Monday, July 29, 2013

Talking about Maths Education

As I early wrote, in those last days before holiday time, I am sharing some simple ideas, suggestions or digital resources for teachers.

Mathematics curriculum is one of the most difficult to students in school. Virtually everyone 'hates' maths. Students feel incapable or incompetent in maths.

So, teachers are experiencing new ways to captivate the attention and interest for the discipline and helping make learning maths engaging for their students! A great number is using games in maths class. 

Here three videos about teaching Maths in different school levels or contexts:

Credits video: Edutopia

The first one, a teacher teaches Maths as a social activity. It is in Anchorage, Alaska. The master teacher established a cooperative-learning environment in an upper-elementary classroom. 

The second one, at University of Washington | Bothell, students work with a professor to develop a teaching tool for Mathematics by using the Microsoft Kinect. 

Credits video: David Ryder Pictures

Easy to use and instantly fun, Kinect gets students’ whole body—and attention—into learning fun. Students use their arms as the hands on a technological resource that seems like a game.

The last one, Dan Meyer on TED Talks asks, "How can we design the ideal learning experience for students?

Credits video: TED videos

"Dan Meyer is a full-time high-school math teacher, his perspective on curriculum design, teacher education and teacher retention is informed by tech trends and online discourse as much as front-line experience with students."

Meyer has spun off his enlightening message - that teachers be less  "be less helpful" and push their students to formulate the steps to solve math problems -- into a nationwide tour-of-duty on the speaking circuit.

The debate between abstract and contextualized, “pure” or “applied” math belie the real problem: one that Dan Meyer makes so clear in this TED Talk: students simply aren’t engaged. 

And what about girls in maths curriculum? A study by University of Toronto researchers, published in the journal Psychological Science founds  "that playing an action video game can virtually eliminate this gender difference in spatial attention and simultaneously decrease the gender disparity in mental rotation ability, a higher-level process in spatial cognition."


Games are a great resource for every school curriculum. The educational benefits of digital games to a 'digital generation' is quite proved.

Teachers must not be afraid to introduce games in the classroom. But before, they must learn  how to use them as educational and motivational resources.

"We’re no longer intimidated by math, because we’re slowly redefining what math is.”

Dan Meyer

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