Topic: How do I use technology to teach the language of mathematics?
As it happened on Friday, 18th March 2010 00:00 - 01:00 GMT
12:33 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees It's ok. The change to daylight savings messes up schedules/timings for a few weeks... this #mathchat will stay at 00:00 GMT
12:34 am
mathfour:
Can we give @davidwees a nuggie or a wedgie or something? #mathchat
12:34 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour He's probably more intent on his drinkie! @davidwees #mathchat
12:34 am
mathfour:
Okay, so language of mathematics can be... the terms we define... #mathchat
12:35 am
ColinTGraham:
(1) "language of mathematics" is the language used to explain or which is used in mathematics #mathchat
12:36 am
mathfour:
Or it can mean that stupid crap they talk of in the movies, "Math is the language of the universe" BAH! #mathchat
12:36 am
ColinTGraham:
(2) "language of mathematics" mathematics is a language (of abstraction) which needs to be taught and learned as such #mathchat
12:37 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham Like words used in algebraic systems - rings and modules and such? #mathchat
12:37 am
mathfour:
Well - in one sense it's just semantics, in the other sense it is concepts and theories - right? hmm... no... #mathchat
12:37 am
mathfour:
I don't like this topic. *pout* #mathchat
12:38 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham Even with your two definitions, I don't think it has been defined. #mathchat
12:38 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour For (1), yes. For example, identical is used in everyday language, but not in specific areas of mathematics #mathchat
12:39 am
ColinTGraham:
For (2), it's more of the 'grammar' 'syntax' etc. and that maybe teaching mathematics needs to be done more like language teaching #mathchat
12:39 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham So "identical" isn't used in specific areas of math? Like what? I don't understand that. #mathchat
12:40 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour Two triangles which have the same angles, same area etc. can be placed one on top of another are 'congruent' in geometry #mathchat
12:41 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham I have to say that my fav prof in grad school would return a proof if written in bad math syntax. Sloppy/unelegant #mathchat
12:41 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham i.e. they used "congruent" instead of "identical" - okay I'm with you. #mathchat
12:42 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour Yes, in the same way that your English teacher may have returned an essay if a logical argument was not followed. #mathchat
12:42 am
mathfour:
But the congruent and identical thing, again, is semantics. We could call it shakamakacoocoo if we wanted to. #mathchat
12:43 am
markbethune:
@ColinTGraham just arrived at work. What is the #mathchat topic this morning?
12:43 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham He would actually return it if we didn't start with "Let x be an element of..." #mathchat
12:44 am
mathfour:
@markbethune Something crazy, that's for sure! Welcome to the insanity. #mathchat
12:44 am
ColinTGraham:
@markbethune "How do I use technology to teach the language of mathematics?" #mathchat
12:44 am
ColinTGraham:
@markbethune Bon and I are trying to pin down what "language of mathematics" means... #mathchat
12:44 am
mathfour:
@markbethune And we're starting out with trying to figure out what "language of mathematics" is #mathchat
12:46 am
mathfour:
instance of a system of complex communication - Wikipedia's "language" #mathchat
12:47 am
mathfour:
Hmm... a system of complex communication. The system would be the vocab and the punctuation. #mathchat
12:47 am
ColinTGraham:
RT Mark: ooh good one. So important, the language of mathematics. I have a great backchannel activity I use to teach communication #mathchat
12:48 am
mathfour:
Vocab includes words like congruent, real, normal, commutative. Punctuation includes all symbols like =, <, +, sigma, and even . #mathchat
12:49 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham Is Mark not using the hashtag? I missed his tweet that you Retwote. #mathchat
12:50 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour But there is also the idea, to go back to identity, for example, where it is defined according to mathematical context #mathchat
12:50 am
markbethune:
@mathfour thought I RT my comment with the hashtag. Missed it first time around. sorry #mathchat
12:50 am
daveinstpaul:
The language of math is taught by reading (and writing) math. Technology can be used to teach the vocabulary of math. #mathchat
12:51 am
ColinTGraham:
@markbethune Yes but if you RT a long tweet, and the #mathchat appears after the 140-char limit, it doesn't appear!
