Technology is now an indispensable aspect of the educational process for the modern human, from the womb to post-graduate studies. Parents use audio tech to expose their unborn children to recordings of foreign languages and classical music, and even a doctoral candidate writing a thesis about ancient literature would have a hard time passing without the help of a computer for research and word processing.
Still, it can be easy for educators to get stuck in outdated ruts, simply handing out paper homework assignments and maybe playing a video every once in a while. With a wealth of amazing interactive tools available, there’s no excuse for relying on such unengaging methods.
With the help of EduTech, teachers can inject exciting new life into every traditional school subject. In a series of articles on applying technology to teaching we’ll present some specific examples of how that can work, starting with math class.
Show Your Work
Not all EduTech hits the mark for math class. Gina Picha makes this point in an article on Edutopia:
“We know that mathematics should not be focused on speed or quick answer finding. And timed fact testing is a known trigger of math anxiety, which can lead to low mathematics achievement and mathematics avoidance. Yet math apps and websites that focus on speed and rote memorization are readily available and widely used.”
A perfect alternative to such subpar solutions is a visualizer (document camera). The most advanced of these handy devices feature crystal-clear 4K imaging at 60fps that makes it easy to give young learners visual representations of numbers and equations, laying a foundation of conceptual understanding that they can build on for the rest of their educational careers. These object lessons can be given in class, livestreamed for remote learners, and recorded for review and self-study.
Also, teachers can use a USB visualizer with educational video-sharing platform Flipgrid (read our Flipgrid post here) to create VR homework handouts, using the document camera’s one-touch recording and capturing to make the process quick and easy. It’s simple: record a video that illustrates a concept, download the QR code from Flipgrid, and ensure that students have unprecedented access to classroom content even when they’re studying at home. Teachers can also use a visualizer to trigger the QR codes in class to quickly review.
Another way EduTech can help teach math is via the comparison method. In a study on math class comparison, researchers from Harvard and Vanderbilt make an unequivocally positive statement about this technique:
“Experts agree; comparison is good. Researchers in both cognitive science and mathematics education emphasize the importance of comparison for learning and transfer."
Traditionally, such comparisons have been done on a chalkboard or whiteboard at the front of a classroom. But education technology opens up a world of new options for using this teaching tool.
Pro AV cameras with powerful zooms and smooth imaging allow teachers to continue comparing solutions on the board like they’re used to while also reaching a worldwide audience. If a change from the status quo is what you’re seeking, a visualizer eliminates the need for a giant board and a classroom space. It enables an educator to clearly work out complex problem comparisons on a sheet of paper under a 4K camera while livestreaming from a desk at home.
Back in class, an interactive control box makes it easy to compare teacher solutions with students’ work. The control box wirelessly connects student tablets or laptops to a projector or display, enabling up to four-way split-screen sharing. The teacher can assign a problem to groups of students, and they can work through on a smartboard app like Whiteboard Fox, which enables replays of the input text. Then, the groups can share their screens, and the class can watch and learn from each other’s’ step-by-step thought processes, eventually comparing them to the teacher’s answer. This is an excellent way to ensure students learn from the common mistakes they all make.
There’s a huge selection of education technology solutions on the market that includes everything you need to create engaging, interactive lesson plans for math classes at all levels of education. Click the button below to start shopping.