I was going to try and NOT make this entire post about Dan Meyer. But I just cleared through my list of “must read” blog posts and his had the biggest impact on me this week. So, expect there to be a lot of praise/worship/the-big-L for Dan in the scribblings that follow. (And the many posts that follow too, let’s be honest…)
If we want to start looking at how technology can authentically embed technology in a maths classroom then Dan’s blog is certainly a great place to start. Actually, it’s a recent post of his that I think is worth sharing. You will see it’s not all bells-and-whistles fancy, but it is effective, practical and authentic. Take a look:
Actually, the point that Dan is trying to make is that if we show that we need something then it becomes more meaningful and engaging. My reason for sharing it is that this simple concept that was so boring to teach (and boring to learn) has been enhanced with technology. Some might argue that on the SAMR scale of things we are still somewhere between Augmentation and Modification (I’d lean on the latter) but it’s progress from dots on a whiteboard.
Meyer has a bunch of great learning/teaching/lesson ideas that I’ve been using for a while now:
Three Act Math – This links to a google spreadsheet with more than 50 task ideas.
101 Questions – A growing bank of perplexing images aimed to get your students thinking and asking questions
But each and every single one of these lessons has helped to create learning experiences that are differentiated, open-ended, challenging, accessible AND engaging. So the use of carefully chosen images, or thoughtfully created videos or professionally created websites can bring authentic and effective use of technology into the maths classroom. It’s also worth noting that while Meyer might get the ball rolling on these tasks there is a lot of crowd sourcing when it comes to making improvements and adding resources. Follow him on twitter. Just do it.
Our jobs are definitely evolving and it is clear that it is our responsibility to expose our students to technology. But it is far from a burden, it is a bonus and often my life saver!