12:51 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham It doesn't matter if it is in math context or not - it's a different language. So we need not worry about that. #mathchat
12:51 am
markbethune:
@ColinTGraham see, we can learn everyday! #mathchat
12:52 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham Like in some language "tan" is a nasty word. So people in the oilfield refer to things as bone. #mathchat
12:52 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham What I mean is that the same "word" in English means something different in math - normal is a perfect example #mathchat
12:53 am
ColinTGraham:
@daveinstpaul Yes if we take the (1) definition I tweeted earlier. If we take (2), mathematics needs to be taught as a language #mathchat
12:53 am
mathfour:
@daveinstpaul How'd'y' figure? #mathchat
12:54 am
mathfour:
Funny that mathematicians are trying to define something so shaky when our lives revolve around definitions. #mathchat
12:55 am
mathfour:
Even if we take my def "a system of complex communication" - what the heck is a system in this case? #mathchat
12:55 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour The same word in English can have different meanings depending on where it's used. Ram: computer mem? sheep? battering? #mathchat
12:55 am
markbethune:
RT @markbethune: when we teach the language of maths, we can learn a lot from our EAL/ESL colleagues #mathchat forgot again!
12:56 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham Eh... good point. #mathchat
12:56 am
mathfour:
So I think we should narrow it down to vocab or symbols or both. #mathchat
12:56 am
ColinTGraham:
@markbethune Well I taught EFL for 11 years so... the maths/language interface is one of my main interests! #mathchat
12:57 am
mathfour:
Well, I take that back. "Sentences" or "expressions" or "equations" all have a particular way about them. #mathchat
12:57 am
markbethune:
@ColinTGraham well, we have a lot we can learn from you then! Bring it on! #mathchat
12:58 am
mathfour:
Y'all ever play the game Taboo? You have to get your partner to say a word and avoid certain other words while you do it. #mathchat
12:58 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour At what point do you take on @daveinstpaul's point about reading (writing)... Vocab can be taught as required, maybe... #mathchat
12:58 am
markbethune:
@mathfour think both are important, symbols are a way of representing the vocab. #mathchat
12:58 am
mathfour:
I think of math as a language like that - you don't have to use the WORD if you explain the concept. #mathchat
12:59 am
mathfour:
Like if "hand" were the word, you can't say fingers, palm, arm #mathchat
12:59 am
mathfour:
But I could say the thing at the end of your upper limbs that has appendages on them. #mathchat
1:00 am
markbethune:
@mathfour then they would wonder what an appendage is! #mathchat
1:00 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham @daveinstpaul Since I'm just now talking myself out of being ornery about this (and seeing y'all's point)... #mathchat
1:03 am
mathfour:
@daveinstpaul Re: The language of math is taught by reading (and writing) math. - I'm not sure. #mathchat
1:03 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour Also hand includes fingers, palms, fingernails, thumbs, etc. not precise enough for medicine, but ok for everyday #mathchat
1:03 am
mathfour:
@daveinstpaul If you first teach some vocab, then have them read and write a little, then more vocab... and so on. #mathchat
1:04 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham And that's how I teach the "language of math" - good enough for government work. #mathchat
1:04 am
markbethune:
#mathchat I have always found that "better" students have a better grasp of mathematical language. Have als? (cont) http://deck.ly/~ISbKK
1:04 am
mathfour:
I'll agree that technology can be used for vocab, though. Although I don't think it should be. #mathchat
1:05 am
mathfour:
@markbethune "Better" students have a grasp of it because they are too hardheaded to let it get the better of them. That was me. #mathchat
1:05 am
CutTheKnotMath:
@ColinTGraham @mathfour Re: means something different in math. English words have different meanings anyway: http://bit.ly/g9Eo2i #mathchat
1:05 am
ColinTGraham:
@markbethune Research suggests strong links between mathematics, languages, physics and music, in terms of ability too #mathchat
1:06 am
mathfour:
Like Sesame Street (technology) teaches vocab... and then writing a story about your summer teaches language. #mathchat
1:06 am
markbethune:
@mathfour tech can be used in a variety of ways to promote language acquisition #mathchat
1:06 am
ColinTGraham:
@CutTheKnotMath Yes Alex, and there is also whether "language of mathematics" = jargon, or should maths be taught as a language #mathchat
1:07 am
mathfour:
Good one! RT @CutTheKnotMath: English words have different meanings anyway: http://bit.ly/g9Eo2i#mathchat
1:08 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham I'm with @CutTheKnotMath - it's jargon. #mathchat
1:08 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour Or having a problem to solve which requires programming, or using an app, makes you think about it mathematically... #mathchat
1:08 am
mathfour:
@markbethune How? (not saying it can't, I'd just like examples) #mathchat
