Greetings students of Math
371!

I first want to mention how
honored I am to be a guest blogger. I am
envious of you being students of this class.
I wish my undergraduate degree would have included a course title
“Technology for Math Educators”. I hope that
you are enjoying this class.

When I started to brainstorm
what I wanted to blog about, a number of topics came to mind:

·
Things a person
heading into the teaching profession should know.

·
What
technologies I frequently use my classroom.

·
How much
technology is too much?

None of these topics were
quite right. This blog deserves
better. So here we go…

**Why it is an exciting time to be a mathematics teacher.**

There is a revolution
sweeping across the nation. A mathematics
revolution. A mathematics teaching
revolution. A growing number of mathematics
teachers are breaking away from traditional, teacher-centered instructional
methods. Instead, these teachers are implementing
inquiry based, student-centered strategies.
These innovative strategies and techniques are re-defining “best
practice” and giving a makeover to what a mathematics classroom should look and
sound like.

It is difficult to pinpoint
one specific event that triggered the revolution. Dan Meyer’s 2010 TED talk was what pulled me
into the battle. If you have not seen
the video, your first homework assignment from me is to watch it.

Not only did Dan call for
mathematics teachers to change the way they conducted business in their classrooms,
he also began to share free resources to all who wanted them. His popular 3-ACT tasks provide teachers with
ammunition for change.

Around the same time as Dan’s
TED talk, a little something called the Common Core State Standards were being
adopted by 46 states across the nation.
Whether you love or hate the CCSS, three very important consequences have
ensued…

First, the CCSS included the
eight Standards of Mathematical Practice.
The SMP are at the heart of the revolution. Read about them here if you haven’t heard of
them. Know them; they are critical. Second, mathematics teachers across the
nation are all focused on the same set of standards. Because of this, I’m much more likely to be
interested in what Dan from California is talking about because we are expected
to teach the same standards. Which leads
to number three: Mathematics teachers across the nation are collaborating at a
much higher rate than prior to the CCSS.

Technology and social media
are playing a huge role in the collaboration.
Twitter (#MTBoS), blogging, and websites provide environments where mathematics teachers
can freely share resources and ideas, provide and collect feedback, and stay up
to date on the latest technology.

Dan has since taken his
talents to a little place called Desmos, where he helps create some of the
coolest math resources I have experienced.
He, along with other extremely talented mathematics teachers such as AndrewStadel, Fawn Nguyen, Michael Fenton, among others continue to create and share
excellent resources. But the crazy thing
about Desmos is that there are now thousands of mathematics teachers creating
and sharing activities via the activity builder tool.

Just two weeks ago, NCTM
held their annual conference in San Francisco.
Over 1,500 mathematics teachers from across the nation attended; over 25,000
were unable to attend. A couple of hours
ago, Dan posted his presentation on his blog.
It already has 147 views. Within
a month, I’m guessing that number will be closer to 1,000. Dan has also already responded to a few of
the blog post comments as well as to the following tweet.

My second assignment for you
is to watch the video. I’m certain you
haven’t seen it yet. It is excellent and
is a must see for all mathematics teachers.
The unfortunate news is that there is a faction of mathematics teachers
who will never see that video. These
teachers are unwilling or unable to implement changes in their classrooms. Maybe they won’t change because they are too
set in their ways and only have a few years to go before retirement; maybe they
are not comfortable with technology; maybe they are not sure where or how to begin. Whatever the reason may be, they have not yet
joined the revolution.

Therefore, I challenge you
to join the revolution. According to my
crude calculations, most of you attended high school prior to 2014. I’m willing to bet that 95% of your high
school mathematics teachers weren’t integrating 3-ACT tasks or focused on the
8SMP. I’m certain they weren’t using the
Desmos Teacher activities before then because they weren’t created yet! Chances are likely that you didn’t learn in a
student-centered, inquiry-based classroom.
Therefore, you must

__unlearn__what you have learned. (Luckily for you, Dr. Vestal can serve as your Jedi Master.) It is an exciting time to be a mathematics teacher. The revolution has begun!
Please feel free to contact
me if you ever have a question or need resources. Thank you once again for allowing me to be
your guest blogger.

P.S.

I would strongly recommend signing up for a teacher.desmos.com account while it still remains free. Rumor has it that there will soon be a fee to create an account, but those that already have accounts will be grandfathered in.

Mark Kreie

Brookings HS Mathematics Teacher

mark.kreie@k12.sd.us