MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM

September  1, 2014

FIELDS MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM
MINUTES - November 29, 2003

Present: Cynthia Church, Christy Conte, Stewart Craven, Shirley Dalrymple, Ysbrand de Bruyn, Gary Flewelling, George Frempong, George Gadanidis, Gila Hanna, Bradd Hart, Bill Higginson, John Kezys, Kenning Marchant, Dragana Martinovic, Eric Muller, Melanie Myers, Chris Nanou, Mollie O'Neill, Fred Pulfer, Geoff Roulet, Tom Salisbury, Tom Sepp, Tom Sutton, Margaret Sinclair, Walter Whiteley

1. Reports
- OAME, OMCA - Stewart Craven
--Both OAME and OMCA will be doing presentations for the Ministry of Education in early December 2003
- Canadian Math Teachers Society - Stewart Craven
--Meeting took place at Fields November 1-2, 2003
--7 of 10 provinces were represented at the meeting. The other 3 were interested but unable to send representatives
--The meeting went well, and reps will be returning with a strong push towards establishing a pan-Canadian organization
- 2005 CMS forum - Bradd Hart
- Online Task Force

2. Fields on-line discussion site: was this effective last time it was used?
-The sites through the UWO website were archived due to inactivity. Should they be reactivated?
-Online discussion site will be reactivated, MDM4U site will not.
-Site shouldn't return to old email list model.
Online Task Force Report - Stewart Craven
-In terms of the sample sites, there wasn't enough positive feedback to establish a conclusive model for success
-A site can be extensive and well done: best described as "online textbook"
-As it currently stands, virtual courses have basically no funding; but at-risk initiatives are extensive; how to spend the money meaningfully, but also quickly?

3. Learning Objects
Eric Muller - Brock Learning Objects See website
-limited number of screens; this emphasizes that the user should know what comes next
-At the end of games, there is access to another site where there are enriched problems.
Margaret Sinclair - Geometer's Sketchpad See website
-What does the information prompt you to ask about the sketch? How do you get kids to ask their own questions?
-Kids need to set their own goals, otherwise they are just following along or playing around
-Discussion are difficult to have during the labs, because kids become emotionally attached and don't want their concentration broken.
Geoff Roulet - MathTowers See website
-The fundamental question is what is a learning object? Something that stands alone and can be used in differnt contexts with different applications.

4. Research on learning objects
Current projects - George Gadanidis, Eric Muller, Geoff Roulet
-Research shows that some students mathematical thinking actually detriorates with the use of learning objects
-To what extent are skills transferable?
-In early grades, students are allowed to develop their own definitions; this changes around grade 6/7
-Because kids natural abilities are discounted, their skills can degrade
-True learning actually disturbs the system of straighforward marking of tests and assignments
-http://www.mathfrog.ca: group that has brought sites together and fit them into the Ontario curriculum
Future directions

Further References for learning objects:
CLOE learning object use/reuse case stories ...
http://learnware.uwaterloo.ca/projects/CCCO/cloe_stories.html
Brock learning objects ...
http://www.brocku.ca/learningobjects/flash_content/index.html
Nathalie Sinclair's learning objects ...
http://hydra.educ.queensu.ca/maths/lang_choice.html
Geoff Roulet's Math Towers ...
http://mathenvironments.educ.queensu.ca/
George Gadanidis's learning objects ...
http://publish.edu.uwo.ca/george.gadanidis/research.htm#a
http://www.mathadventures.com/e-samples.htm
Margaret Sinclair's applets and tutorials
http://www.yorku.ca/sinclair