Topic (follow-up to Friday, 24th December 2010):
What makes a good quality website for mathematics teaching and/or learning?
As it happened on Monday, 3rd January 2011, 19:30 - 21:00 GMT
7:33 pm
ColinTGraham:
Hello everyone and a Happy New Year! Welcome to the first #mathchat of the decade!
7:34 pm
ColinTGraham:
Today's topic is: "What makes a good quality website for mathematics teaching and/or learning?" #mathchat
7:38 pm
BE_PURE:
RT @ColinTGraham: Today's topic is: "What makes a good quality website for mathematics teaching and/or learning?" #mathchat
7:42 pm
ColinTGraham:
No chatters today...? #mathchat
7:47 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat Hard to say exactly. A site that isn't trying to sell an idea?
7:48 pm
tj007:
I have about 10 minutes to spare #mathchat "What makes a good quality website for mathematics teaching and/or learning?"
7:48 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann Can you expand on "sell an idea"... curriculum/design/content/methodology... #mathchat
7:49 pm
tj007:
The content has to be suitable and then the aesthetics to follow. #mathchat
7:50 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 How do you judge suitability...? content/curriculum/self-monitoring by students... #mathchat
7:50 pm
Caro_lann:
The NCETM site is pretty good. Crosses levels, has CPD ideas etc #mathchat
7:52 pm
tj007:
@ColinTGraham I guess it depends on what the focus is to be/its purpose - will it replicate other websites or try to find a niche #mathchat
7:52 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann That also seems to be one of the rare sites for CPD for maths teachers, too. #mathchat
7:53 pm
tj007:
@Caro_lann The NCETM site is indeed good - but I don't visit it very often and sometimes get a little lost. #mathchat
7:53 pm
Caro_lann:
@ColinTGraham #mathchat Sell = Offer a single approach/ method as "correct".
7:53 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 How would you choose between a number of sites offering the same or very similar content, for example? #mathchat
7:56 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 So navigation or ease of access sounds like one factor. Are some sites 'too big' to be really helpful? #mathchat
7:57 pm
tj007:
@ColinTGraham In the last year there have been a number of sites that use games to hook pupils - cost has been main issue. #mathchat
7:57 pm
Caro_lann:
@ColinTGraham @tj007 #mathchat If aimed at students, I might get students to evaluate them. They could discuss/decide criteria first.
7:57 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann Would you avoid those sites or balance them against sites offering a different (single) approach? #mathchat
7:59 pm
ColinTGraham:
So a wider availability of free/inexpensive, game-based sites would be good... or does coverage of curriculum become a problem? #mathchat
7:59 pm
tj007:
@ColinTGraham Not sure about sites being too big, so long as they are accessible. Important for pupils/teachers to want to revisit #mathchat
8:00 pm
Caro_lann:
@ColinTGraham #mathchat I might ask students to compare approaches on different sites. Or ask Twitter!
8:01 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 Do you see useful sites as being multi-visit sites, or are there any which are useful as one-offs? #mathchat
8:02 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat I'm always wary of anyone who seems to think they have the "best" approach to a topic. I'm not sure there ever is a "best".
8:03 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann So student evaluation of sites would play a part in any recommendations you might make? #mathchat
8:03 pm
tj007:
I've always thought of useful sites to be multi-visit - but then it would depend on the purpose. #mathchat
8:06 pm
Caro_lann:
@ColinTGraham #mathchat Yes. And it's good for students to learn how to evaluate websites.
8:06 pm
ColinTGraham:
I find myself going more often now to sites with centralized lists of links, rather than one or two sites which do everything #mathchat
8:06 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat I agree that size doesn't matter. Ease of navigation is important. But a site I find easy might be difficult for someone else.
8:07 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat Have to break off now for stargazing! Sorry
8:07 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann Do you allow your students to formulate their own criteria for evaluation? #mathchat
8:08 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann OK, thanks for dropping by! Catch you later in the year :-) #mathchat
8:10 pm
ColinTGraham:
OK, anyone else out there want to chip in? How do you decide between sites, how do you evaluate them? #mathchat
8:10 pm
ColleenYoung:
@Caro_lann so true your comment about the 'best' approach. Different approaches work for different students.#mathchat
8:12 pm
ColinTGraham:
@ColleenYoung I think, also, the repetition of content in different formats can help with making connections in the subject. #mathchat
8:12 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham Decide by seeing what's free and what the children like. evaluate by seeing what the children continue to ask for. #mathchat
8:13 pm
MoreThanMaths:
@ColinTGraham "Deciding" =I can use what dept has subscribed to, or what is free, or make it myself. #mathchat
8:13 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp At what stage do you introduce critical thinking, or does that arise naturally because of free choice? #mathchat
8:13 pm
ColleenYoung:
@ColinTGraham Totally agree Colin.#mathchat
8:14 pm
ColleenYoung:
Fabulous sites have to include nrich and CIMT - all free. #mathchat
8:15 pm
ColinTGraham:
@MoreThanMaths That is more about availability, though, Lois... what would you choose given a free-hand? How about for CPD...? #mathchat
8:15 pm
frogphilp:
Piaget would argue that children don't get critical thinking until they're 11, so in theory I don't need to worry about it... ;-) #mathchat
8:16 pm
ColinTGraham:
@ColleenYoung Also any of the sites listed on http://bit.ly/dRJpTP are recommended by me or other #mathchat tweeps!
