Sunday, September 15, 2013

Should We Let Computers Do the Work in Math?


Recently, I posted about how my school is using Facebook and Pinterest as part of our professional development.  (See the whole post HERE.) I’ve decided to pass on some of the best videos and articles I come across to you each Sunday evening.  Here is this week’s professional development post:

Is it okay to let computers do the work in math - professional development sunday at Raki's Rad resources

Today’s video is a TED talk on the restructuring of our math curriculum.  The speaker, Conrad Wolfram, talks about breaking Math into parts, with computation only being 1/4 of what is needed to solve a real world math problem.  He then goes on to suggest letting students use computers for the computation part, so that they can spend their time and energy focusing on the thinking parts of math.  In turn, he feels that instead of exams, we should put real world activities, like programming in front of our students, and should only use calculation for mental math and estimation.  I think he has some valid points, but worry that a program like this would mean that students might miss out on some of the essential basics of math.  I think it could be done, but would have to be done carefully, and would meet a lot of resistance.  I’d love for you to watch the video and leave a comment weighing in on this topic.


If you’re interested in more professional development videos – follow my Professional Development Pinterest board.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources