Monday, November 15, 2010

Teaching Kids Real Math With Computers

In part because my high school mathematics experience was not good, I'm always intrigued by new ideas for improving mathematics instruction. Therefore, when I saw today that the TED Blog featured a talk titled Teaching Kids Real Math With Computers I stopped what I was doing to watch it.

In Teaching Kids Real Math With Computers Conrad Wolfram claims that the hand calculations most math curricula requires is irrelevant to most real world mathematics applications. Wolfram argues that students should instead be taught to apply mathematics to computer programming. Wolfram points out that problems aren't dumbed-down by computers and, in fact, can be made more challenging by computer programming. Wolfram also claims that the real problem with current mathematics instruction is that "we have dumbed-down" problems. I can't say that I agree with everything Wolfram says, but he will make you think about about instruction. Watch the video below.

If you're interested in another approach to mathematics instruction watch Math Class Needs a Makeover embedded below.