In his Ted Talk Conrad Wolfram proposes that math curriculum should be recreated from the ground up to be computer centered. He explains that too much of students' time is spent learning how to do calculations, which computers can now do more accurately and quickly than any human. Technology and society have changed, yet math education has not. I agreed with Wolfram when he said that since we do not let students use computers to do computations we must "dumb down"the math problems that we give them so students will be able to quickly calculate them by hand. However in the real world problems are messy and their calculations are sometimes even messier. I think teachers need to start preparing students for the kind of complex problems that they will be expected solve in their future jobs; which includes showing them how to use computers to do tedious computations. I also agree with Wolfram that math curriculum needs to involve computer programming. Some people say that doing computations helps students understand procedures. This is true, but an even deeper understanding of procedures and algorithms comes from writing computer programs. I learned this first hand when I took an Number Theory course where I was required to program mathematical algorithms. In order to program a computer to carry out a procedure, such as solving a linear equation, you must have a deep understanding of the steps that need to be implemented, in what order they must be implemented in, what the end result should look like, the different cases that could arise, etc.. Solving linear equations by hand is a computational skill, writing a program that can solve any linear equation is an expression of deep mathematical knowledge and problem solving skills. Like Wolfram, I believe that computers should not be an extra tool that teachers sometimes incorporate into a lesson to engage and teach students about math. I believe that computers should be in every lesson so that students can focus on experiencing math and learning how to use math to solve complex problems, similar to those that they will be expected to solve in their future careers.

AuthorMy name is Brooke and I am a teacher candidate in the CSUSM credential program. I am currently longterm subbing Integrated Math 1 and Math 180 classes at Vista High. Archives
May 2015
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