A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Tech in the classroom, a struggle

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 – 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 – 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.  I’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?

Posted in • ReflectionTechnology | Short URL:


PaulD on  24 January 07  at  07:53 AM #
Hi, unfortunately yes I echo the issues you have raised. Something to look at is the new Casio (fx-9860g) graphic calcs – they are a generation ahead of what we used and have fantastic support docs/activities. For each maths class I am setting up a class wiki to assist manage computer lessons/coordinate homework/allow feedback. Tryout [url=""][/url] this site has impressive links. If you can get into a lab the library of manipulatives is well worth a look [url=""][/url] Will checkout the links here properly and get back to you, well done, bye, P Bye, P

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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