Monday, February 23, 2009

CLIME 2009 - Goals & Highlights

Last summer while attending the NCTM affiliates meeting in Philly I sent myself this post-dated “reminder” so I wouldn’t forget the goals that I wrote down at that time. Well the reminder worked because here I am writing my latest blog after taking a much longer break than expected. First I want to say that CLIME is an independent affiliate of NCTM which means that there isn't anyone knocking on my email door reminding me to help crank up the NCTM membership though I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you joined. They even provided CLIME with a bit of financial support in that some of you endorsed CLIME when you signed up for NCTM membership and as a result we got a small "royalty". For the first time in years I’ve been able to use outside funds to (almost) pay for our annual affiliate dues ($90). So much for the business part of this entry. Onward to the goals part. One the things that CLIME does is to act as a lobbying group to encourage NCTM to continue to promote the effective use of technology in math education. As some of you may know that despite a CLIME initiated technology resolution approved at the Delegate Assembly last April, the NCTM board declined to upgrade technology use at the annual meetings saying it is too expensive. (See report.) This whole issue might have been overlooked if NCTM had not decided to drop computer workshops from their annual conferences and not replace them with anything as substantive that showcases and acknowledges that technology is not just a trivial luxury but one of NCTM’s principles. We also know that when the NCTM “powers that be” decides to do something that shows their interest in promoting technology they do it extremely well. Two cases in point: (1) the Illuminations site is one of the best of its kind and continues to grow. Most recently new additions were added to their fine collection after NCTM ran an Institute at their Headquarters in Reston last summer where invited math educators developed new activities and lessons. Another such institute is planned for this summer. (2) Another excellent resource is the ON-Math e-Journal which explores what’s possible with electronic media and so far has done an admirable job. Also on the Web 2.0 front NCTM chose to have a very limited, trial Blog presence on the NCTM website during the Salt Lake City meeting. But it looks like they will use Facebook instead for open discussion of NCTM issues and activities including feedback on their Illuminations activities. They're even on Twitter! “What’s Twitter?” you ask. David Pogue writes about in a New York Times piece. The Facebook site has seen very little traffic so far. So I encourage you to support their effort though I think it would have more traffic if they ran it on the NCTM site. Help put CLIME on the Map That’s all encouraging news. But with success can come the complacency that large conservative organizations can suffer from especially when important implementation of ideas are seen as way too expensive and thus undermine the vision that technology can offer. I encourage you to help me remind the NCTM board and leaders to not lose site of the vision that technology offers. One easy and fun way to do this is to support CLIME’s initiatives by putting CLIME on the map (literally) with your stamp of support by adding your "footprint" on the CLIME Google map. 
If you don't have a google account you can use your own email address to access google maps. Here's a good entry point for first time users. For more info about using Google Maps for collaboration go to this link. (If all else fails let me know and I can help you.)
Add your location to the CLIME map Here’s what you do. Click on this link and add to the map: 1) your location (school, home, business, or whatever you are comfortable with) on the CLIME Google Map that I've set up. (2) include a short message indicating your support.
I guess you can call this a Web 2.0 approach to signing a petition. So please take a few minutes and let me and the CLIME world know that technology is indeed worthy of its principle status and should be championed as such. NCTM Conference 09 Update The NCTM 09 Washington Conference sessions have been posted. I’ll take a closer look at the technology sessions in my next blog.