It is so hard to believe that there was a time where our only phones were ones in our homes that hung on the wall! For a long time, they only allowed you to only move a couple feet away to talk. The thought of being able to take a phone around with you seemed completely absurd and something that belonged in the futuristic movies of spaceships and gray buildings! However, soon after, the mobile phone was developed and it was huge (literally - it was so big)! I still remember my dad carrying around the big piece of plastic on a connector to his belt loop! Now our phones are not only super small, slim, and light, their capabilities and what they allow us to do is absolutely incredible. When I am driving somewhere new now, I can’t even imagine how I used to navigate without my smartphone and google maps. Ha ha, did anyone else used to print out the seven pages of directions and advertisements from Mapquest every time?Technology is continuing to grow and it is not going anywhere. No matter where you look now, someone’s head is down staring at a screen of a computer, tablet or smartphone. Our technology is continuing to get smaller and smaller and more and more powerful.
Even with how widespread technology is in our everyday life, there are plenty of areas that are still behind and living in the past. Technology in math education has greatly changed and increased over the past ten years. I finished college right in that window where many schools were starting to transition from paper/pencil traditional classes to students doing all assignments online. I remember the first time I was told that I would use an online course management system to teach, I was so baffled and confused. How do you teach math online? How do students learn to do math online? Now almost all courses have online components, there are thousands of math help websites, and I am even an online math tutor now myself! Students are so used to the colorful apps and interactive games that they constantly view on their smartphones, that as educators, we need to strive to math learning math as visual and interactive as possible.
The biggest areas that still lags behind in terms of technology is the graphing calculator. It is still as big as it was decades ago and still super expensive. There are tablets and computers that are as much as some graphing calculators now! With the increase in price in textbooks and cost of living, I have seen a huge decline in the number of students that can afford to purchase a graphing calculator. However, every college student will need a graphing calculator for at least one class to graduate!
That is where GraphLock comes in. It is an app that turns a user’s phone solely into a calculator. While in lockdown mode, it does not allow in any incoming calls or texts and a student cannot open any other apps. It is coming soon to the app store and students will be able to use it in testing environments - per school policy!
It is time that technology in math speed up and connect with that of the real world!
#matheducation #mathtechnology #graphlock #nevercarryacalculatoragain #mathbymal