Workshop Facilitator: Jonaki Ghosh, Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi.
The workshop will illustrate the possible linkages between the educational goals of the ‘Big ideas in mathematics’ and ‘computational thinking’ through the use of spreadsheets. Electronic spreadsheets, if used appropriately, can serve as a nexus between these two domains in mathematics education. Mathematics teachers need to be able to convey the ‘Big ideas’ to their students by engaging them in meaningful problem-solving and explorations. Spreadsheets, equipped with advanced numerical and graphing capabilities, can be great enablers in this regard and can be used as primary vehicles for exploration in many mathematical tasks. Technological and pedagogical affordances offered by spreadsheets in exploring mathematical concepts, which in turn foster computational thinking, will be the focus of the workshop. The easy accessibility and powerful features of spreadsheets make them conducive to designing inquiry-based tasks. The workshop will emphasise the synergistic relationship between mathematical and computational thinking, whereby participants will be given the opportunity to visualize and analyze problems using MS Excel. The problems will be drawn from a range of topics, which illustrate the ‘Big ideas’, such as exploring numerical patterns, graphing and analyzing data, simulating experiments in probability and working with matrices.