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Published October 12, 2014 | Mathematics

Contributions from Mathematics 201

Second in our discipline-specific articles on resources available on Profweb is Mathematics - Discipline 201. Profweb is here to help you reevaluate your pedagogy in the light of information technology integration (IT). For the Mathematics teacher a number of very discipline-specific questions arise such as:

  • What symbolic computation software fosters the most appropriate learning activities for college mathematics students?
  • How can graphical notation best be integrated into information technology in education?

Often, questions arise which involve all educators:

  • How do we consolidate the achievements of our students by offering different and sometimes fun ways to learn?
  • Can the use of Web 2.0 increase motivation and success?

Consult the Profweb community to promote a successful integration of educational technology into your teaching activities.

Profweb and Mathematics

Since 2009, Profweb has published many real-life stories in Mathematics. They have dealt with linking Creative Commons and open source material to WeBWorK, creating videos to present in a Calculus 2 course for Commerce, using Rap to help students remember theorems in their Calculus 1 class, creating a distance Mathematics course in Linear Algebra and Vector Geometry for Cégep à distance, using the application Desmos in an online algebra course as well as a daring strategy to use a wiki platform. These stories are full of original and challenging IT ideas that you can easily take ownership of and integrate into your courses no matter which Mathematics course you are teaching.

  • Vanier College’s Evgenij Kritchevski discusses the innovative resources he has developed to help his students using WeBWorK. Students in WeBWorK can access resources as diverse as an e-textbook, a photograph of Evgenij’s chalk board at the end of a lesson and a video of his hands solving the problem using pencil and paper. Everything old is new again!
  • Alice McLeod at John Abbott College gives an overview of WeBWorK.
  • Matthew Marchant found over his 3 years teaching math at Dawson College, that the traditional lecture style for delivering course material was inadequate. Most students struggled to follow explanations from beginning to end and put off learning for at home. In response to this, he used videos to present the last quarter of his Calculus 2 course for Commerce during the winter 2011 semester.
  • Pooyan Haghighat of Centennial College realized that the link between mathematics and music is strong. Sometimes, the fruits of this association are surprising. Many math teachers work to adapt the content of their Calculus 1 classes to accommodate Social Science students in the Business option who are not always math inclined. Add information technology into this mix, and watch all these elements make beautiful music together.
  • Manon Fiset and Laurence Lachapelle-Bégin determined that within the catalog of the Anglophone sector at Cégep à distance, the mathematics course Linear Algebra and Vector Geometry (201-105-RE) has been one entry that has loomed menacingly for many of those required to take it. The course is part of the Humanities with Mathematics program and is a prerequisite for access to university programs in Business Administration. The challenge for the course's developers and tutors was to make it interesting for students in Humanities, given that the content is rather abstract and the main applications of the principles presented in most manuals target engineering and computer science.
  • David Adley, a retired Dawson teacher, has been building an online Algebra course. Eventually, the course will be on the web, and people will be able to download lectures in recorded video form, or participate in live webinars. In terms of his own organization of the material, he has integrated it into Microsoft's OneNote which he described in an earlier story in Profweb, however, because this course is an algebra course, he felt the lack of graphing features in One Note and started to look around for a tool that was readily accessible which would enable him to show graphs in an enhanced way and not as weak presentations within One Note. He came across a free, readily available, cloud-based software called Desmos.
  • Sandi Mak was among a group of teachers in Mathematics at Vanier College who determined that using a wiki platform could help their students not only master mathematical principles effectively but express themselves better in English and more specifically in the vocabulary of the sciences.

But wait! That’s not all. There are many other valuable resources in Profweb of interest to mathematics teachers looking to use information technology.

Several web resources can help you move from the traditional teaching of Mathematics to the technopedagogical. In the Quebec college system, a search of the catalog for English resources in mathematics at the CDC (Centre de documentation collégiale) produced 69 print and digital resources. The Ceres Research Tool from Vitrine Technologie-Éducation returned 1871 resources in English from around the world using mathematics as a keyword and Vitrine Technologie Éducation itself has an in-depth report on e-textbooks of interest to the Mathematics teacher. The online English edition of Pédagogie collégiale has two in-depth articles. As well the Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development (CCDMD) has an impressive catalogue of academic material and participates in a number of interesting projects for college teachers, including the World of Images collection and symposiums produced in tandem with the AQPC to improve teaching skills.

Use Profweb as a Springboard to Technopedagogical Success

Hundreds of resources are available on Profweb - articles, real-life stories from teachers, presentations of digital tools and folders that can help the Mathematics teacher bring a world of in-depth explanations of principles to students wherever they may be. And yes, the website is free. Profweb also hosts teachers' academic websites within the Quebec College Network at no charge. In this space, you can edit your website using easy-to-install blog, and wiki applications. Your teaching materials, whether or not created with these applications, can be hosted here as well.

The Profweb team is there to facilitate your exploration of new technologies and inspiring educational opportunities. They can also organize an activity addressing the issue of the integration of ICT into Mathematics in your department. If you are interested, please contact us.

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