More Digital Tools

The Federal Department of Education has just come out with a commissioned report: Research into Best Practice Models for the use of digital technologies in mathematics teaching and learning. There are four summary videos (no separate links) and one-pager summaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), and the report itself. We’ve watched the videos and read the summaries and skimmed the Report, and we can’t be bothered. We can’t even bother WitCHing it. Readers may be interested, however, and may wish to comment.

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Eddie Woo’s Mental Connections

Eddie Woo has been annoying for a long time. Eddie knows much less than he realises and his smiling inanities, which are invariably swallowed whole, are a continual distraction from real issues and real solutions. But he’s gotten worse. Eddie Professor of Practice Woo has graduated from being a distraction and an annoyance to being an active menace. Continue reading “Eddie Woo’s Mental Connections”

WitCH 102: A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Map

Some years back, I enrolled in the teaching Masters at the University of Melbourne. I lasted three days.

I can’t remember much specific of the nonsense I was presented, but I do remember clearly a tutorial-workshop in which we students were asked to construct a mind map of something or other. My fellow students went happily to work but I had never heard of such a thing. So I asked, and the kindly tutors explained what a mind map was. My reaction, possibly vocalised, was “What’s the point?” Continue reading “WitCH 102: A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Map”

Witch 101: Engagement Party

This one of those lazy WitCHes, where we really should do the work and critique the thing but we just can’t muster the energy to do it. The WitCH is a video, a recent NSW Education conversation-lecture for K-6 teachers: Student Engagement in Mathematics. The star of the show is Catherine Attard, Professor of Mathematics Education at Western Sydney University.* Continue reading “Witch 101: Engagement Party”

David de Carvalho Chats About GPT

Since we wrote about AI and ChatGPT a few months ago there have been another billion columns on the stuff, including an Australian opinion piece a couple weeks ago by ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho (freely available here).┬áDe Carvalho’s is by no means the worst, and in ways it is good. Still, De Carvalho’s op-ed is pretty foolish, and De Carvalho is our fool. We feel obligated to note some things in response.

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What Are the Proper Uses of “Technology” in the School Mathematics Classroom?

Yes, the “if any” is implicit. Unlike our recent Who Should People Read post, this one is not intended to produce a list of “useful resources”. Rather, akin to this post, it is a challenge to come up with anything. But first, a story. Continue reading “What Are the Proper Uses of “Technology” in the School Mathematics Classroom?”

Into the Voigt of ChatGPT

So far, there have been about a million columns written on ChatGPT, the AI chatbot that was launched a couple months ago. About half a million of these columns have been devoted to predictions on ChatGPT’s implications for education, both in schools and universities. Many of the columns have been fearful, but a few are bright-eyed, talking up the Brave New Possibilities that ChatGPT will offer, and will demand. Continue reading “Into the Voigt of ChatGPT”

The Stupidest Idea Ever Productivitied

We probably should have known that the Productivity Commission was no more than a safe place for pompous, pseudo-rational windbags. But, we didn’t. And so earlier this year, by request, we made a submission to the PC’s review of the National School Reform Agreement. The PC’s Interim Report appeared in due course, and it provided sufficient reason to never again bother with these clowns. Until now.

Last week, the Productivity Commission released its Interim Report on, um, Productivity. Which makes one wonder what all their other reports are about. No matter. We have a report. It is special.

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The CAS Betrayal

This post will take the form of Betrayal, with a sequence of five stories going backwards in time.

STORY 5

Last year, I was asked by an acquaintance, let’s call him Rob, to take a look at the draft of a mathematics article he was writing. Rob’s article was in rough form but it was interesting, a nice application of trigonometry and calculus, suitable and good reading for a strong senior school student. One line, however, grabbed my attention. Having wound up with a vicious trig integral, Rob confidently proclaimed,

“This is definitely a case for CAS”.

It wasn’t. Continue reading “The CAS Betrayal”