Teaching and Learning Mathematics by Explaining Everything — May 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CSSE:TATE (Technology and Teacher Education)

Roundtable 15: Teaching and Learning Mathematics by Explaining Everything.

Leslee Francis Pelton & Tim Pelton
University of Victoria

As mathematics teacher educators, we are keen to engage students in processes that support them in making sense of concepts and procedures that they are learning.  We are trying to provide them with an understanding of the mathematics ideas; an understanding of how students’ understandings of these ideas develop; and some tools to support the instructional process.

One of those tools that we have found to be particularly promising is an app called Explain Everything (EE).  EE is a screencasting or interactive whiteboard app for tablets (e.g., iPads) that allows the user (teachers or students) to create or download projects that may contain one or more pages of interactive objects, resources or templates.  The ‘user’ may use these ‘materials’ to explore or demonstrate mathematical concepts and processes and may record their performance/activity/demonstration to share with others (directly, via email, via youtube, etc.). 

Resources we are using to support this process: 

While there are many uses for iPads (tablets) in the classroom (content access, exploration, data collection, communication, representation, creation, presentation, etc.), EE is particularly useful for supporting exploration, representation, communication and presentation.   Specifically we will discuss:

  • Teacher created interactive learning objects in EE (virtual manipulatives, discovery learning, puzzles, etc.).
  • Teacher created video demonstrations/presentations/exemplars in EE (procedural, conceptual, or engagement).
  • Student created artifacts using existing EE projects (screen capture, video capture) – for immediate feedback or semi-permanent inclusion in their portfolios.
  • Student created learning objects - as demonstrations of their understanding and that might be used by others to support learning.
  • Student created video demonstrations/presentations in EE as a performance assessment or project based learning

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