Sunday, April 13, 2014

Math Technology Reflection

Since we did not have class last Tuesday I will reflect on things we have discussed throughout the semester this far.  The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about what we have discussed and learned is how much time it takes to learn the technology that surrounds us in the classroom.  Spending time with the SmartBoard and the Promethean board has been invaluable.  Some day as we venture out into our own classrooms, the majority of us will have these tools to help teach the content to our students.  Preparation is going to be vital in ensuring that we deliver a smooth, effective lesson.  Technology is very frustrating for me, but a big reason for that is because I have not spent the time with it to get comfortable.  This class has opened my eyes that I will indeed need to prepare for a learning curve in the use of technology.

Some other valuable tools learned are the computer applications Desmos and GeoGebra.  I am sure that there are numerous other applications out there that are effective as well.  Again, learning about how to use these apps opened my eyes that there are a lot of great tools out there to be found to help teach the content; we just have to be willing to search for them.  The capability that was so appealing about these applications was their graphing abilities.  They are very user-friendly and quick to use.  That capability really helps us visualize what various functions look like on a graph.  I cannot remember if Desmos or GeoGebra can graph in 3-D, but I know there are many 3-D graphing tools online.  I wish I would've had those throughout my Calculus classes.  Being able to see the 3-D graphs would have helped vastly in figuring out what the functions looked like instead of trying to see that by attempting to draw out a 3-D graph.  If used correctly, the tools found online can really enhance a student's ability to comprehend the information being taught to them.

The book we are reading has also helped make me aware of the obstacles technology brings along for students. The technology in our world makes communication available at all times.  This is a great thing for friends near and far.  It is, however, negative for unwanted communication with people that do not get along.  Bullies can reach their targets at anytime and from anywhere.  As teachers, it will be important to encourage students to positively use the luxury of technology and to report any misuse.  

Overall, it has been great to have the opportunity to learn about the numerous tools that are available to us as teachers and to get the chance to play around with the Nspire, Ipad, SmartBoard, and Promethean board.  As we venture out into the world of teaching, things will continue to change and time will need to be spent in figuring out what the technology that surrounds us is capable of doing.