Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Learning Math in Artful Ways


How about that teachers become DJ in the classrooms? Classrooms become digital learning studios? With a laptop or a tablet for each student, everyday every students receives a playlist designed for their learning needs, including texts, videos, interactives and digital games.  School of One (So1) first promoted the idea of the playlist in education more than three years ago. When students arrive to So1 each day, they are greeted with a personalized “playlist” that is developed by a learning algorithm.

Well, then a great teacher will be an excellent curator of abundant contents from internet. In real world, the learning isn’t limited according to disciplinary categories. For example, Mathematics, Science and Arts could co-exist so beautifully and FUN. Like this movie “Nature by Numbers” was inspired on numbers, geometry and nature, by Cristóbal Vila.

Another example is the amazing demonstrations from Vi Hart – Mathemusician, she is now a full-time mathemusician at Khan Academy. (her YouTube channel)

math, math pickleMath Pickle is another fabulous site for mathematics inspiration which features mathematics videos for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The videos feature real students engaging in inspiring math problems and puzzles. “Hard Fun! That’s How We Learn Best.” is the main idea behind the site. Math Pickle is the brain child of Dr. Gordon Hamilton who reminds us that problem solving is at the very heart of mathematics. It approaches mathematics from the standpoint of a problem solver instead of from the standpoint of a rules follower. Your will be amazed by the most beautiful math workbooks you’ve ever seen, and witness why Dr. Gordon claimed: “Beauty and mathematics are inseparable.” Your students can do math puzzles and games online too. To get a first taste, watch this video about practicing with division by diving into a wormhole. (his works in this site are all open licensed)

Even the most reluctant math learners, you might begin with these videos about making friends with numbers fromNumberphile. There are stories about many numbers.

numberphile, number

There are much more creative materials online. Use them to pump some inspiration in the way you approach math and students use their innate perceptual skills. Don’t Teach Them Facts – Let Student Discover Patterns and encourage them to solve math problems independently. April is Mathematics Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is Mathematics and Art. There are, in fact, many arts (musicdance, paintingarchitecturesculpture, etc.) and there is a surprisingly rich association between mathematics and each of the arts. This feature column from American Mathematical Society has more useful references. And this math teaching resources page has a great collection.

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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