Thursday, November 15, 2012

Technology sessions in Chicago

Download program book
The final regional NCTM conference of the 2012-2013 season is at the Chicago Convention Center November 28-30th. You can find a listing of all 222 sessions here. I counted 38 technology oriented sessions (17%) which is business as usual. Except for the Philadelphia NCTM meeting which set an all time record (33%) most conferences to date have averaged about 15% which is too few in my opinion. But this is an ongoing problem. In going through a pile of old articles related to the Standards, I came across "Math Reform: No Technology, No Chance to implement the NCTM Standards, schools need access to technology - and not just calculators." (Electronic Learning, 1993) The NCTM Standards referred to here are from 1989 and though technology and society have changed dramatically in the years since, the use of dynamic technology tools has not changed very much. In the article, Judah Schwartz author of the groundbreaking program Geometric Supposer said: 
"I think computers are a necessary tool for all math curriculum starting at grade 0. A computer is so flexible, so supportive of different scenarios. What's graphing calculators, there's a lot of overhead to learning because you are driving it from an idiotic keyboard. As an interface, it's crummy. I would much rather have three kids on the computer then one each to a calculator." 
It's been 20 years since Judah was quoted as saying that.  All one has to do is look at the keyboard on any school oriented graphing calculator to see that not much has changed since then.

Since is in the business of producing high quality, dynamic software (Sketchpad, Fathom and Tinkerplots) and curriculum support, I always highlight the sessions that include these transformative environments. In Chicago I noted four such sessions (asterisked.) I listed a few others (double Asterisked) that particularly interested me for reasons I explain.

Karen M. Greenhaus

Ryan M. Robidoux, Stephen J. Hegedus and Beste Güçler

Asma Akhras

Ron Lancaster

Priya Nihalani and Michael Mayrath

Christopher S. Danielson and Karim Kai Ani

Josephine Noah

Scott Steketee and Kevin Thompson

Amy Jarrett-Clancy and Jennifer Misong Magiera

Math blogging is rarely mentioned in math conference sessions. Yet, it is the most powerful transformer in math education. I plan to attend and will blog about it.

Mark A. Augustyn and Kathryn G. Shafer

Daniel Scher and Scott Steketee

Chuck E. Emenaker

Pick out the least popular of the three terms mentioned. Tying math in with the popular ones has to be good. I'll catch the beginning of this session.

Neil D. Cooperman (with Ihor Charischak)

We'll discuss our collaboration on the Great Green Globs Contest. Something every math teacher should know about!

1 comment:

  1. PS Since the conference is in the Hyatt Regency Hotel Wifi will be at a premium. Ask at the lobby for a wifi password. That maybe free but only in the lobby area. NCTM does have an Internet station near their registration area. Imagine if they were still charging for electricity? A classy hotel? Wifi should be free.