Sunday, 21 January 2007 | 1 Comment
One of the difficulties I found in my first year, was using technology in the classroom for the teaching and learning of mathematics.
I thought I would be a “technology” teacher, but two things have impeded that so far:
One â€“ the lack of available technology. The only “technology” in my classroom are scientific calculators and an overhead projector. That is, “technology” still means taking students to a computer lab. Going to a computer lab, means a whole lesson (otherwise you waste a lot of time with the slow login process and pack-up/move). So, integrating technology into the classroom means going to another classroom which leads to point two.
Two â€“ much of my learning this year was how lesson structure is such an important part of a behaviour management strategy. So, a change of rooms, a change of pattern upsets that strategy. A move would work for some classes, but not all.
As a first step, I’d like to be demonstrating concepts through dynamic, interactive presentations. Iâ€™d really welcome a permanently mounted projector in my classroom wired to a computer on some sort of podium, with an internet connection of course. This would give me so much flexibility in how a lesson is presented, how complex concepts are demonstrated, and how we as a class can stretch our minds a little and look at real-life applications.
Just looking at lessons in the first couple of weeks of term, there are concepts that would be nice to show through simple and interactive animations; rather than static overheads or me drawing on the blackboard (yes, a blackboard). Introducing fractions, reciprocals, equivalent fractions, column/line/sector graphs. This is where a projector in my classroom would be fantastic.
Given that a projector won’t have magically appeared in my classroom over the holidays, I will have to focus on programming in computer lab lessons. Using Excel, Wingeom and some interactive widgets on the web.
Do you have a projector in your classroom? If not, how are you getting more technology into your classroom without heading off to a computer lab? Or, if you are regularly using a computer lab, are you using it for a whole lesson, part of a lesson?
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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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