Tuesday, October 2, 2012

NCTM Regionals have too few technology related sessions

Scott Steketee

Scott Steketee who is one the chief architects of Keypress's prolific source of quality support materials for Geometer's Sketchpad has been reviewing the program offerings of the upcoming regional meetings and has raised some concerns that I would like to share with the CLIME & NCTM communities.

Scott writes:
The Dallas NCTM Regional seems to have relatively few technology sessions. For instance, of the 231 sessions, there are only eight that explicitly support leading dynamic mathematics software such as Sketchpad, TinkerPlots, Fathom, Cabri, Core Math Tools, GeoGebra, and the like. Hartford is even worse; I can find only two sessions that support any of these tools. (I don't take much solace in the fact that both Hartford sessions use Sketchpad.) I have not yet looked through the Chicago program; I hope it is better. Both the Dallas and Hartford conferences also include sessions that refer to using graphing calculators and/or Web apps, and I recognize that it's not always clear from a session description what technology might be involved in the presentation. Still, for the most powerful and popular dynamic mathematics programs to be so poorly represented raises questions about our commitment to helping our students become proficient in the technology tools that allow them to construct their own mathematics and/or conduct their own independent investigations. In today's technology-infused world, we seem to be sending a message that the top math technology tools available to our students, the ones that best encourage mathematical autonomy and creativity, are not important enough to use in math class.          -Scott Steketee
 This is disappointing to hear. After what I thought was a very technology oriented conference in Philadelphia I just assumend that things would continue in a positive direction. I'm attending and co-speaking at the Chicago regional and will certainly have a lot more to say about it then. In the meantime I plan to follow what teachers are  saying about the regionals on Twitter (NCTM) and will report back to you.

If you are speaking on a technology topic at the regionals please let me know and I'll list it here. Also, take advantage of Twitter to promote your session. Just post your information @NCTM in Twitter.
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