Find Your Confidence: Teaching Mathematics with Technology

June 21, 2011— Dr. Vivienne Faurot, assistant professor at Utah Valley University, knew she wanted to teach her mathematics education class with technology but was anxious at the thought. Knowing her trepidation a colleague introduced her to North Carolina State University’s Dr. Hollylynne Lee at the 2010 Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators conference.

Dr. Hollylynne Lee, associate professor of mathematics education, gave Faurot a brochure for a summer institute, “Preparing to Teach Mathematics with Technology” (PTMT), a project Lee co-leads with Dr. Karen Hollebrands, who is also an associate professor of mathematics education.

“I was part of PTMT’s Cohort II and learned about the Data Analysis and Probability module. I came away from that institute with the confidence that I can teach a technology course,” said Faurot.

PTMT hosted their third summer institute at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation last week for mathematics education faculty representing different universities from across the nation. This summer’s group consisted of members of the second cohort, along with 13 new participants making up cohort three.

New to PTMT this summer was Dr. Asli Ozgun-Koca, assistant professor at Wayne State University. “The lessons were better than I anticipated. They presented very carefully designed activities with a sound theoretical framework in mind,” commented Ozgun-Koca.

Hollebrands stated, “When designing our curricula materials, we consider carefully how each task supports the development of teachers’ mathematical content knowledge, pedagogical practices, and technological skills.”

The institute participants learned about the teacher education materials the PTMT project team developed and were instructed on how to implement the curricula at their home institutions integrating content, pedagogy and technology. Discussions focused on Data Analysis and Probability usingTinkerPlots and Fathom, and Geometry using The Geometer’s Sketchpad 5.0. Participants had the opportunity to become involved in a national collaborative network.

“Developing a community of technology-using mathematics teacher educators is an important goal of the project. Teacher educators should be provided with opportunities to learn from and support each other when they are face-to-face as well as when they are miles away from each other,” Lee explained.

“I enjoy this institute because its focus is narrow – there was a specific curriculum to be implemented rather than many different people with many different ideas. So, I was able to put into practice more easily what I learned from PTMT,” said Faurot. “Also, last summer they gave me a lot of confidence besides the knowledge to teach a technology course. That alone will make me ever grateful to the PTMT group.”

PTMT is in its second phase of a course, curriculum, and lab improvement project funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal of the original project was to develop and assess a curriculum module for preparing teachers to teach statistics and probability concepts using technology. The second phase has two goals: (1) to create and assess new curriculum for preparing mathematics teachers to teach geometry using technology, and (2) to assist mathematics teacher educators in implementing the modules at their universities. Click here for more information on PTMT.

ptmt_groupPreparing to Teach Mathematics with Technology 2011 Summer Institute

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