Community Driven

   

Learning is global and international. Internationally, individual communities developed their own approach and have many success stories, and no doubt, headaches and challenges. We must bring these communities together to share their experiences since learning happens everywhere globally. We will soon make available a blog-like information sharing portal for teachers and learners. In here, we briefly describe some of the ongoing efforts to create a community environment for others to use and contribute. By no means, the following is a complete list. It is a starting list. If you have a site you believe it should be included, please let us know (go to contribute).

No doubt there are ongoing efforts of many to bring technology into Mathematics Education. We will try here to begin a survey of these efforts and tools that further the experiences of learners and teachers. We will use some existing developments/projects to begin our discussion (an AOLA blog will be great - a open source Blogging software is in testing stage; anyone likes to start a blog on related subjects will be welcome to contact me at schu@any2any.net. A technology blog on mathematics education will be great.).


Community-like portals:

The concept of 'online community' is new with respect to its cyber existence. The social community phenomenon is being realized via the Web with a global perspective - pockets of localized micro-community fused into one (Lechner and Hummel 2002). Here we just run through some community portals:

  • http://www.mathforum.org/- "a research and educational enterprise of Drexel University." The reference of joining the community in the site brings the focus here for discussion. The T2T® for Teacher2Teacher further brings the relationship closer to what we like to do (T2T as Any2Any in a teacher community, limited at this point to the online Web environment). The key feature of the site is of course the 'MathTools' site. In the site, there are three 'resources' we will discuss here:

    Lesson Plans - associated with tools, providing teachers guidance how the plans can be used
    Activities - associated with tools, providing students guidance how the plans/activities can be used to facilitate their learning experience
    Tools - interactive learning tools based on different technologies (Java, Javascripts, Flash, etc.)
  • http://matti.usu.edu - another NSF funded project called "National Library of Virtual Manipulatives for Interactive Mathematics" at Utah State University. It covers Pre-K to 12 activities covering "number and operations", "algebra", "geometry", "measurement", and "data anaysis & probability". Visiting a few of the lessons on the 9-12 algebra, a consistent user interface (GUI) with lesson plans on the right (for some), and a 'standard' button that refers to 'principles and standards' as defined by the "National Council of Teachers of Mathematics" (NCTM). That is good as there are some gauges to measure the performance and what the kids should be learning (from a perspective). This should be considered in the design of AOLA.

http://www.alnresearch.org/

Community BLOGs

Blogs, or web logs, or loosely coupled participants that like to 'talk' about a subject or an event. There are many blog software and thus many blogs. For a blog in the mathematics community of e-learning nature, it must have the following features:

  • blogging on equations
  • blogging on what ifs on equations
  • blogging on what ifs by doing this
There are some blogs of interests:
  • MovableType
  • and there are these 'math blogs'
    • Educational Blogs
    • BlogShares: they have 'chips' - social currency; similar to what we are dealing with as 'credits' - info$, cyber currency where information provided will add on the $ sign, while information obtained will subtract or borrow on the $ sign. Yes, they are cyber money with a possible street value that is now tradable online, and maybe on real concrete as you stand.