Journal Entry Two
The progress of the students who will be patient with the machinery is noticeable.
The documents they are producing for the test on chapter ten are extremely
professional and quite creative. I'll include samples of student work at
the end of this entry.
For the past two days I've experienced many frustrations due to the limited
access priviledges for the " On Guard" protective software installed
on the machines in my classroom. Students were not being able to print and
I could not get to the Chooser to select the printer...so the technology
specialist (who will remain unnamed) came and corrected the printing problems...HOWEVER,
in the process of correcting the printing difficulities, she locked all
the files the students had been working on for three days...When first period
arrived to work on their essays, no one could save any new work on the existing
document. The hardly helpful technology specialist was in Macon on this
day. We resorted to what we could do without her. A student who is familiar
with the operation of the Macintosh machines started with a CD that came
with the machine and overrode the "On Guard". Hmmm...On the way
to UGA that day I thought about the advisibility of doing that to all the
machines...Whether it was advisible or not, the next morning he and I did
set all the machines up so we could save, print and open several applications
at once. We needed these capabilities to complete the chapter summary assignment
efficiently. If, during this quarter, I get "in trouble" for doing
this...I'll be sure to record what happened in these journals.
The test assignment allowed students to choose between using the computers
or writing and graphing by hand. The conic section each one wrote about
was selected randomly...a lottery...draw for your test topic...Lots of anxiety
and anticipation...and remarks like, "Can I trade? or Can I draw again?"
I've been impressed with the diligence of the students. Many came in early
to get "their" computer and some stayed after class to put the
finishing touches on their work. Lots of students commented on the discipline
necessary to put mathematical concepts into words and make it sound coherent.
My question, again, "How can I tell if students are learning mathematics?"
One answer I propose is by observing their behaviors. The room fills with
brain activity and the buzz of computers...totally on-task behavior from
every student both periods...I believe this type activity is a valid learning
experience and it warms my heart to witness it happening.
How about the mathematical content? Take a look at the finished products
and be your own judge.
Student work by senior Andrew Eager Circles
and their Movements
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