Teach Middle East Magazine Apr - Jun 2020 Issue 3 Volume 7 - Page 13
Has edtech been overlooked
in maths departments?
John McGowan, Product Manager, Texthelp
It’s ironic, isn’t it? While education technology
is rapidly transforming teaching and learning,
it sometimes seems that maths has been
left behind in the rush. Multiple advantages
One of technology’s biggest beneﬁts is its
ability to provide pupils with an array of options
for expressing and articulating their learning.
Despite initial negative reactions from
educators, pocket calculators were essential
for every child by the 1980s. Skip forwards to
the modern classroom: it’s not hard to see
how technology has provided new ways for
pupils to collaborate, apply critical thinking,
problem-solve and be creative. More than in any other subject, insight
into mathematical concepts comes to pupils
in penny-dropping moments. A fun interactive
game or a simple diagram can make frustrating
barriers to understanding vanish in a moment.
But mathematics has stubbornly resisted
many attempts to digitise classroom
pedagogy. So what’s going on?
A diﬀerent language
I’ve spent much of my time both teaching
and helping other educators eﬀectively
integrate technology into their lessons.
But we always got stuck on how to bring
technology into mathematics lessons.
And that’s because when it comes to maths
as a subject, we’re dealing with
a whole diﬀerent language.
Originally designed primarily for text entry,
a keyboard and mouse isn’t the most
intuitive way to input fractions or long division.
As a result, the whiteboard – plus good old
pen and paper – have remained default
choices for teachers and pupils to scribble
formulae, graphs and other maths expressions.
Indeed, there’s strong evidence to support
the notion that all pupils can beneﬁt from
the visualisation of mathematical concepts
and the ability to interact with them in real time.
Moreover, digitising maths brings other
beneﬁts for schools. Tech oﬀers a huge leap
forward for accessibility, allowing diverse learners
to engage with content in ways that are easier –
whether it’s a simple screen reader function
or more ﬂexible, comfortable ways to input
and manipulate expressions.
It’s the real-world application of new
technology to collaborate, share, and
learn in the way that works best for pupils
that holds so much promise. Whether
they’re an English language learner or
have another exceptionality that hinders
their ability to learn in a traditional lecture-style
model - there’s a new opportunity.
Let's create a new way of learning maths;
let’s help students learn with context,
and in ways they’ve never had access to before.
To ﬁnd out how EquatIO can help digitize your maths classroom, visit text.help/TeachME_September.