While teachers and students were engaged, on task, excited and involved with the ArchiTech environment and with the design of the research center, it seemed to both teachers and students that they had fun with the software and design task, but ignored their mathematics work. The students told us they loved their new math class, because it was fun to use the computers and great to pick up real life architectural skills. When asked if they were learning any math, they looked blankly at us, No math, but we're learning about the real world.. . . A much higher level of productivity for both teachers and students on the mathematics front was needed. We turned our attention to strengthening the unit activities by structuring problems with systems of constraint, and embedding specific unit activities and assessment tools for enhancing mathematics participation. A variety of activities was added that structured students' noticing, naming, further developing and reflecting on the math they encountered in their project design work. . . . We saw much more balance after consciously marrying the technology environment to the content. Students still engaged with each other, the computer environment and with the mathematics at deep levels. Students still felt they were learning how to use important, adult-like tools, learning about adult work and problem-solving, yet they also knew they were learning about scale and proportion and using and relying on representations of function and variable while making design decisions.
The Technology/Content Dilemma. Shelley Goldman, Karen Cole, and Christina Syer. The Secretary's Conference on Educational Technology-1999. The entire article is available at http://www.ed.gov/Technology/TechConf/1999/whitepapers/paper4.html; clicking on this link will open a new browser window, which you should close to return to the main page.New Computer and Technological Resources for Latin Language Instruction