8:17 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp That's avoiding the inevitable though... typical primary teacher! How about for you personally and your CPD? #mathchat
8:18 pm
ColinTGraham:
RT @MoreThanMaths: I'd like something customisable eg like mymaths.co.uk, but tasks ('homeworks') fixed - I'd like to mix n match. #mathchat
8:19 pm
TLTP:
RT @Caro_lann: The NCETM site is pretty good. Crosses levels, has CPD ideas etc #mathchat
8:20 pm
ColinTGraham:
@MoreThanMaths A lot could be done using spreadsheets (Google Docs, Open Office or even Excel!) especially free apps... #mathchat
8:21 pm
Sundayteatime:
#mathchat love the manga high games but been waiting for a new one for a long time. Even cynical kids enjoy them.
8:21 pm
MoreThanMaths:
RT @Sundayteatime: #mathchat love the manga high games but been waiting for a new one for a long time. Even cynical kids enjoy them.
8:21 pm
chris_1974:
ooops. Monday night is #mathchat night. Sorry I'm late and what have i missed?
8:21 pm
ColinTGraham:
As a more general question... are mathematical tools more useful than pre-programmed tasks, problems rather than tests... #mathchat
8:22 pm
frogphilp:
@ColinTGraham I like sites that encourage open-ended thinking and problem solving. NRICH is great, but isn't a 'blank canvas' #mathchat
8:22 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Hi Chris, we are discussing what makes a good website for mathematics teaching and/or learning... #mathchat
8:23 pm
MoreThanMaths:
I used manga high wth Y6 last yr. Had to almost drag 'em off it at break so I could travel back to 2ndary school. They loved it. #mathchat
8:24 pm
ColinTGraham:
Three sites I always recommend when asked: GeoGebra, LEGO digital designer and Project Euler #mathchat
8:24 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham thankyou! #mathchat. I've just flicked down the column.There is (for me) no one site. @waldomaths, @mymathscouk, @nrich.
8:24 pm
ColleenYoung:
@ColinTGraham Thanks for that, shall join wiki. CIMT is from University of Plymouth. I would not dream of using TES for it. #mathchat
8:25 pm
TLTP:
RT @ColinTGraham: Three sites I always recommend when asked: GeoGebra, LEGO digital designer and Project Euler #mathchat
8:25 pm
chris_1974:
@ColleenYoung yes - forgot CIMT, and all MEP resources. #mathchat
8:25 pm
TLTP:
RT @MoreThanMaths: I used manga high wth Y6 last yr. Had to almost drag 'em off it at break so I could travel back to 2ndary school. They loved it. #mathchat
8:25 pm
Sundayteatime:
@ColinTGraham will investigate that Lego site. Is it easy to use? #mathchat
8:26 pm
ColleenYoung:
@chris_1974 agree with you Chris re waldomaths - superb #mathchat
8:26 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Sundayteatime Yes, there are a series of tutorial videos, and you can download a standalone to use on individual PCs... #mathchat
8:26 pm
Sundayteatime:
@MoreThanMaths I was quite addicted to the algebra meltdown game for a few days. #mathchat
8:27 pm
chris_1974:
@ColleenYoung what is great is that @waldomaths covers resources from 11-18, some great #aleveltips there. #mathchat
8:27 pm
ColleenYoung:
@chris_1974 http://www.diigo.com/list/colleenyoung/ks5 - Diigo KS5 list may be of interest #mathchat
8:28 pm
ColinTGraham:
To summarize so far: Ss evaluate sites with similar content, access & navigation should be simple/clear, customizable tasks, ... #mathchat
8:29 pm
ColinTGraham:
I will post the links in the archive later! Manga High: http://bit.ly/5eT5mw for those who don't know it. #mathchat
8:29 pm
ColleenYoung:
@ColinTGraham and there are some fabulous free sites - people who just try to sell me things really annoy me! #mathchat
8:30 pm
davidwees:
RT @ColinTGraham: Three sites I always recommend when asked: GeoGebra, LEGO digital designer and Project Euler #mathchat
8:31 pm
chris_1974:
@ColleenYoung the only site we pay for is @mymathscouk as a dept, and @i_am_learning as a schl. #mathchat
8:31 pm
ColinTGraham:
There's a link to the LEGO digital designer on this blog post: http://bit.ly/c6JxwD #mathchat
8:32 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 What process was used to decide on those sites, Chris, or was it the usual complex mix? #mathchat
8:33 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham We like the tracking it offers, and the excellent customer services. #mathchat@mymathscouk
8:35 pm
chris_1974:
#mathchat RT @MoreThanMaths: supermathsworld.com also good - but that's another paid one. Pretty cheap though .
