Thursday, May 23, 2019

About transformation in math education

Note to CLIME Community
As I mentioned in my previous blog, CLIME is retiring from service to NCTM as of June 1, 2019. But that doesn’t mean I’m retiring from working towards my vision of math education. This final entry of CLIME Connections summarizes that vision.

——————————————

In a recent blog Larry Cuban writes about the hype of “transforming” teaching and learning.
Three years ago, I published a post. I didn't expect anything much to happen with the over-use of the word "transform" and nothing did. The word continues to be used both seriously and casually without much scrutiny. (1)
I agree with Larry that defining transformation in relation to education is difficult. But though I can’t define it with precision, I know transformation when I see it in the classroom.

In his article “Integrating Technology in the Classroom using the SAMR Model: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition” (2) Parker Duwelius describes the latter two as transformational. He writes:
“The first and easiest piece is substitution. This is the most basic form of technology integration in the SAMR model, and consists of merely replacing a traditional lesson item with a technological equivalent.” 
The substitution method was a very popular intervention during the early days of the  CIESEmath project (2000-2007) that I managed. A lesson example would be to pose a problem using a projection device controlled by a computer instead of writing out the problem on a black or white board. Then the teacher would distribute handouts of the problem that was projected on the board. (See, for example, the Road Sign problem and Bus problem.)

On the surface the Bus and Road Sign problem appear to be only examples of standard substitution. But both problems take one step closer to be transformational in that they inform students to reflect metacognitively on what they did wrong and come to a new understanding of the problem. (Read the teacher notes for clarity.)
Duwelius continues: “This next form of technology integration is augmentation, which is very similar to substitution except that it provides a clear enhancement to the student in the activity through the use of technology.”
The Exterior Angle of a Triangle activity demonstrates how dynamic geometry software (like Geometer’s Sketchpad) augments a lesson that would otherwise be a static experience (e.g. using a compass to measure angles).
Duwelius: “Both of these (substitution & augmentation) are considered to be ‘enhancements’ because they still convey the material in the same way, but can often bring benefits with them that expand the learning taking place for the students.”
Now we’re going to find out a little bit more about the “transformation” pieces.
Duwelius:Modification is taking a traditional learning task and significantly changing it with technology.”
See the Factor Game as an example of modification. The activity begins as a whole group game using 3 x 5 cards pasted to the white board. Once the rules are mastered through playing the group game the students play the factor game on the computer. Thy can play individually against the computer or with a partner using the 2 player option. The game is challenging and encourages productive struggle on the part of the students.
Duwelius: “Then, finally, there is redefinition which takes a traditional learning task and completely transforms it in a way that would be impossible without technology. By using technology to transform the learning task, the teacher is integrating technology in his or her classroom at the highest possible level.
In the Noon Day project the students use a geometry theorem that is usually taught separate from any particular context to help them understand how Eratosthenes in 250 BC came up with a method to measure the circumference of the earth. (Geometer’s Sketchpad is used here.)
Duwelius: “These two pieces of the framework (Modification and Redefinition) are rightfully called “transformative” because they change the way the lesson runs, and the way the students interact with the content.”
Over the years of the CIESEmath project (which ended in 2007 with my retirement) our team developed many transformative activities and projects which I am currently revising and making them available here. This is an ongoing project so check in often to watch the progress.

1. https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/the-hype-of-transforming-teaching-and-learning/

2. https://medium.com/age-of-awareness/integrating-technology-in-the-classroom-using-the-samr-model-efbc35caad43

Friday, May 3, 2019

CLIME Closes its Shop

Dear colleague,

It’s official. CLIME will be disbanding as of 6/1/2019. I've given it much thought and felt it was time to close up shop. I sent an email to Mary Ferris (NCTM Affiliate Relations Manager) indicating CLIME’s decision.

Here are some closing thoughts.

First of all, I want to apologize to those folks who came to the CLIME meeting in San Diego and didn’t find me there. There was some confusion about the rooms. I was in room 310B which I thought was 310. The actual room was 310A which I wasn’t aware existed.

Second of all, due to difficulties that currently exist, CLIME as we have known it for the past 31 years will as of June 1st no longer exist. It will be replaced with a new web presence that will not be affiliated with NCTM. (More about that in a future post.)

Thirdly, if anyone (or group) wishes to “rescue” CLIME as a affiliate entity, they must be responsible for the following:

Annual dues: $100.00 (Due: June 1st) 
President and NCTM representative must be members of NCTM.
Attendance by NCTM rep and/or president at the at-large caucus held on the Wednesday before the annual conference starts.
Attendance at the Delegate Assembly held on Thursday (7:30am-9:00am) during the annual conference.

For more information about CLIME go to this link.