1:09 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham And why don't they teach computer math anymore? I loved that class! #mathchat
1:10 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham Of course we were programming in BASIC, but it was still fun. #mathchat
1:10 am
markbethune:
@mathfour #mathchat I can't do it in 140 characters but would love to give you examples. I use TodaysMeet oft? (cont) http://deck.ly/~gkZ2e
1:10 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour Well maybe people should be using computers to teach mathematics rather than specific branches of mathematics #mathchat
1:12 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham I'm not saying it was a substitute. I just liked the simple programming that taught logic. #mathchat
1:12 am
CutTheKnotMath:
@mathfour @ColinTGraham Jargon? No, I never said that. And why would one need a label? Is sign language jargon? #mathchat
1:12 am
mathfour:
Maybe instead of math classes altogether, we should teach programming. #mathchat
1:12 am
ColinTGraham:
Programming provides a context for a great deal of algebra, for example, so you have a real context for talking about, eg PEMDAS #mathchat
1:13 am
mathfour:
@CutTheKnotMath Yep - sign language is jargon. #mathchat
1:13 am
mathfour:
Wikipedia: Jargon is terminology which is especially defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession, group, or event. #mathchat
1:14 am
ColinTGraham:
@CutTheKnotMath In my first def: language (as used) would be jargon. As a means of communciation, then that is 2nd def. #mathchat
1:14 am
mathfour:
@CutTheKnotMath Sign language is generally for the specific group of deaf people (or 18 month olds like Daughter) #mathchat
1:14 am
markbethune:
RT @markbethune: @ColinTGraham so that takes care of one skill. What about all the others? #mathchat
1:14 am
CutTheKnotMath:
@mathfour Yep - sign language is jargon. Why? Tell this to people for which this is the only language. What is jargon? #mathchat
1:15 am
markbethune:
hashtag, hashtag, hashtag, #mathchat, #mathchat.....
1:15 am
mathfour:
@CutTheKnotMath Jargon is terminology which is especially defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession, group, event #mathchat
1:15 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour @CutTheKnotMath To me jargon is vocabulary which creates a communication breakdown for those who don't know it... #mathchat
1:16 am
ColinTGraham:
@markbethune ;-) #mathchat
1:16 am
mathfour:
Technically you can argue that any language is jargon. Again mathematicians trying to define the undefinable. #mathchat
1:16 am
CutTheKnotMath:
@mathfour Wikipedia: Ah, OK. Then it is a jargon. Then what? #mathchat (Must get used to the tags. Sorry)
1:16 am
mathfour:
It's like dropping a cat with a slice of buttered toast strapped to his back. He's going to spin indefinitely. #mathchat
1:17 am
markbethune:
@CutTheKnotMath don't worry, you're not the only one having a tag problem! #mathchat
1:17 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham Well according to your definition of jargon - math certainly is all jargon! #mathchat
1:18 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham And, with your def, French is jargon as well. #mathchat
1:18 am
ColinTGraham:
If we accept the idea that mathematics is a means of communicating abstract ideas and concepts, we may start to clarify 'language' #mathchat
1:18 am
mathfour:
@markbethune @CutTheKnotMath I'm going to have to beat y'all with the hashtag whip, I see. #mathchat
1:18 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour We say someone is speaking Double Dutch in the UK if we don't understand them... even in when they're using English #mathchat
1:19 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham But EVERY language is a means of communicating abstract ideas. LOVE? Duh - pretty stinkin' abstract. #mathchat
1:20 am
markbethune:
well, kiddies finishing up a test. Back to the unit circle. Talk later. #mathchat
1:20 am
mathfour:
@markbethune Bye! *waves and smiles* #mathchat
1:20 am
ColinTGraham:
@markbethune Thanks for dropping in! Let's hope we have more luck with this in Monday's #mathchat!
1:21 am
CutTheKnotMath:
@mathfour @ColinTGraham LOVE? Duh - pretty stinkin' abstract. I love the stinking part. #mathchat
1:23 am
ColinTGraham:
OK, we just got going and we're 20 minutes over time! Maybe see you on Monday. #mathchat
1:23 am
mathfour:
@ColinTGraham Well we started late due to a freak daylight savings time accident. When do y'all switch? #mathchat
1:24 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour We switch at the end of March but this #mathchat will stay at 00:00GMT on Friday. Monday's will move to match British Summer Time
1:24 am
markbethune:
@mathfour @ColinTGraham we don't switch at all in Jakarta so it must be your fault! #mathchat
1:26 am
mathfour:
@colintgraham So GMT doesn't switch - crazy International Time Zone people. #mathchat
1:26 am
ColinTGraham:
Thanks to the 3 of you that joined in today, and the fourth who dropped it to give apologies for absence! #mathchat
1:28 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathfour GMT is the international standard time, or I suppose UTC to be correct... pah! We go to BST in the UK during the summer #mathchat