DEMOS 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.
  • Demonstration:  a description or explanation of an idea, concept, or process, illustrated with some form of instructional technology.
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.

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.


David R. Hill
Mathematics Department
Temple University 
Philadelphia, PA  19122
Voice: 215-204-1654  

Fax:  215-204-6433
dhill001@temple.edu

Lila F. Roberts
Dean, College of Information & Mathematical Sciences
Clayton State University
Morrow, GA  30260
Voice:  678-466-4404 

Fax:  678-466-4459
Email:  lilaroberts@gmail.com



Acknowledgements

We also gratefully acknowledge support for Demos with Positive Impact by the following:




Updated 6/22/2010 DRH