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5 Math Technology Tools to Engage Students

Editor's Note: Engaging students in math can be a challenge. Today, Fang Wang, a Chinese language specialist, shares five technology tools that can help. 

by guest blogger Fang Wang 

Why should teachers integrate technology into their math instruction? What resources are readily available? How can technology be effectively implemented into the learning environment? These questions have been challenging math teachers for quite some time.

Preparing 21st Century Students for a Global Society, An Educator's Guide to the "Four Cs" by the National Education Association states that 21st century learners should possess strong content mastery, as well as the "Four Cs:"

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity and innovation

In addition to traditional instructional practices, these goals can be reached through the integration of technology. As teachers, we need to constantly adjust instructional strategies to engage students in the learning process and to meet the needs of all students because our ultimate goal is the success of our students. With this mindset, let's take a look at five different ways to enhance students' mathematical proficiency through technology. 

1. Sum Dog

Sum Dog is a scientifically proven and evidence-based digital learning tool that engages students in interactive mathematical activities. It is aligned to the Common Core and key state standards. It adapts lessons to meet individual student needs as well as providing progress reports to assess mastery of learning standards.

In the math classroom, students can get on Sum Dog to practice learned skills independently after a mini-lesson. They can use the progress reports to reflect on their learning and set their own pace. Teachers may use the assessment data to guide their lessons and to provide differentiated instruction based on needs of individual student.

2. Google Classroom

Google Classroom is another great resource for classroom management and student collaboration. Using this service, teachers can create classes, post announcements, add a class resource page for their students, create and assign homework, and record assessment data. Students are able to share their work and collaborate electronically.

google_classroom.png

I created a math class for first grade and uploaded videos that can then be used as flipped classroom lessons. Watching the videos will allow students to learn about the lesson topic and complete the assignment that is posted in the Google Classroom. Students have the option to work in small groups or work independently. They can also share their work with others around the world, which makes it easy to connect and collaborate both within and beyond the classroom setting.

Teachers can set a due date for each assignment and the system will automatically track the submission of assignments, greatly reducing the teacher's workload. 

3. Haiku Deck

 Haiku Deck is another valuable online resource for students to create projects and presentations. Students can choose their fonts and layouts from thousands of available templates and images to create their own unique design.

In math class, teachers and students can take advantage of the images and templates and make presentations to explain basic concepts as well as different strategies to solve math problems. 

4. Plickers

plickers.png

Plickers is a powerful online tool that allows teachers to collect formative assessment data without the need for student electronic devices. All students can participate and engage in learning regardless of their ability to afford a smartphone or tablet.

5. Popplet

popplet.png

Popplet is an online resource to capture and organize ideas. Students can use it as a thinking map to visualize and learn mathematical concepts. Popplet will enable students top capture facts, thoughts and images in order to create relationships between them. The multiplication anchor chart (above) is just one example of students using Popplet to organize their thoughts and learn to create relationships between numbers.

Incorporating technology into math in an authentic way can seem daunting. However, it can yield great results and help students see the real-world connections math can provide. Please share ways you have integrated technology into your math class in the comments section below.

Connect with Heather on Twitter. 

Images courtesy of the author. 

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