8:35 pm
pvil:
RT @ColinTGraham: Three sites I always recommend when asked: GeoGebra, LEGO digital designer and Project Euler #mathchat
8:36 pm
MoreThanMaths:
Disadvantage of sites like supermathsworld.com is that all navigation is via Flash menus. I like to be able to use direct links. #mathchat
8:36 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 So recording pupils' progress is important, or a factor, what 'lights your fire' in terms of CPD? #mathchat
8:36 pm
Mark__C:
Thanks for the heads up about @waldomaths, looks good #mathchat
8:37 pm
ColinTGraham:
@MoreThanMaths I think Flash seems to be the way technology is headed for many sites, nowadays, Lois! #mathchat
8:37 pm
chris_1974:
@MoreThanMaths also would like more sites to be mobile device friendly. #mathchat
8:37 pm
chris_1974:
@Mark__C it's been around a while, but is simple and effective. Beautifully visual #mathchat
8:38 pm
MoreThanMaths:
Absolutely - but very difficult with so many sites already set up with Flash - don't know what the answer is there! #mathchat
8:38 pm
ColinTGraham:
How do you feel about site which 'provide answers'... eg Wolfram Alpha. Is this 'cheating' or does it require a new approach? #mathchat
8:39 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham now that's a hell of a question. Not sure about lights fire!! #mathchat
8:39 pm
MoreThanMaths:
@ColinTGraham I agree. I looked at Flash alternatives for my own site. None practical for me at moment. #mathchat
8:40 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham #wolframalpha is so powerful / fun. I try to encourage post 16 students to check usinfg it #mathchat
8:40 pm
Mark__C:
I developed a Maths site couple of years back: www.learning-pod.com. Not sure what to do with it, maybe make it free...? #mathchat
8:41 pm
MoreThanMaths:
@chris_1974 @ColinTGraham I've yet to find the CPD site that 'lights a fire'. Not sure I will. Best CPD collaborative. Like this!? #mathchat
8:42 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Mark__C You're fighting against sites like @khanacademy's or BLOSSOM, which are free already - if you don't! #mathchat
8:42 pm
chris_1974:
@MoreThanMaths @ColinTGraham agreed. @NCETM stuff is QI, but nothing beats conversations / collaboration (such as this) #mathchat
8:44 pm
frogphilp:
CPD - the self assessment for teachers at the NCETM website: http://bit.ly/bPt7Qx is brilliant. #mathchat
8:44 pm
Mark__C:
@ColinTGraham I know. When I was with Learning Curve we invested lot of time, but struggled to market vs our other resources #mathchat
8:44 pm
ColinTGraham:
I think CPD is a topic for another time, but there is certainly an opening for more imaginative uses of technology! #mathchat
8:45 pm
chris_1974:
@chris_1974 I've a friend trying to set up a mfl 'consultancy'. I'm trying to convince him free #teachmeet style is way forward. #mathchat
8:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
So, sites which allow collaboration, self-assessment (for teachers as well as students), alternatives to Flash, cross-platform... #mathchat
8:47 pm
ColinTGraham:
Agreed! RT @frogphilp: CPD - the self assessment for teachers at the NCETM website:http://bit.ly/bPt7Qx is brilliant. #mathchat
8:48 pm
MoreThanMaths:
@ColinTGraham Sounds ideal. Don't know any like that though! Actually, I'm happy with Flash, just wish it worked on iPod etc. #mathchat
8:48 pm
TLTP:
RT @ColinTGraham: Agreed! RT @frogphilp: CPD - the self assessment for teachers at the NCETM website: http://bit.ly/bPt7Qx is brilliant. #mathchat
8:49 pm
ColinTGraham:
In the final ten minutes, any further comments on websites - both for teachers and for students - or recommendations? #mathchat
8:52 pm
chris_1974:
must just mention xkcd.com. Cutting but light hearted talking points, its unbeatable. #mathchathttp://xkcd.com/833/ a recent cracker.
8:52 pm
ColinTGraham:
@MoreThanMaths That's an Apple issue! #mathchat
8:52 pm
chris_1974:
the alttext from mouseover just adds to the humour. #mathchat
8:53 pm
busynessgirl:
@ColinTGraham Just thought I would weigh in that I think W|A requires a new approach. #mathchat
8:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Yes, I have to admit to the occasional chuckle from them... and one or two thoughts provoked too! ;-) #mathchat
8:55 pm
ColinTGraham:
@busynessgirl Can you clarify what you mean by "W|A "? #mathchat
8:55 pm
busynessgirl:
Many of the best math video games I've found currently run off Flash. See list here: http://is.gd/k2n96#mathchat
8:56 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham @busynessgirl W|A is #Wolfram|Alpha #mathchat
8:57 pm
ColinTGraham:
@busynessgirl Thanks for the link, will add it to the archive later! #mathchat
8:57 pm
busynessgirl:
I've written several blog posts about the new inquiry-based approach we're able to take using W|A. Seehttp://is.gd/k2nz6 #mathchat
8:58 pm
ColinTGraham:
@busynessgirl This comes back to the comment I made earlier, that where 'answers' are online, the approaches need to change... #mathchat
9:00 pm
ColinTGraham:
OK that's it for another #mathchat Thanks for your contributions everyone. The next chat will be on Thursday/Friday http://bit.ly/codZeQ