So far? After poking around this summer looking at some fairly robust blogs maintained by mathematics teachers and their classrooms, I am still looking for the content. The few blogs I have looked through seem to be about engaging the students and teachers in the use of blogs, wikis, flickr, twitter, et al with very little focus on content. Moreover, the time invested in developing these blogs appears to be substantial. Of course students will benefit from exposure to and use of these tools in this environment. But where is the mathematics? Perhaps I am another woolly mammoth stuck in a tar pit on his way to extinction. But if we are going to invest significant effort with this technology I would expect to see more mathematics. Maybe the content is there but I just don't see it? It is early yet. There is a way to integrate these tools and enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics without making it all about the tools themselves.

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skoelker said...

ReplyDeleteYes, it can't be all about the tools themselves. The content has to be central for certain. We have only so much time with students in our presence so we need to make the best use of it. If the tools somehow extend that time or enhance the content, then I think it's worth the time it takes to set things up. Maybe the blogging for these students happens away from class time and extends kids' thinking about the processes in a new way. But maybe not.

August 17, 2009 9:07 AM

Kathy said...

How about having kids do explanations for the math concepts on the blog? I could see the value of having kids set up a mini tutorial that others might be able to use. Is it possible for others to then solve the problems when they respond on the blog? How about if you post some problems on your blog and have students respond. The response could involve writing an explanation of how they solved the problem. That might give you a picture of their thinking as they work through the calculation. Blogging...homework??????

August 17, 2009 9:15 AM

Mrs. Burns said...

Paul,

Just by being in our class in August you have proven that you are not a tar-pit-stuck woolly mammoth!

Content is primary. We cannot throw out the instruction we know kids need and replace it with some whiz-bang new gizmo. We need to find those tools that will enhance the learning and content we have. Blogs may not do it for you. Hang on....there are 11 more tools in class, and lots more besides!