with POSITIVE IMPACT is a project to connect mathematics professors
with effective teaching tools. As instructors we use a variety of
techniques to try to get important ideas across to students. This
project focuses on demonstrations that use some form of instructional technology.
For the purpose of this project, we use the following broad descriptions.
Instructional technology: any
tool used to facilitate a learning process; for example, physical equipment
or examples, graphical displays, simulations, computations, interactive
modules, calculators, computers and computer software, the web, etc.
What we have in mind is a vignette, incorporated
within a lecture that engages the learner on a level in addition to the
dialogue of the instructor. In contrast to student activities
such as projects or lab activities, these vignettes are intended to be
presented by the instructor.
Demonstration: a description
or explanation of an idea, concept, or process, illustrated with some form
of instructional technology.
The time we spend in our classes is extremely
short compared to the mass of mathematical information our students need
to learn. This makes the time we use for any demonstrations all the more
precious, especially if we take the extra step to incorporate some form
of technology into the lesson. The availability of technology alone does
not guarantee increased student understanding. Thus, choosing topics for
which we can develop effective demonstrations and determining how to efficiently
incorporate them into our presentations is particularly important.
With this in mind we have undertaken a project to
identify Demos with Positive Impact. While we cannot address all
aspects of constructing, delivering, and assessing the impact of demonstrations,
we hope that with your help we can construct a resource that provides guidance
on successful demos that provide insight, visual models of concepts, or
other positive learning experiences for students.
We invite you to submit your own demos and to give
us feedback on demos that you have tried.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Dean, College of Information & Mathematical
Clayton State University
Morrow, GA 30260
We also gratefully acknowledge
support for Demos with Positive Impact by the following: