Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2013 NCTM Conference: "Technology: A Portal to Exploration and Discovery"

2013 NCTM Conference (4/19/13 - 8:00 am - Kenn Pendleton):

A big theme through the NCTM conference was using questions to prompt students to explore mathematics. I am a big proponent of inquiry-based learning, so I was excited to find other teachers with similar passions. I was able to collect a lot of fresh ideas.

Kenn suggested that we can use technology as a tool to enable students to explore mathematics. He suggested that we as teachers should ask questions which require students to use technological tools (such as graphing calculators) to explore and answer.

Kenn strongly encouraged the use of technology to allow students to explore the connection between graphs and their symbolic representations. This connection is very important for helping students to visualize math and to build a deeper understanding of what mathematical symbols actually represent.

Kenn encouraged teachers to challenge students to create conjectures based on their observations using technology. They can then test these conjectures by contrasting different scenarios and evaluating whether their conjectures are true or not. This can given them a fuller understanding of mathematical principles than the teacher given a list of facts that go in one ear and out the other.

Technology can be a powerful tool for comparing the graphs of different functions. This can help students contrast functions with their inverse, tranlations, and other properties of functions.

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