ICT Sharing May 2011


Some notes on my use of ICT in teaching Mathematics at John McGlashan College

  1. Use 'offline' to check algebra/calculus used in examples and assignments, and to prepare graphs for handouts. For example: input f(x) = (x+2)(x-7) then expand[f]. That way I have a quadratic that I know will factorise easily, and I can be absolutely confident to write it on the whiteboard.
  2. Use live in the classroom as a graphing sketchpad. I project it onto the whiteboard so I can scribble on it with whiteboard pens. Can also use pre-prepared demonstrations. Students can also manipulate these demonstrations in class or out of class. Example for teaching Normal Distribution.
  3. Have students use it. To date I have tried only with Year 9 Notebook equipped class. A first GeoGebra task. Caveat: should we teach dynamic geometry packages before we teach compass and ruler construction?
Google maps

Students design orienteering courses using Google maps with the distance measurement tool activated (New > Distance measurement tool > Enable). Sort out the link in advance saves students floundering around all over the world (use tinyurl.com to make it even easier). Students measure the angles for compass bearings by holding protractors up to the screen - mixing high tech and low tech is cool in my book! Distance measurement tool paths are temporary, so capture them from Word 2010 with Insert > Screenshot.

Something else

I haven't done this at John McGlashan yet, but it is cool. First we video an oscillating spring in class. Run the video through VideoStrobe and demonstrate in class how the oscillating spring follows a sine function. Next, set up the Geogebra file, and get students to do the curve fitting. For a fuller explanation see VideoStrobe and click through to the Examples. Scroll down to the last example.

Getting started with GeoGebra: Some easy to use starter activities here. Also useful: Greek letter poster.

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