Upon completing my TechQuest project, I have been reflecting on the triumphs and tribulations of it.  I feel that I was successful in implementing my project in some ways; however, I feel that it was not completely successful.  The TechQuest consisted of the goal of helping students apply mathematical skills to word problems and real-world situations, with two technology-based solutions:

(I)           Using the TI-Nspire calculators to implement several activities that are relevant to the current curriculum that the students are studying.

(II)         Using online activities/labs that will additionally build upon their knowledge of algebraic skills.

From what I have learned about doing a project like this, there are more facets that go into it than may first appear.  I ran into a few “bumps” in the road when implementing this project because I did not anticipate them.

The depth of knowledge I, as the teacher, would have to learn before bringing the technology to the students  was certainly the first hurdle in getting this TechQuest off of the ground.  I have always been a pretty quick learner of technology, but learning the TI-Nspire was a brand new and quite challenging piece of technology to try to master in just a few weeks time.  I wanted to be sure that I could answer student questions about the Nspire and adequately teach the mathematical concepts at the same time, so I concentrated on first learning the technology myself, before conducting the lessons.  By doing this, learning the TI-Npsire took two weeks longer (primarily due to software updates and compatibility issues and that I could only use them at work) than originally anticipated, and so I did not have to opportunity to implement as many lessons or activities as I had originally planned.

            Additionally, my second strategy of using online activities and labs never really got off the ground.  As a stated before, finding lab time in our school is always a challenge and typically has to be booked a month or more in advance.  The same was true for this project, and so by the time I had located relevant activities and had decided when they would have appropriately fit into the curriculum, I could not get the computer lab for those days.  I did however, use the computer and projector in my classroom to ensure that students had exposure to these web-based activities and I also gave them the links to try on their own, but the effect was not as impactful as I had originally hoped.

            If I were to do something similar to this again, I know that I should plan on my own research and training to take longer than I anticipate and should, perhaps, allow myself extra time in the planning stages.  Although the students did not have as much exposure or time with the TI-Nspires, or the web-based technologies, I felt that their reactions, especially to the TI-Nspire, were extremely positive.  The students immediately embraced them and were incredibly receptive to trying something new in the classroom.  We did complete two activities, the first one that was teacher led in a whole group, and second one that was student directed in small groups, and the students had excellent, insightful questions about the story problems and the applications of their algebra skills to help them solve these activities.  Overall, I felt that my experience with this TechQuest was extremely positive, and with the Pre-Test and Post-Test data that I collected and will be analyzing next week, I certainly hope my premonitions about the positive affect of these technologies on students understanding is supported.  In the future, I will be continuing to utilize the TI-Nspire technologies that are available to me and bring web-based activities into the classroom.

 


Comments

09/19/2012 11:54am

Nice post and nice information too. I read your post. It's really nice and I like your post. It’s very simple to understand........Thank you for sharing...........

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