Online Learning Part II: MOOCs

In my post Online Learning: Current Developments and Future Predictions, I discussed some implications of free online courses, including accreditation and obtaining degrees. These massive open online courses (MOOCs) are constantly evolving, and I’d like to continue the conversation. Let’s start with the following question. What differentiates a MOOC from a regular online course? Probably … Continue reading Online Learning Part II: MOOCs

Algebra Necessary for Innovative Thinking

Andrew Hacker, emeritus professor of political science at Queens College, City University of New York, gave his take on algebra education in a New York Times opinion piece in July. He argued for its elimination, claiming that algebra isn’t necessary for students’ future success. Even those who have advanced degrees in STEM subjects are unable … Continue reading Algebra Necessary for Innovative Thinking

The Modern Role of Textbooks

I remember when I was in grade school, textbooks weighed about twenty pounds and were chock-full of basic, mechanical exercises. There were around 200 problems at the end of each chapter, and the first 150 of them were questions like 365 ´ 791. We often worked individually on these in class, in silence. Despite how … Continue reading The Modern Role of Textbooks

Ideal Math Education Technology in the Digital Age

We have entered an era in which the use of technology in math education is increasing exponentially. However, only a fraction of these new developments are beneficial. For example, I’ve seen apps that simplify fractions, solve equations, and graph functions. These apps do the math instead of teach how. I consider these to not only … Continue reading Ideal Math Education Technology in the Digital Age

Finland, the Quadratic Formula, and Thinking Outside the Box

May 28, 2012 Not many people know that the telecommunications giant Nokia Corporation originated in the small town of Nokia, Finland. Another noteworthy datum about Finland is that Finland scored significantly above the OECD average on the PISA test in all subjects -- reading, mathematics, and science. How did Finland’s students score so well? The Finnish … Continue reading Finland, the Quadratic Formula, and Thinking Outside the Box