Focus: Use of Technology to support A-level Mathematics
Led by: Tom Rainbow, Ivybridge Community College & Ben Sparks, FMSP
Although, on face value, this was intended to be a work group that aimed to develop participants’ GeoGebra knowledge and skill, it was also intended to develop teaching and learning of A level teachers by getting them to carefully consider the relationship between technology and mathematical understanding. A focus on pedagogical considerations when using technology in lessons was encouraged. It was also emphasised that participants were expected to share their experiences within their departments with a view to incorporating the use of technology into departmental policy/practice.
Three face-to-face work group sessions. A GeoGebra group was set up for participants to share resources and find support. A forum was set up and used on the GeoGebra page. This was widely used by participants and there is a wealth of GeoGebra files in the group page.
A GeoGebra group was set up online.
Regarding personal Geogebra skills:
Vastly increased my knowledge of what is possible with Geogebra
This is the best classroom based course I have done for a long time, possibly ever. It has a had a clear and positive impact on my everyday teaching, and has also assisted in helping to boost students’ engagement and understanding of concepts.
Regarding changes in teaching practice
It has allowed me to articulate ideas more clearly to my students by asking them questions related to the material
I am now much more confident using Geogebra and do so regularly both with planned resources and off the cuff. It has led to deeper understanding of many topics for myself and students, and in particular has lead to amazing questioning opportunities and better engagement from my classes.
Increased use of questioning along the lines of ‘what is happening
I have started to think, ‘How could Geogebra help me demonstrate this more clearly?
Regarding changes in effect on pupils
The students that have seen the Geogebra files… have shown signs of greater understanding. There have been lots of “Ooh!” and “I get it!”. In the department we are aiming to get students actively using Geogebra themselves – these students have enjoyed it and are enjoying exploring concepts further.