Saturday, April 26, 2014

NCTM 2015 New Members Resolution at Delegate Assembly?

After the panel discussion on Friday at New Orleans Conference a young teacher LeAnn Allen approached me and asked me how she can get more involved in NCTM. I shared with her that membership in NCTM would be a good first step and shared some of the benefits of being a member. I didn't think much more about it until I read her blog post which I share with you here:
NCTM 2014 left me ON FIRE. (Almost literally, it was so hot walking around on Saturday.) But seriously, it left me hungry for more: more PrBL in my classroom, more student conversations, more teacher online collaboration, more ed conversations, more all of it.
One conversation that I am glad to see continuing is the one centered around getting younger teachers in the classroom to participate in NCTM. An NCTM rep said the average member of NCTM is 57. Whether or not that statistic is true, here is what I’m interested in exploring from that conversation. 
A lot of young teachers I personally tried to cajole/blackmail/etc into coming to NCTM wanted to come, but couldn’t find the $$$. So, how can we make that more accessible to them? Give a “new teacher” discount” a la student discount (how do you define/prove “new teacher”)? Give a first-time attender discount? Give scholarships? A quick look at the NCTM page gave this single conference scholarship for first-time attenders as well as a similar one for prospective teachers. There’s also some other grants and scholarships but most of them have a requirement that you have to have been teaching for at least 3 years (which disqualifies me until next year). What if MTBoS banded together to come up with a scholarship or 2? I’d be willing to chip in a few bucks. 
April 14, 2014 at 8:30 pm
As a first time attendee, I was also energized, and frustrated with the lack of younger membership and participation at NCTM when it clearly has so much to offer. That said, I think back to Dan Meyer’s point at the start of his talk (you were there, right?) about whether the conference would exist in a few years as we gain the capability to do that over the internet for next to no cost and with more accessibility. I think that might be the direction I’m heading — GlobalMathDepartment, twitter chats, etc.

This is obviously a major concern of NCTM. I'm wondering if the Affiliate-at-Large groups (hopefully soon to be called Special Interest Groups) could address this issue through a resolution at the next Delegate Assembly meeting in Boston.

Any ideas or thoughts on this?

Ihor Charischak
Council for Technology in Math Education
White Plains, NY

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Maria Droujkova - Make Math your Own

This morning I listened to a recording of Maria Droujkova giving a keynote address at the Learning Revolution Conference Online. The title of her talk was "From adventurous learning to disruptive innovations: brave design in mathematics education." Here's her description of the talk:
Robert Lang is building a space telescope as long as the island of Manhattan. His out-of-the-box origami play helped to figure out how to fold the telescope into a rocket’s tiny storage box. Vi Hart is a mathemusician. Her whimsical sculptures, videos, and workshops are deeply therapeutic for hundreds of thousands of people suffering from math anxiety. Hans Rosling is a doctor, a statistician, and a data superhero who influences the decision-making of millions with interactive infographics. The issues our society faces require innovative, brave solutions. We already have a lot of creative dreamers and doers: our kids! At Natural Math, we design education that recognizes and supports students as creators of their own math. We grow local and global communities of math learners. We advance the view of the mathematical education as an adventurous journey. We develop tasks that are rich and complex, yet easy. And we introduce advanced math concepts to young children, including calculus for five-year-olds.
Maria really captures what young people should be doing: to make math your own, you need to make your own math. Listen to her presentation and be inspired. I was. Here is the link to her slide presentation.