Archive for the ‘Ohs’ Category

comment thread reprint

i signed on as a math teacher and became
however good i am at it now over the course
of a longer period than i like to think about.
meanwhile, a lot of math departments have committed
(e.g.) to require students to buy “graphing calculators”.
the curriculum is adjusted accordingly.
this not only does nothing to make my job easier,
it takes time (and student interest) *away*
from what is necessarily a very limited budget
to begin with. so too with, as far as i can see,
pretty much any other computer application.

not only do i not *want* to help the profiteers
that have hijacked the academy to sell their products,
i’m not even *qualified* to do so since i can
never get the doggone things to work in the first place.
what i *can* do, and still very often get a chance to do,
is get students to understand more mathematics by talking
with them about mathematics. not something our
society values a whole lot, i’ll admit, but still:
the product that the college actually goes out and sells.
switching in some bloody demos,
no matter how well-prepared,
is bait-and-switch and i resent it.

i’m never going to be much interested in selling.
speech & presence & suchlike variables …
heck yes. i’ve put in a lot of time working on ‘em
and hope to continue to improve my skills
over the whole rest of my working life.
bring a computer into the deal, though,
and you’ve *changed the subject*.
part of the gospel i preach is:
*you* can do this … with paper and pencil.

me, in dan meyer’s “what we did last time”
august 22, 07; comment 10 (but start at 8).