TEACHING STRATEGIES EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
Integrating educational technology with more traditional instruction in college science and math courses will improve student
learning and also model its use in the schools. It will be a major priority for STEMTEC. A variety of technological tools will be
used; for example,
- Graphing calculators have revolutionized mathematics teaching by making it easy for students to visualize complex figures
and surfaces and to see how they change with the parameters.
- Microcomputers can help students to collect, analyze and manipulate experimental data, display it in a variety of
graphical forms, and explore the patterns and relationships among the variables.
- Electronic feedback via Classtalk facilitates active-learning in large lecture classes by allowing students to transmit
responses to the instructor's work station for analysis and display.
- Multimedia technology is used at STCC by faculty to enliven classroom presentations. At Smith, it has been found that
collaborative student efforts at multimedia authoring lead to new ways learners look at science and research as they are
challenged to integrate their work with others and to create group presentations to be shared either locally, or globally
via the Web.
- Video opens up many opportunities for students to develop their understanding. The instructor can slow down the flight
of a projectile or motion of an athlete, analyzing it frame by frame, or speed up the germination of a seed. Better yet,
students can define their own questions and use a camcorder to find the answers and assess their understanding.
- Intelligent multimedia tutoring systems being developed by the UMass Computer Science Department model real world
systems and enable the student to test ideas and ask questions. Examples:
- The Advanced Cardiac Life Support Tutor simulates cardiac arrests and teaches specific treatment protocols
when the learner reaches the point where they are needed.
- Engineering students learning about injection molding, stamping and finite element analysis design, build, and rotate
pieces in 3 dimensions. The tutor advises them about the difficulty or expense of manufacturing the piece based on
their design. 3D animations illustrate the tooling that will be required to create the part from the student's design.
- Gaining Confidence in Math: Intelligent Tutors for Girls and Women, an NSF funded project, will create
math software designed to instill in grade school girls confidence in their math problem solving skills. Two
STEMTEC elementary schools are partners in this project.
- Internet technology is increasingly important, and will be built into many of the new courses. We are at the start of an era
in which computers and television will be integrated in our schools, homes, and workplaces. At present, all but a very
few schools are limited to accessing the Internet via modems, a connection model which is inherently too slow and too
expensive for widespread use in a school. However, this is changing rapidly in our area. The Continental Cablevision
Corporation is upgrading its network so that each home will have available at an affordable cost a 10 Mb Internet
connection - several times the current total UMass capacity - and each school will be able to connect its network to the
Internet without cost. As we know from our experience with the UMassK12 Internet Service (Appendix III), science
and math comes alive as students get weather maps, earthquake data, and other real time information via the web and
communicate with people around the globe.
BACK TO Table of Contents
Created June 2000
Author: STEMTEC Webmaster