Digital Learning News

May 7, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

Mathematica, computer-based math and the new era of STEM with Conrad Wolfram

Conrad Wolfram Session: Free 27 May 2:30-3:30 at Bastow

Mathematica is a powerful global computation system that can handle all the various aspects of technical computing–and beyond–in a coherent and unified way.  It is industry standard software used in the sciences, engineering, commerce, computer science and software development.

Conrad Wolfram, physicist, mathematician, businessman and technologist is Director of Strategic Development and European Co-Founder/CEO of the Wolfram group of companies. Conrad is also the world’s leading advocate for a fundamental shift of maths education to become computer-based, arguing that this is the key way to address issues in global maths education and move forward.

His widely acknowledged 2010 TED talk  laid out the rationale and roadmap for this rethink and the same year he founded computerbasedmath.org (CBM) to drive implementation of the change.  The movement is now a worldwide force in re-developing STEM curriculum and in February 2013 it was announced that Estonia would be the first partner country.

 

Wolfram Research and Mathematica Software

The Wolfram Group specializes in pushing boundaries at the intersection of computation, maths and knowledge, including making Mathematica software, the Wolfram Alpha knowledge engine (powering knowledge answers for Apple’s Siri), the Computable Document Format (CDF) standard, the newly announced Wolfram Language and forthcoming Wolfram Cloud.

Since 2011, Mathematica has been available to all Victorian DEECD secondary students and teachers via the eduSTAR image.

The importance of math to jobs, society and thinking has increased exponentially over the last few decades. Meanwhile, maths education globally has slipped backwards. Why has this chasm opened up? Computers are the key to addressing this challenge effectively – when computers do the calculating, people can work on harder questions, try more concepts, and play with a multitude of new ideas.

Conrad Wolfram will discuss his major project to build a completely new curriculum in mathematics with computer-based computation at its heart – covering the rationale for the change, how it’s being manifested and how Victoria is well placed to be at the forefront.

Who should attend Conrad Wolfram’s Session? 

Anyone with an interest in mathematics education, in particular, school leaders, teachers and teacher educators, system representatives, policy makers and education researchers should attend. This is a unique opportunity to hear from one of the leading global thinkers in mathematics education and technology here in Melbourne.

Session Details and Registration:

  • May 27, 2.30pm – 3.30pm
  • BASTOW 603-615 Queensberry Street North Melbourne
  • Register here  PLEASE NOTE: This is a free event. When you register and get to the payment section just choose credit card or invoice payment and it will progress through to a zero invoice and not require any payment.
  • A number of regional venues will also be linking to the presentation via Polycom video-conferencing.
  • Contact Peter Maggs maggs.peter.j@edumail.vic.gov.au for further information or polycom details.

OTHER MATH TED TALKS

Check out this collection of videos – 8 Math talks to blow your mind. Mathematics gets down to work in these talks, breathing life and logic into everyday problems. Prepare for math puzzlers both solved and unsolvable, and even some still waiting for solutions.

Support for schools using Mathematica

A range of resources are available to teachers on FUSE and the Digital Learning Showcase.  The Wolfram Mathematica website also has a great range of free online tutorials and support materials for teachers.   In 2013 schools from all over Victoria received Mathematica professional learning via Polycom Video conferencing.

Using Mathematica in the Classroom:

Print version: Conrad Wolfram Session

Print Friendly

December 4, 2013
by rcrellin
2 Comments

Virtual, blended and flipped classrooms

The 2013 Trends in Online Learning – Virtual, Blended and Flipped Classrooms (USA) report outlines the effectiveness and impact of technology in a variety of learning modes and provides an insight into future applications of technology enabling student learning and engagement.  Key findings include:

  • Administrators are widening their scope regarding the value of online classes to include learning opportunities for administrators, teachers and other support staff in addition to students.
  • Virtual, blended and flipped learning teachers are using more digital content with their students than other teachers.
  • Online learning teachers see significant value in the role of digital tools and resources to improve student success as well as their own personal productivity.
  • Parents who have taken an online class for their own work or job training have high expectations for their child’s school to provide similar learning opportunities.
  • Students are increasingly seeing online learning as a gateway to a new education paradigm where they are in control of the learning process.

What’s happening in Victoria?

Flipped Learning

  • The 2013 Trends in Online Learning describes flipped learning as students watch videos of lectures or read content as homework, and class time is spent on project-based learning and personalised remediation.
    ‘The sign of a great student centred activity is that all students are actively discussing the concept in their own words – Verso definitely hit the mark here.   As a teacher being able to see each student’s original post and comments also offers a visibility of their learning – you can almost watch it happen!’  Steve Seddon
  • Steve Seddon from Noble Park Secondary College has been using online video to engage students as well as make more effective use of classroom and homework time. He has recently trialled Verso – a web based app that creates opportunity for student collaboration and discussion around a stimulus question, video, images, files or websites.  Read Steve’s blog post for more information.
  • Find resources for flipped learning in this FUSE package.

Virtual Learning

  • Virtual learning allows students to connect, interact, share and learn with others outside of their classroom and school using virtual conferencing tools such as Polycom, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Lync and Skype. Virtual learning can be  synchronous  where all students log in at the one time in a virtual classroom, or it may be asynchronous and involve students accessing recordings of a session to access in their own time.
  • Find out more – Virtual conferencing, Connecting to learn – for students and teachers and the Vic Virtual Learning Project.

Blended Learning

 

 

Print Friendly
Skip to toolbar