EMAT 4680

Computers in Mathematics Education, Spring Semester, 1999.

January 7 - May 5

8:00 - 9:15 a.m. Tues., Thurs

Instructors: John Olive, 105F Aderhold Hall, 542-4557

Keith Leatham, 105H Aderhold Hall, 542-4543

e-mail: jolive@coe.uga.edu kleatham@coe.uga.edu

Office hours: John: 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday and by appointment

Keith: by appointment
Course Description.

(Borrowed freely from Dr. James W. Wilson's course description)


This course will concentrate on using various software applications to solve mathematics problems, to organize pedagogical demonstrations, and to set up problem explorations. The students will use application software owned by the Department of Mathematics Education and will carry out the course using primarily Macintosh computers.

The emphasis is on exploration of various mathematics contexts to learn mathematics, to pose problems and problem extensions, to solve problems, and to communicate mathematical demonstrations.

1. Geometer's Sketchpad 2. The Graphing Calculator 2.0 3. Excel Spreadsheet 4. Netscape Navigator/Communicator 5. LCSI Microworlds 6. FATHOM 7. Macintosh tool programs for word processing and drawing 8. Graphing Calculators and CBL's
Course Requirements

The required text for this course is the Student Edition of The Geometer's Sketchpad, available from the UGA bookstore. This will be the primary software used during this course and EMAT 4690. The student edition costs approximately $40 and includes everything that is in the full-price individual package except for a three-ring binder! This will be the students' very own copy that they can use on their home machines or on one classroom machine when they are in schools. (It should be removed from the school machine when they leave the school.) More importantly, this will provide students with full documentation on the program and thus allow them to explore the capabilities of the software in much greater depth than any course handouts can provide.

The class will use fully ethernet networked computers in Room 111/113. Most assignments will be given and turned in via the network. We will have access to and learn to use various network tools. All students will be required to have an active e-mail account as electronic mail will be the primary mode of communication outside of class.

Students will need a few High Density (HD) 2 Mb capacity 3.5" disks.

For those who can not resist killing off a few trees, there is a printer . . .

Electronic Portfolios

All work for this course will be kept in Electronic Portfolios. These will be saved on students' floppy disks as well as in the instructor's shared folder on his hard drive. Each week there will be challenge or follow-up investigations based on the classroom explorations. At least one of these follow-up investigations will be written up and saved in the students' electronic portfolios along with the results of the classroom explorations.

Reports on the Standards and other readings

Students will be required to write a report on how the new NCTM Standards documents provide for the use of technology in the mathematics teaching and learning enterprise. These reports will be included in their electronic portfolios and should include example activities to illustrate the recommendations. Short reflections on other assigned readings will also be included in their portfolios.

Final Project

The Final Project for this course will be the development of a teaching unit that makes use of at least one of the technological tools that students have been using in this class. This unit will be a group effort and should cover at least four lessons with students. At the midpoint of the semester students will form into groups of four to choose a topic for their final project. The intent is to implement this project with high school students during the next semester (as part of EMAT 5360).

Final Exam/Presentation

The final exam will be the presentation of the groups' Projects to the rest of the class, including class participation activities. These presentations will take place during the final exam period: 8:00 - 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 5, 1999.

Schedule of Topics


Grading will be based on the following criteria:

- Participation in class activities and discussions . . . . (10% of total grade)

- Electronic Portfolios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (50% total)

Classroom investigations (5%)

Follow-up activities (20%)

Reports on the Standards (20%)

Reflections on readings (5%)

- Final Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (25% total)
Group effort (15%)

Individual effort (10%)

- Final Presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(15% total)
Group effort (10%)

Individual effort (5%)

Time on computers

Students can not expect to accomplish what they should from this course without time on the computers that is in addition to the time we have in class. The usual expectation of 2 hours study outside of class for every hour in class is probably a minimum. There are several Macintosh laboratories available in this building and across campus.

A note on computers

We are scheduled to hold this class in Room 111/113 with a laboratory of Macintosh Power PC computers. The Power PCs are in the family of the most advanced computers in the Macintosh line. There are some additional Macintosh computers in Rooms 228, 229, 615, and in the EMAT office area (Rm. 105G). MS Windows versions of some applications are available.