Monday, October 22, 2012

Technology related sessions in Hartford

As you may know one of my hobbies is to keep track of the number of technology sessions at the annual meetings. In Philly last April more than 35% of the sessions made mention of the technology as a major player in the gist of their talk. Scott gave me a heads up about the drop off in the regional conferences.
"...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 (taken from previous post)
I didn't track the sessions in Dallas earlier this month but I did for the Hartford NCTM Regional conference happening this week October 24-26, 2012.  I counted 38 tech related sessions which is only 16% of the total sessions.  I like to doing a wordle ( of the key words in the descriptions of the sessions because it gives me a perspective of what technologies are significant. (See image on left.)
Wordle of all tech related key words
Since technology covers the complete array of electronic tools it always appears the most when I do a tech key word search. TI-Nspire and the graphing calculator has the edge on competing technologies. That makes sense since graphing calculators are the least expensive, most portable pieces of electronics. As Scott noted and I now confirm very few sessions involve the use of dynamic software which allows students a more active role in creating mathematics.
Sketchpad was mentioned once and Geogebra apparently didn't make the cut. Here's a pdf listing of the tech sessions.

If you are going to Hartford please report on your experience of the conference the tech sessions you attend. We need to collectively voice our thoughts about this lack of constructionist type learning. Twitter (hashtag #nctm) is excellent way to voice your thoughts about the conference.

Here are my choices from the list of 38 that I would attend if I was there.
Listing of all sessions.
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