I still believe an organization like CLIME can serve a purpose within the NCTM community, but it needs new leadership and energy to perform successfully within the conservative framework that NCTM offers. If anyone strongly agrees and would like to lead and/or play a role in a renewed CLIME initiative, please let me know.

Sincerely,
Ihor

Ihor Charischak
CLIME president (till June 1, 2019)
Council for Technology in Math Education
Venice, FL
ihor@clime.org
http://www.clime.org


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Letter to the CLIME Community

Dear colleague,

First of all I want to apologize to those folks who came to the CLIME meeting in San Diego and didn’t find me there. There was some confusion about the rooms. I was in room 310B which I thought was 310. The actual room was 310A which I wasn’t aware existed. Patricia Dickenson - our intended keynote speaker - told me about my confusion later that evening.

Second of all, due to difficulties that currently exist, CLIME as we have known it for the past 31 years will as of May 1st no longer exist. It will be replaced with a new web presence that will not be affiliated with NCTM. (More about that in a future post.)

Thirdly, if anyone (or group) wishes to “rescue” CLIME as a affiliate entity, they must be responsible for the following:

  • Annual dues: $100.00 (Due: May 1st) 
  • President and NCTM representative must be members of NCTM.
  • Attendance by NCTM rep and/or president at the at-large caucus held on the Wednesday before the annual conference starts.
  • Attendance at the Delegate Assembly held on Thursday (7:30am-9:00am) during the annual conference.

For more information about CLIME see http://clime.org

I still believe an organization like CLIME can serve a purpose within the NCTM structure, but it needs new leadership and energy to perform successfully within the conservative framework that NCTM offers. If anyone strongly agrees and would like to lead and/or play a role in a renewed CLIME initiative, please let me know.

Sincerely,
Ihor

Ihor Charischak
CLIME president (till May 1, 2019)
Council for Technology in Math Education
Venice, FL
ihor@clime.org
http://www.clime.org

A Post by Scott Steketee*

Hi Seanna,

A few years ago I had the opportunity to work on the NSF-funded "Dynamic Number" project led by Daniel Scher. Our objective was to bring the interactivity and fun of dynamic geometry to the realm of numbers and pre--algebra, and we produced about 70 activities, many of which can be very helpful in developing students' number sense, both by providing memorable dynamic visualization of numbers and operations, and by giving students the power to change the numbers and manipulate the operations.

Each activity has a link to teacher notes, a student worksheet (if appropriate), and a Sketchpad document. Though the activities were originally developed for The Geometer's Sketchpad, Daniel has already moved more than 40 of the activities to Web Sketchpad, making them freely available even if you don't have Sketchpad itself. The list of converted activities is here: www.sineofthetimes.org/...

(One of our best examples is Bunny Times, with a progression of levels in which a bunny, and at higher levels a team of bunnies, learn to multiply by eating all the carrots in a field. It's designed to encourage students to develop multiplication strategies that include skip-counting and flexibly composing and decomposing numbers.)

--Scott

*Taken from https://my.nctm.org/home

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Council for Technology in Math Education Annual Meeting Agenda

31st Anniversary Meeting
Thursday, April 4th, 2019
San Diego, CA
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Room: Aqua 310
7:30pm-8:30pm

Agenda

Introductions
Ihor Charischak

Presentations
Teaching Outside the Box: 
Integrating Technology into your Math Practice
Dr. Patricia Dickenson
Teachers' pedagogical decisions impact the function of technology and the role of technology to support, enhance and supplement student learning. This presentation will focus on the following questions: What planning decisions do teachers make to implement technology in the classroom? How is technology used by the teachers and students in the learning of mathematics? What routines and procedures are needed  to support in developing technological skill before students can integrate technology with subject matter. Teachers' technological content knowledge is paramount to the successful integration of technology. This discussion will explore pedagogical decisions that were made to infuse technology in a math class. We will discuss how technology can be purposefully used in connection with Blooms taxonomy to support learners in acquiring math content knowledge and create products of learning with web-based tools.

Short Math Stories with a Surprise Twist
Ihor Charischak

Making mathematics engaging for children is essential for math education to flourish. In this presentation you will learn about some fascinating ways to deepen students understanding to what math is all about (with the help of technology, of course)!

Discussion and closure
Ihor Charischak & Patricia Dickenson

Blog # 246

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Technology & NCTM’s Annual Meeting: A Closer Look - Part 2

Figure 1
As mentioned in my previous blog post, there are 94 sessions which emphasize technology’s role in math ed in their sessions. I did an analysis of the grade levels of the talks. In figure 1 note that the most frequent grade level for tech sessions at the NCTM annual this year is in the high school range. If you include the 8-10 range as partially high school you have a total of 56 sessions appropriate for a high school audience.That’s almost 60% of the total. I suspect the conference program committee missed this fact.

See previous 2 blog posts which discuss the upcoming conference (here and here.)