Thursday, December 11, 2014

NCTM Annual meeting in Boston Technology highlights

Now that Black Friday is history, it's time to think about the upcoming annual conference in Boston next April. I realize it’s a bit early, but since NCTM has already posted a description of the 733 sessions, I went shopping for technology sessions that would reflect the vision of the Technology Principle which is now "Tools and Technology" as described on page 5 of Principles to Actions:
"An excellent mathematics program integrates the use of mathematical tools and technology as essential resources to help students learn and make sense of mathematical ideas, reason mathematically, and communicate their mathematical thinking."
I also looked for sessions that promoted Math 2.0, which is my vision of how powerful math-based software combined with the use of collaborative Web 2.0 tools in a dynamic classroom can produce engaging learning experiences for both teachers and students.

Here’s what I found out.
  • There were 97 very interesting sessions (out of 733) that highlighted technology in some form. That was 13.2% which is low compared to previous annual meetings.  Last year in New Orleans 21% of the sessions were technology oriented. In 2013 in Denver 28% of the sessions had a technology theme. Philadelphia set the record in 2012 with 38% tech sessions.
  • 32 of the sessions mentioned technology either in the title of the talk or in the description. 
  • Next most frequent mention is handhelds (TI-Nspire, Graphing Calculator, calculators, CAS) which totaled 15 sessions.
  • Other key words and their frequency (shown below.)
Overall, I'm disappointed that there are only 97 sessions devoted to technology, but also that there are so few sessions devoted to Math 2.0. But overall there were a lot of interesting sounding sessions. Here's my list of "go to" sessions:

#20 - Blended Learning, Blended Pedagogies, Blended Content. Speaker: David Docterman
#59 Integrating Project-Based Learning: Teaching Mathematics across the Curriculum Speaker: Anthony Matthew Rodriguez
#149 Online Teaching and Learning Communities
Elena Kaczorowski & Elaine Siga
#170 B.L.A.S.T. into Online Professional Development Speakers: Donna D. Williams & Erin M. Nguyen
#187 Motivating Our Students with Real World Problem-Based Lessons Speaker: Robert B. Kaplinsky (Great website)
#194 Powerful, Playful Learning 
Speakers: Susannah Gordon-Messer & Louisa Rosenheck & Carole Urban
#250 Tired of Plain Old Tests and Bell Ringers? Introducing Alternative Assessments Speaker: Niccole Taylor
#260 Imagine, Innovate, and Inquire with Tools and Technology Speakers:
Angela M. Waltrup & Christopher R. Horne
#302 Authentic Learning through Computer Coding: Turning Consumers into Creators Speaker: Dawn DuPriest
#416 Developing Your Classroom beyond the Walls Speakers: Dvora Geller & Scott Bruss
#423 Spreadsheet Math: A Powerful Tool for the Practice of Mathematics Speakers: Art Bardige & Peter Mili
#465 Enhancing Social Presence in Online Math Methods Courses Speakers: Heidi J. Higgins & Tracy Y. Hargrove
#520 Future of Learning: The National Science Foundation's Focus on Mathematics Speakers: Joan Ferrini-Mundy & Karen King
#611 Hour of Code: Inspiring Students to Learn Math through Technology Speakers: Karl Henry Romain & Elizabeth Clifford
#656 Teaching with Technology: Tips for Success Speaker: Nancy J. Sattler
#666 The Algebra Artist: Drawing with Desmos Speaker: Darin E. Beigie

Look here for more details on these sessions. Here is the list of all 733 sessions.

More about the Boston conference as we get closer to the event.


  1. Ihor: Thanks for posting this. I am tempted to present at the upcoming conference on the use of Geotechnologies (web mapping, GPS, remote sensing, GIS) in mathematics education. I wrote a book called Spatial Mathematics (CRC Press) and there are so many ways that educators can make use of these powerful geotechnologies in their instruction these days - from teaching about proportions, ranges, trigonometry, classification methods, critical thinking, and more, using population, ecoregions, natural hazards, and other data inside tools such as ArcGIS Online ( Thank you.

    1. The program for 2015 is already set. However, I encourage to apply for 2016 conference in San Francisco. The deadline for proposals is May 1, 2015.

  2. David Wees writes:

    Do you know if anything is happening on this front? Eg. Is there some sort of discussion/panel/etc... at NCTM in Boston about ways the NCTM could use the Internet more usefully in their work?

  3. My reply to David:
    No I don’t. There was nothing in the program like that. In the past CLIME and other affiliates were offered a room to hold sessions about topics of interest to the community. I’ll check with Cathy Carroll and others to see if that is still a possibility. Generally the sessions were held at the end of the program day. Any other thoughts or ideas about this? 

  4. David Wees writes:
    t seems to me a general sharing of ideas session with any interested NCTM executives and a representative sample of the Math Twitter Blogosphere would be useful.

    What is NCTM's strategy for using the Internet? How does a passionate and motivated group of educators use the Internet? How can we better align our efforts? What consulting could NCTM use? What resources NCTM already publishes could they use support sharing?