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Teaching Mathematics Online: A Case Study


... in Mathematics Education, Volume 10, Faculty Edition, American Mathematical Society, 2001 ... 'The nowadays ICT teacher' challenges: From Kidlink to Web ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Teaching Mathematics Online: A Case Study

Teaching Mathematics Online A Case Study
  • Ciresica Jalobeanu Mihai Jalobeanu
  • Math. Dept., Technical University Cluj-Napoca
  • CS Faculty, Vasile Goldis Western University
  • Romania

Teaching Mathematics Online A Case Study
  • Both authors are teaching Math CS in HE.
  • The Technical University is a public university,
    while the Western University Vasile Goldis is a
    private one, already recognized. The present
    paper is based also on our own teaching
    experiences, and teacher training activities, as
    well as on moderating effort of Edu_Ro_ICT and
    eLearning_ro groups of teachers.

What the deal ?Its about the increasing
difficulties in math teaching
  • Most teachers, at least in Romanian educational
    system, graduated more than 20 years ago
  • The usual training of computer literacy isnt
    enough for a proper use of ICT into the
  • There is a global market pressure for a change
    of teaching/learning style (to use technology)
  • Students are now much more attracted by the use
    of cell phones, PDAs, and PC tools, than of
    school books reading.

The difficulties in teaching math are discussed
since the inception of compulsory education.
  • They born and grown with PC, cell-phones,
    video-players, TV-sets, with network connection,
    Internet access, with computer games, IM
    channels, with MP3 files, and watching movies
    from the network.
  • Conclusion Todays students are no longer the
    people our educational system was designed to
    teach (Prensky)

Difficulties with math education ?
  • Mathematics education at schools causes
    considerable efforts to improve teaching in this
    subject. But nowadays a wealth of mathematical
    ideas and techniques is buried in any algebra
    system. There is an inadequacy between teaching
    style and student expectations.
  • The math education generally does not
  • - promote nor understanding nor student interest
  • - integrate nor abstractions with applications,
    nor mathematics with human culture
  • - support personalization, nor transition
    between layers

Dealing with non-traditional students
  • At least in our part of the world, due to digital
    divide, our students arent yet digital
    natives. But, generally, they miss individual
    thinking skill.
  • While learning math requires independent
    thinking, i.e. understanding a problem,
    reflecting upon alternative methods to solve a
    problem and check the result reasonable.

The use of ICT in math education reasons
  • To increase cognitive contact by visualizing the
    concepts, interacting with formulas,
    personalizing the presentation
  • To reduce math anxiety

The use of ICT in math education projects
  • Computing technology for math excellence
    http//www.ct4me.net/ (USA)
  • ISAC Project for Transparent Software in
    Applied Mathematics (IST, TU Graz)
  • ActiveMATH (Univ. of Saarland, DE)
  • Virtual Mathematics Laboratorium project (NADA)

ICT in Romanian educational system
  • Low domestic computers and networking
  • Romanian Internet domain (.ro), since 1993,
  • Since 1998, the Government "national strategy
    for information technology and transition to the
    Information Society", includes as a main
    objective the development of the national
    information infrastructure.
  • Since 2001 a centralized program (SEI) is
    launched, providing small computer networks and
    commercial educational software (AEL) in more the
    5000 schools.
  • All Romanian Universities, and a lot of
    high-schools are now connected to Internet, but
    very few are signing their presence and offer
    through own Web servers.
  • There arent an adequate amount of enough
    prepared teachers to address all country school
    needs regarding ICT. Generally, the CS HE student
    isnt interested to become school-teacher,
    looking for a better paid job at a software

ICT skills at student level
  • School curricula includes now enough ICT
    knowledge, but rarely achieved by students.
  • Most teachers in Computer Science are Digital
    Immigrants with a very bad accent, and
    consequently, their students learn ICT skills
    especially at Internet Clubs, with penalties
    regarding moral values .
  • A 2004 study of the British Council and the
    Galup Organization of Romania showed that 97 of
    the students used computers and 95 used the
    Internet.(43 in the universities, and 36 at
    home). Besides, 70 of the Internet users (aged
    between 15 and 35, and located in seven major
    cities of Romania) used it to communicate, mainly
    via e-mail, 65 to learn, and 45 to search for
    study related information.
  • As key qualification necessary to get a good
    job, the computer skills are ranked third, just
    after the knowledge of foreign languages, and the
    professional qualifications.

