On Nov 1st and 2nd 2012, I had this wonderful chance to attend this forum where people from different background, yet applied mathematics in their fields were present. These were people with medium and high level mathematics skills. The presentations and discussions centered on revolutionizing the way maths is being given to students.
It was fascinating to see the different apps that were there to aide maths education. The session after lunch on the first day had three presenters who showed some games and how they can be used to train children with logic and maths skills. Certainly there are currently many initiatives that are taking place to incorporate the use of computers to for maths and education in general.
The participants were in agreement that computers are important for teaching maths. The technicalities involved were however not trivial. For instance, one presenter showed an innovative grading system for UK but was also quick to mention that with the current procedures, this grading would be used in 2020. I think the best thing to take out of this is that as people develop on ideas of CBM, it is important to note that it is not an immediate thing but a process.
Maths camp and CBM
The Maseno maths camp presentation was slotted in the section on “Experience: Using computers in classroom”. As the title would suggest, the presentation was about the different activities that we indulged students in during the event, and showing how this would relate to CBM.
The audience received the ideas well. The few I talked to said that it was a good initiative to excite students about maths.
What I felt I learned
There was a presentation on programming where the presenter later on mentioned that there was need to introduce programming to girls in early age. This is since they get involved in more things as they get older and hence do not create enough time to learn the programming. Though this is not the same, I felt that cementing positive attitude towards maths for girls should also be done early on.
People are genuinely interested in seeing that the students learn maths. However, many would not like maths as a subject to be completely drained down as computers take over. Many people defended the abstract component of maths for different reasons, while there were some who felt it was not needed.
So what for maths camp?
The interest has been generated; one teacher was interested in coming for the next maths camp. There are some useful resources that we can investigate more and see how to incorporate them in our activities (mathigon.org).