The Standards Are Not The Curriculum

We were so impressed by Jamila Riser's talk at NCSM a couple of years ago that we asked her to present an Ignite! for us this year. Now, we've asked her to guest blog so we can share even more about the amazing work she's doing in Delaware. Jamila is the Director of the Delaware … Continue Reading ››

Exploring the Law of Large Numbers with TinkerPlots

As part of our guest blog series, we bring you a post from Kathryn Shafer. A former middle school and high school math teacher, Kathy is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Ball State University, Indiana. She's done a variety of work for Key, including presenting webinars, moderating online courses, and … Continue Reading ››

Functions Come Alive in a Precalculus Classroom

Ken Gordon has written our first in a series of guest blog posts from people working with Key Curriculum products in schools. Ken teaches Precalculus and Calculus in an accelerated program at Sisler High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He has been using The Geometer’s Sketchpad since first seeing it at an NCTM conference in 2004. … Continue Reading ››

What’s the Appropriate Role for the Teacher when using Computer Games?

I had the privilege this year of participating in the CADRE Fellows Program of NSF's Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education, and met a number of colleagues in the program whose projects, like our Data Games project, are exploring the classroom benefits of computer-game- or simulation-based-learning. (In this post, I’ll refer to technology-oriented … Continue Reading ››

Data Visualization in the Age of HTML5

My partner and I spend a fair amount of time talking about data visualization. He's a computer programmer who works on websites that gather and display large amounts of data related to energy production and consumption. This data can be used to answer questions like: "How effective is the California Solar Initiative?" and "Where in … Continue Reading ››

Sketchpad Activities, Cognitive Demand, and Differentiation

Not long ago, I conducted a Saturday morning PD session for some Texas teachers participating in an NSF research project. (The research is a controlled study of the relationship between students’ use of Sketchpad and their conjecturing and proving behavior. I hope we’ll have a blog post about this study itself before too long.) Because of the … Continue Reading ››

Preparing Tomorrow’s Data Scientists Through Data Games

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, "Big Data’s Problem: Little Talent," the technology industry faces a major dearth of employees with strong data analysis skills. The article quotes a 2011 study by McKinsey:
A significant constraint on realizing value from Big Data will be a shortage of talent, particularly of people with deep expertise … Continue Reading ››

Exploring Conic Sections with Sketchpad

As a student, I didn’t place conic sections on my list of favorite high school topics. The standard textbook treatment of the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola seemed uninspired. There were messy algebraic equations with multiple square roots. There was lots of terminology. Drawing a conic meant plotting several points on graph paper and connecting them with … Continue Reading ››

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