Thursday, February 9, 2012

NCTM Conference Preview - Part 2

I’ve been going through the Philadelphia conference session descriptions and have some good news to report. Of the 745 sessions listed in the NCTM's online program 268 have a technology theme. That's almost 38% which is almost double the number of such sessions that were at last year’s conference in Indianapolis. Of course, it helps that technology is the NCTM’s 2011-2012 annual conference "theme of the year.”
A session is included if the title or description
contains a technology key word. 
Here's the list of keywords (in no particular order.)
Below is the frequency chart and a wordle of these terms. (Click on image for larger view.)
Click on figure for larger image.
This frequency listing gives clues as to what the NCTM math community thinks is important to discuss regarding technology. Here are some highlights:
  1. As expected the “umbrella” word technology appears 225 times in 200 sessions.
  2. Software is mentioned in 31 sessions. This includes a wide variety of types from web/cloud-based applets, Geogebra, Google Earth, etc. to those that have to reside on your computer which includes the long time favorite - Geometer’s Sketchpad.*
  3. Next comes the TI-Nspire calculator with 30 sessions. There are also 10 sessions on using the TI-Navigator network.
  4. In addition to calculators hardware (mostly in the form of Smartboards) is the attention grabber for many sessions. Also, and for the first time, there are several sessions about the "new wave" of handhelds (i.e. iPads) in the mix.
  5. To see CLIME's full listing of tech related sessions (first draft) click here
If you are a speaker and would like to update your session description which is the same as the one you sent in last May to NCTM, I can update it for you on our site. Go to CLIME technology-themed sessions and review your listing there. Then let me know (by email) if you want to change anything, share more info or add some reference links. I will make the changes for you immediately.

One last thought: What's missing from the program?
A glaring omission for me is that there is no overt reference to the blogging that  math teachers are doing something that Dan Meyer** and others have popularized and what I consider to be the most important contribution to math education in recent years. Math bloggers (and tweeters) are changing the landscape of how we are learning about math teaching and learning. (More about this in my next blog entry.)

CLIME Connections #100

*There is now a sketch player (Sketchpad Explorer) available for the Apple iPad.
**Dan is speaking at NCTM (See his listing - session #474.)
See also the the 25 sessions in the Learn<->Reflect Technology Strand.


  1. Just a quick note, Ihor. Technology is not the Council's Focus of the Year; rather it is the Professional Development Focus of the Year, meaning that the Professional Development Services Committee (PDSC) has chosen technology as the primary focus for activities of NCTM's Professional Development department in 2012. It's a subtle but important distinction. It means that other departments (Publications, Conference Services, etc.) at NCTM may not necessarily have the same focus. See

    That said, the Council has continually pushed for the increased use of technology in math education, as stated in PSSM (2000) and with its technoloy position statement (2008) -- see With several initiatives at the Council, including a push for mobile app development within Illuminations, the Council hopes to continue to push the envelope on what's possible with technology.

  2. Thanks so much for the clarification. I'm sure I can speak for my CLIME colleagues that we're all pleased with NCTM's continued efforts in promoting technology in math teaching and learning!

  3. Ihor,

    Thanks for mentioning the Sketchpad Explorer for the iPad! There are a lot of folks from Key Curriculum and KCP Tech doing presentations (Nick Jackiw, Scott Steketee, Daniel Scher, Bill Finzer, Cliff Konold, myself) with Sketchpad, TinkerPlots and Fathom. As always, focused on dynamic mathematics and using technology appropriately to engage students in learning math. We will be doing a lot more at our booth, so just wanted to pass that along so folks can come by and play with math and technology...we will have iPads and computers to explore.

    Also, just wanted to say I agree with your thoughts on what's missing at the conference. Blogging and tweeting have become an interesting way for math teachers to reach out to each other. I am hoping to see some exciting conversations via social media at NCTM. Does anyone know the official hashtag that will be used? I assume NCTM2012.

  4. The hashtag is #nctm12.