Monday, August 10, 2015

Digital Discourse in Mathematics using the iPad

One of the aims of the new Australian Curriculum is to ensure that students :
“are confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics, able to investigate, represent and interpret situations in their personal lives".

Digital tools like the iPad can provide a medium for powerful discourse in mathematics to:

  • make student's thinking visible
  • develop their reasoning abilities
  • express maths ideas verbally
Teachers need to push hard to get the students to think about their maths: they need to provide rich tasks, ask good questions, encourage students to think how they can their answer in other ways, invite them to capture their answers with digital tools that allow them to discuss, share and receive feedback on their answers in a variety of modes.
The multimedia features of the iPad and Apps like Explain Everything and Book Creator can help develop these substantive conversations:
  • to communicate thinking - 
photos, videos, digital drawings, voice recording, screen casting 
  • use ‘discourse moves’ such as  re-stating, questioning, sequencing ideas, explaining, elaborating, justifying thinking & critiquing mathematical ideas
capture understanding for assessment & feedback (self reflection ; teacher and peer feedback) 
Teachers at our recent numeracy professional learning workshop reflected on this by creating some digital headlines synthesising points from an article "What Are Some Strategies For Facilitating Productive Classroom Discussions? (M, Cirillo., National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 23/3/2013).

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