How Are You Incorporating Technology In Your Maths Teaching?
In the 10 years since I’ve been at school technology has evolved dramatically! My first observation before PGCE was at a school where every student had been issued with an iPad and used this for all homework: for study, reference and video learning; it was a tutor, an exercise book and a textbook! Technology was a fundamental part of the learning environment, and this was very new for me. There were clearly huge benefits, and a capacity for creativity, as students could learn something in pairs, and video themselves/others explaining a solution, to re-watch later in revision for example. Several maths apps exist to assist teachers in these technologically advanced environments. There were also downsides as I often saw students on Instagram and other apps, clearly not aiding their learning.
My current placement school is a little less technology keen- however we show PowerPoints on the smart board each lesson, and the odd dice game and countdown. Last week we were lucky to have a university session (for interns) all about GeoGebra, with a lead developer. I hadn’t spent a huge amount of time on here before but the resources were FANTASTIC! Immediately I started searching for what would be appropriate for my lessons on angles in parallel lines, bearings and angles in polygons. The students enjoyed the graphics, which were colourful and accurate and it saved me time and trying to draw (inaccurately) on the board. As a free resource, without ads there is no financial pressure on schools in using GeoGebra, and with Chrome books/computers, students can also learn to use this too, making maths a more interactive, and discovery-oriented subject.
Another one we were shown during a university session, by a professor in Number Theory, was “Dancing factorisations”, (just type into google), which requires no introduction to students. You can play 1 through to 30 for them asking them to spot patterns and notice how the numbers being counted are denoted. Then pick any number you like and ask them to predict how this might look in dots. A wonderful start/end for any lesson, for years 8 and up, which encourages student talk, pattern spotting, all without realising they’re developing mathematical skills!
I’m continuously looking for other technological aids in lessons, but really conscious of where these are appropriate and relevant, without taking away from skills students need to develop. Any suggestions would be most welcome!
By Shria Suchak