Digital technology and online resources: A means to support mathematics learning during the Covid 19 pandemic.
(Scroll down for Hands-on workshop session for college mathematics teachers)
Hands-on workshop session for school mathematics teachers
6th September 2020
Coordinators: Jonaki Ghosh (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sneha Titus (email@example.com)
The Covid 19 pandemic has made us rethink about many aspects of education. Online education and remote teaching have now replaced live teacher-student classroom interaction, which was the primary mode of learning in pre-covid times. Teaching remotely is conducted in two ways – in the synchronous mode where teachers and students interact in real-time through conferencing tools or asynchronously, where learners are given access to resources and recorded lessons. While these modes create huge opportunities for learning they also require educators to reflect on more meaningful pedagogy, which can support learners in creative and imaginative ways.
Traditionally, mathematics teaching in schools has focused on building procedural proficiency and applying specific methods for solving textbook problems. The use of digital technology has been largely lacking, and if used, perhaps does not actively engage the student. Lack of infrastructure and appropriate devices for making mathematical software accessible to students has always been a major challenge. Since the onset of the pandemic, schools have been forced to explore remote teaching and teachers have had to conduct their lessons through conferencing platforms (such as Zoom, Google meet, Microsoft teams, etc.) All these platforms, equipped with screen sharing options, enable the teacher to share teaching materials and also use a writing tablet during the lesson. The latter is of critical importance especially for a mathematics teacher, as drawing diagrams, illustrating derivations and sketching graphs form a significant part of teaching. Apart from facilitating the regular requirements of teaching, the screen-sharing feature offers other affordances too. It enables the teacher to integrate digital tools such as spreadsheets and dynamic software into their lessons. The appropriate use of these tools can significantly impact the teaching-learning process by making classes more interactive, meaningful and by ensuring greater student participation.
The online mode also makes it imperative for us to explore a more blended model of teaching mathematics. One approach is to share reading materials, videos and problem worksheets with students prior to the class and use synchronous teaching time for discussion, explanations, and on developing a greater insight into the subject matter. True learning however does not happen only by solving worksheets comprising closed-ended questions or by watching decontextualized videos. Meaningful explorations in the form of Project-based learning and open-ended tasks must find their way into the online mathematics classroom. Virtual learning platforms, specific to mathematics, which enables the teacher to assign interactive tasks and monitor student progress will play a significant role in online mathematics education in times to come.
This session of the conference will focus on the opportunities and challenges of integrating digital tools in online mathematics classes. The discourse will revolve around a pedagogy more suited for remote teaching, on the nature of tasks and resources for developing’ students thinking and virtual platforms which can facilitate better interactivity between teachers and students. The session will be conducted using a hands-on approach
Biosketch of resource person
Ms. Sangeeta Gulati is Head of the Mathematics Department of Sanskriti School, New Delhi. She is a recipient of the National Award for using ICT for Innovation in Teaching, (2016), a Google Education Certified Innovator and Trainer (2019) and Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching (2011). She has been actively involved with the Central Institute of Technology, NCERT in the development of mathematics e-content and videos for classes XI and XII for the last 25 years. She is known for training teachers to integrate GeoGebra, Desmos, GSuite for Education and online resources in teaching and learning of mathematics.
Hands-on workshop session for college mathematics teachers
6th September 2020
Session I (2.00-2.45 pm): Online resources for teaching Mathematics
This will consist of a 30-minute introduction to online resources for teaching Mathematics online. This will include a presentation on hardware/ digital devices that can be used, software platforms that they can be used with, online platforms for conducting mathematics classes and also software for creating online assessments. Our resource person is Dr. B Surendranath Reddy (Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded, Maharashtra). There will also be a 15-minute discussion after the presentation.
Session II (2.45-3.30): Using Sage for teaching Mathematics
Dr. Ajit Kumar will conduct a 30-minute introduction to Sage, starting from its installation to how it can be used to complement and supplement various topics in Mathematics that we encounter at the undergraduate level. This will be followed by a 15-minute discussion.