Math in practical use as opposed to being practically useless.
That’s the approach taken by more and more math teachers.
Of course math was always useful in the real world; the trick was convincing your students that that was the case.
Hard to do when the curriculum and available tools limited teachers to books and the blackboard...Oh, and let us not forget transparent plastic protractors for drawing straight lines on paper...at least that’s what most of us used them for.
The only angle we thought about was a guy’s agenda as in “What’s his angle?,” not “the space (usually measured in degrees) between two intersecting lines or surfaces at or close to the point where they meet.”
What’s happened to change all that? Technology!
Technology has made all the difference in turning math class into a learning experience as practical as woodworking or auto repair.
And that's what eighth-graders and their teachers discovered at Upper DuPont Area Middle School in Loyalton, Pa. while undertaking the redesigning and landscaping of the schools courtyard.
First the eighth-graders drew a scale model on graph paper. That would once have been the end of it: interesting perhaps, but hardly capable of engaging most young students. But this time they brought their plans to vivid virtual life with the imaging magic of Google SketchUp.
The kids did the necessary calculations involving the area, volume, cubic footage, and how many yards of mulch were needed for the flower beds.
Then they took their design plans and expense estimates to their teachers.
Once upon a time – and not that long ago – math classes bored the heck out of most students in the lower grades.
This wasn't the fault of the teachers or the students themselves; math class for most students simply consisted of boring repetitive procedures that seemed to be of no practical use.
With the tools they had available, teachers simply could not get most kids interested in math.
The creative use of digital technology has given teachers the ability to change all that.
Today's students find that math can be both engaging and of practical use.
Are you one of those committed math teachers with the desire to deliver a practical learning experience to your students? If so, please take a look at our RobotsLAB BOX, a combination of robots and a tablet that engage students in math in a manner that can’t be beat!.