Technology to Learn
One of the primary technologies for this unit are Virtual Manipulatives: programs that allow students to be more interactive when working with mathematics, more specifically allowing them to have a more direct manipulative effect on the problems, equations, expressions, concept to better understand the concept and deepen learning. Virtual manipulatives include but are not limited to graphing programs, excel based data analysis, and simulations. Simulations also can include a number of games or virtual reality simulators. For more information on what virtual manipulative are click here and take a look at wikipedia’s definition.
LINKS ILLUSTRATING THE POSSIBILITIES FOR USING VIRTUAL MANIPULATIVES:
different Kinds of Virtual manipulatives from various sources
Example lessons for using virtual manipulatives
Here are some ideas that the National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics have for using virtual manipulatives in the classroom. Using Virtual Manipulatives from NCTM
Examples of use and Analysis in research
The links below are research articles and summaries that help better describe practices around and uses of virtual manipulatives found using a google search.
- “Research Summary: Manipulatives in Middle Grades Mathematics”
- “Virtual Manipulatives: What Does Current Research Tell Us About Classroom Practice and Student Progress”
ACTIVITY TYPES THAT COULD MAKE USE OF THIS FORM OF TECHNOLOGY AND HOW THIS MIGHT LOOK:
If you consider using Virtual Manipulative / Simulations make sure their use is focused around the activity types of Testing solutions or Conjectures or helping develop solutions/conjectures. These manipulatives and simulations allow students to interact with the math on a different level than just constructing a function or equation that relates to their solution. These tools allows them to take those equations or expressions and manipulate the variables or other aspects. This in turn will allow them to come up with a better fitting solution to their problem and gives them the opportunities to develop the understandings of how the different aspects of their equation or expression interact with one another and with the problem.
MAKE SURE YOU CONSIDER THESE IF YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO SCAFFOLD AND USE THE TECHNOLOGY EFFECTIVELY.
What are the Access points and Barriers?
Do you have access to the virtual manipulative or are they blocked by the school district?
How does it allow for documenting and recording the process students are going through?
How does the structure you have in place allow for feedback on the use of the technology?
How does the technology allow for modeling in the context of different problems?
Is it Educative?
How are you able to connect the manipulative to the specific area of study? How does this make it have an educative purpose?. For example how does the students or teacher/class investigation allow for an educative and purposeful use of the manipulatives.
How will the technology (virtual manipulatives) inform the audience that the students will be using it to speak to? Will the audience be able to use the tool? How will you account for this in the construction of the final presentations?
What content Standards does it help with list them all and start connecting to which knowledge, reasoning, skills, products you want from each student given their problem?(See the Understandings and Students will be able to section of the Unit Design for ideas)