Sunday, 18 October 2009 | 6 Comments
A Digital Education Revolution (DER) laptop in the hands of all Year 9 students changes everything… or does it?
The laptops include Microsoft Math which includes a CAS, that is, every Year 9 student can now get the computer to solve equations and simplify algebraic expressions. (More on the functionality of MS Maths in this review at squareCircleZ)
Now, I have no problem giving students tools like this – it is “real-world”, that is, an engineer doesn’t build a bridge without computer assistance. My question today is “how do I integrate it effectively”?
Year 9 are looking at expansion and factorisation of algebraic expressions the first week back, and I fired up MS Maths to see what it could do:
So, Microsoft Math solves the problems that many students at my school would say is that hardest thing they do in Mathematics in Years 7-9.
There are couple of ways I could deal with this:
In the end, though, the School Certificate exam is still paper-based without netbooks or graphics calculators.
Are there other options? What are your thoughts?
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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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