Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blog Post #10 (How can we use Technology in Math Class?)

Technology & Math Classrooms???

Poll Everywhere survey done in a classroom
For this post, I will focus only on a few items that I see as useful or beneficial for Math Class as discovered by me or others. I went to a conference called NCTM (National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics) and they had some very interesting tools there that could be used in a math class. One tool was called Poll Everywhere and this tool allows for you to put a question up and allow for students to answer using their cell phones.
Picture of Poll Everywhere Survey conducted in a classroom
Students like to have their cell phones available and out while in school anyway so why not give them a place to use their phone. It is based on texts, which most if not all students have, and for a lot of polls, it can be done free of charge (freeware). Now, they do have some plans that cost but the cost is minimal for a school based on what the teachers can do with it. It is not only a great tool for any teacher, it can be used on those pop-up quizzes that students need to take. Work out the problems on a sheet of paper and submit your answer via text. It is best suited for responses where no work needs to be done but you do need students to remember some of the basic math facts you taught them at the beginning of the week.

Picture of Math Teachers' Class Website
Another great tool that I have found extremely useful is a class website. I've seen a lot of teachers use them and post several things done by students. It is a great platform for the world and it gives credit where credit is due; to the students! They have done the work now let their work shine! This can be used in math class for this reason, to post announcements, like homework assignments, opportunities for extra credit, the solution to a problem that was worked in class (with step by step details), or messages for parents. It is a great tool to keep in contact with students and parents. You can restrict the class website to those who have the password to help keep it safe or to a certain group of users. Wait, you can do all of this on a blog as well. So, we have to add a blog into this conversation as well. It, like the website is a great tool for teachers to have for the very reasons that were mentioned above. Of course there are other uses for the website but let's start small and go from there.

Google Drive Logo stating 100 Ways To Use Google Drive In The Classroom
Finally, we will talk about a great tool for teachers and students. This is Google Drive and I hadn't thought about it in a math sense so it never dawned on me how great it was. Some words from a math teacher I have been following this semester: Here it is. You need to post EVERYTHING (except tests/quizzes) in Google Drive. Homework. Review Tests. Class notes. Class worksheets. Goals. Calendars. Answer Keys. It is so easy and your students will use the things you post. Your students will use it on the bus, waiting at the doctor, while watching tv, and as a passenger in a car. Make your class convenient for them. They will reward you with accessing them often. One of the best things about this system is that your students can never say that they lost something that you handed out...An added benefit of Google Drive is that when the students are viewing the documents, they have a preview of each document. This is very convenient. By the way, your students can't change anything in the folder. They can only view it and download it. This is an amazing tool and if you say, well, I don't know how to use it, he posts instructions on his blog posting about Google Drive. This is all to say, that Google Drive is not only a good tool for math teachers but it is a good tool for any teacher. What are you waiting for? Start using it today!

So, now that we know how these tools can help you with math, start using them. They are only tools but their benefits will far outweigh the cost of learning how to use them. Teachers, don't be afraid. Don't say I don't know what to do. Just do it and you will enjoy the added benefits!

Google Drive! What are you waiting for Math Teachers?, http://teachhighschoolmath.blogspot.com/2014/01/google-drive-what-are-you-waiting-for.html, Dave Sladkey, 2014

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