers on board — As mentioned above, technology is useless without teachers being on board. How do we get teachers to buy in? Providing thorough and continuous training is a first step. Teachers are overwhelmed with work as it is, so the implementation needs to be as easy as possible. Also, teachers need to be shown ways that technology can be used in the classroom. There is no need to recreate the wheel, so providing a resource page of how particular pieces of equipment or software is used would be useful.
- Money — Technology is expensive. However, there are many technology grants out there to help diffuse the cost. Another important expense is technology support. This is very important in ensuring that the equipment will be working consistently. Teachers will not use equipment if it is not reliable. Creating a technology expert, so to speak, within each department will help keep the costs down and have a go to person close by for all teachers.
- Filters — Many districts and school have filters on the internet to prevent students from accessing social media, youtube, etc. This can restrict the use of technology within a classroom. Removing these filters and providing students with knowledge of how to be a responsible digital citizen would alleviate this obstacle
The key to implementing technology in an effective way is to provide training and resources, show teachers the power of using it within their lessons, and collaborate together to share ideas. Embracing technology for what it is — a means to enhance a lesson — will help alleviate the fear of the unknown. It is not replacing teachers, it is helping us teach students in a way we could never do before.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics, Reston, VA.
Olkun, S., Altun, A., Smith G. (2005). Computers and 2D geometric learning of Turkish fourth and fifth graders. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(2), 317-326.
Games have been around for certainly as long as I can remember. Even the term “game” itself tends to describe a positive and fun experience. Years ago, I would not have described myself as a “gamer” (still am not really). Back then (15 years ago), I thought gaming was a waste of time and brain power. I had one experience years ago that changed my thinking.
As a new teacher, I was asked by students to be a “computer group” sponsor. So, as with any new teacher wanting to get involved, I agreed. When I went to the first meeting that day, I encountered not a “computer” group but a “gaming” group. I don’t even remember what game they were playing, but I have never seen a group of kids (most of whom were not great students) so ENGAGED!! I could barely get their attention. My first thought was to turn off the game right away, but I decided to jump in and see what they were doing. I hate violence in games, but the strategy needed was incredible! It required a lot of analytical and algorithmic thinking to be successful. At that point, I remember thinking I need to work with this and use it in my classroom. Have I? Well, not exactly. Time has gone by and I haven’t done much with the concept of integrating game based learning into the classroom. My hope is that will change.
Alice is a 3D programming environment that helps students visualize the ideas of Object Oriented Programming — objects, functions, methods, etc. I just started using it in my Intro to Programming class last year as an intro to Java and the kids love it.
The lesson I have created below is not for my programming class, but for my Algebra class. For my Programming final last year, students were asked to create an interactive quiz in Alice (on any subject). I created one to quiz my students on systems of equations. I used it last year and now my students always want to be quizzed in that method. If I had the time, I would absolutely mix in more games. It tests the same material but in a much more engaging and interactive way.
Here is a demo of the quiz:
1.1 Analyzing instruction to deliver better methods for presenting material.
3.1 Using resources (Horizon Report) to improve learning.