This is my first blog post for my graduate class WUEDT6020 Emerging Trends in Educational Technology at Wilmington University.
When my school first started adding technology (i.e. BYOD and iPads) about 4 years ago, some teachers were excited about it, others not so much. Our administrators encouraged us to use it in our classrooms, provided some PD on it, and modeled using it in our staff meetings. Eventually most teachers gave it a shot, but our math teachers struggled with how to use it with their curriculum. Most searched for "math" apps. After attending various webinars and listening to several podcasts, I realized "math" apps were not going work - I needed to find apps that were able to be used for any concept, not just specifically for practicing math facts, factoring, or solving equations for example. I needed to find non-content specific, creation-type apps that I could build many of my lessons around. Apps that could be used throughout the school year with any topic. Apps that the students became comfortable with and adept with because we used them consistently. Some of the apps I began using on the iPads were:
Then along came our 1:1 Chromebooks. Luckily they had touch screens because many of the apps I had used on the iPads also had web-based applications that I could continue to use, and many had drawing features, which work really well for math because students can show their work when solving problems and not just submit their final answers. Many math teachers complained because a lot of the applications did not have equation editors so adding complex math equations with the necessary symbols was difficult if not impossible. I have seen much improvement in this area - many more applications have added the ability to write math equations, making them much more user-friendly.
I feel like through the past few years I have really scaled back with the amount of technology I use in my classes. I used to try out new applications all the time and experiment with my
guinea pigs students. I would like to fall short of saying that I used to use technology just for technology sake, but now I do think more about whether the technology will really make my lesson better and help my students understand concepts better. Here's a short list of applications we use in my math classes this year:
With the exception of Desmos, the rest are all non-content specific, making it easy to use them for any topic we are currently working on. Actually, I have used the Desmos Activity Builder card sort for many other concepts besides graphing, so I guess you could consider it non-content specific as well! As far as Kahoot! goes, I don't use it because it makes a lesson better, I use it because it's a super engaging way to review before a quiz. Another major player in my classroom is Google Classroom, but I didn't include that in my list because I think of it as more of a learning management system than an application to teach with. It's what's I include links to in Classroom that is the actual EdTech that I use to enhance student learning.
If you teach math and are looking for ways to integrate technology, I would highly recommend you checking out this short list of applications. I have also blogged about several of them in the past as well. (Check out my blog archives on the right side bar.)
What applications do you use in your math classes? I would love to hear about them!