Monday, December 6, 2010

Sheets... and Math(ematics) in Education

We've plowed into our 'Education Revisited assignment in a couple Lab classes here. Alex Sheets, who used to teach here at BBA, sent on this great site called to chime in our discussion on mathematics.

Here's a great vid from the site. I love this sort of stuff!

Here's another:

Earlier this week in this 'Education Revisited' assignment we asked:
Is it necessary to teach mathematics today the way we usually do? 
We took on this speech on TED by Conrad Wolfram in class earlier this week. Is it necessary to focus so much on hand based computation when we teach math?

Wolfram talks of working with students on:

1. Posing the right questions.
2. Real world math formulation.
4. Math formulation. Real world verification.

Step 3. in Wolfram's sequence is 'Computation' and he poses that that's where illogically spend most of our time these days with students, why too many feel disconnected with math. I'd say he's right.

Keep the doodles in mind above doodles above and take a look at Stephen Wolfram's heady speech on 'Computing the Theory of Everything.'

Imagine project work where we use powerful tools like Mathematica, where we focus more effort on steps 1, 2, and 4, where we use the web and incorporate the principles of design into work in schools... instead of focusing so much on repetitive paper based computation. Exciting stuff.

We once thought venturing to the moon was beyond the scope of humanity. Standing on a corner and using something like a smartphone... was science fiction 25 years ago. Making movies with special effects like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, like Avatar or Inception used to be impossible. Might we use things like GapMinder to visualize very complex urban societal problems and conjure up solutions more quickly? Might we venture on to the fabled 'Star Trek Warp Drive' where we travel at the speed of light... or beyond the speed of light? It might sound crazy. Then again... it might not.

So... Business as usual... or a new frontier? Some great discussions brewing. Many thanks to Alex for passing on that site. AP

No comments:

Post a Comment