I am here at the regional NCTM math conference in Atlantic City, so just wanted to share some things I have noted while talking with teachers at our booth today. Thanks to all of you who stopped by to play with Sketchpad, Fathom, or TinkerPlots on the computers, whiteboard, or even Sketchpad Explorer on the iPad!
One thing I have learned today is how many users of Sketchpad 5 don’t know about the Learning Center that’s built in to Sketchpad. This means they are missing a whole bank of resources, including classroom videos, tutorials, and ready-t0-use sample activities (with lesson plans and worksheets) for elementary through Calculus. If this is you, be sure to open Sketchpad and go to the Help Menu to explore all the great resources that help you use Sketchpad.
I was excited about how many teachers are incorporating technology, even if it is just with a projector and screen. Getting kids hands-on with technology and playing with the math was definitely a theme, so that was refreshing to hear. And, what really struck me was how enthusiastic teachers were about trying to find activities to make math more dynamic, even though they themselves were a little hesitant about using technology. I think the realization that students need interactivity to help build understanding is evident in everyone I talked with today.
Finally, it was very refreshing to meet so many non-math administrators at a math conference who were there specifically to find resources to help their math teachers and students. There seems to be a big concern around the middle school Common Core standards focused on statistics, so it was rewarding to be able to show them the power of TinkerPlots, a perfect tool to address those standards that are a particular struggle at the middle school level.
All in all, very positive day – think I was on my feet for about 7 hours talking and demonstrating, but loving every minute of it. So, thanks everyone who stopped by and, for those of you in Atlantic City who didn’t stop by today, come on by the booth tomorrow and play!