ICT in teaching math
  • To cajole students into learning math, we need to
    become aware of their preferences, to select good
    examples, giving them the chance to learn how to
    use math tools, i.e. computer algebra systems,
  • Students can learn more mathematics more deeply
    with the appropriate and responsible use of

teaching math, at Technical University, with
Mathematica, and MathCAD
  • At the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca,
    Romania, in the Department of Mathematics, with
    faculties mute opposition, it was build an own
    laboratory for numerical methods, probability and
    statistics, based on 18 MS Windows platforms,
    equipped with Wolfram Mathematica, and MathCAD

Possible classification of students by their ICT
  • Generally, students are more open and able to
    use e-Learning methods than their teachers.
  • In authors opinion, the evaluation grades
    analysis at computer science and electrical
    engineering faculties prove a non-standard
    distribution (at least bi-modal), based of
    disjoint classes of students, regarding their ICT
    skills and the current use of home/office
    networked computer.

  • Overview of Principles and Standards for
    School Mathematics 2006, National Council of
    Teachers of Mathematics, http//www.nctm.org/stand
    ards/principles.htm (2.05.07)
  • S. Freidberg, "Teaching Mathematics in Colleges
    and Universities Case Studies for Today's
    Classroom.", CBMS, Issues in Mathematics
    Education, Volume 10, Faculty Edition, American
    Mathematical Society, 2001
  • S. Freidberg, "Using Case Studies in Seminars on
    College Teaching" , http//www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/c

References (cnt.)
  • J. Gleason, Teaching Mathematics Online A
    Virtual Classroom, Journal of Online Mathematics
    and its Applications, March, 2006,
    ml (01.04.07)
  • D. Graeme, WWW Tools for Mathematics Education
    2006, Online Journal WWW Tools for Education,
    30/07/06, http//m.fastfind.com/wwwtools/
  • M. Hohenwarter and J. Preiner, Dynamic
    Mathematics with GeoGebra, The Journal of Online
    Mathematics and Its Applications, Volume 7. March
    2007. Article ID 1448,

References (cnt.)
  • M. Jalobeanu and C. Jalobeanu, "The nowadays ICT
    teacher' challenges From Kidlink to Web
    generation", 2006 International REV Symposium
    (Remote Engineering Virtual Instrumentation),
    Editors Michael E. Auer, Riko Safaric, ISBN
    3-89958-194-6 (CD-Rom Proceedings of the 4th
    symposium REV 2006)
  • O. Magne, Literature on Special Educational Needs
    in Mathematics A bibliography with some comments
    , 4-th Edition, Educational and Psychological
    Interactions 124, Malmö, Sweden School of
    Education, available online as a PDF file
  • E. Melis and J. Siekmann e-Learning logic and
    mathematics What we have and what we still
    need. In Essays in Honor of Dov Gabbay, 2005,

References (cnt.)
  • E. Melis, J. Haywood and T. Smith,
    LeActiveMath, First European Conference on
    Technology Enhanced Learning 2006,
  • G..A Moore, Integrating Maple Into The Math
    Curriculum A Sensible Guide for Educators,
  • A. Naeve, The work of Ambjörn Naeve within the
    field of Mathematics Educational Reform, CID
    Centre for User Oriented IT Design, Royal
    Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 2001,
    s_educational_reform.doc (1.06.07)
  • A. Naeve and M. Nilsson, ICT-enhanced Mathematics
    Education within the Framework of a Knowledge
    Manifold, Proceeedings of the 10th International
    Congress of Mathematics Education (ICME),
    Copenhagen, Denmark, July 4-11, 2004, available
    also at http//kmr.nada.kth.se/papers/MathematicsE

References (cnt.)
  • V. Ochkov, Mathematical packages from
    self-economy to mass production through the
    Internet, http//twt.mpei.ac.ru/ochkov/MAS_KP/mas
  • M. Prensky, Digital natives, digital
    immigrants, On the Horizon, vol.9, no.5, October
  • F. Szabo, Changing the way we teach and students
    learn, MathPAD Online, The Magazine of the MuPAD
    Research Group, Vol. 16, Year 2007 , available
    also online at http//www.mupad.com/mathpad/2007/
  • J. Uhl, How technology influenced me to stop
    lecturing and start teaching, Technology and
    NCTM Standards 2000, National Council of Teachers
    of Mathematics, Virginia, USA, June 1998
  • J. Uhl, Why (and how) I teach without long
    lectures, Calculus Mathematica at University
    of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, http//cm.math.uiuc.
  • R. Yin, Case Study Research. Design and Methods,
    Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, London, New
    Delhi, 2003

Possible comments, questions?
  • Thanks for your patience !
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