How I am trying to apply technology into the 21st century curriculum while I teach at my international school in China:
- an interactive white board regularly,
- http://www.mathsonline.com.au as a math resource
- http://www.raz-kids.com online home reading program as a library for reading development
- incorporate technology into final presentations for 6 week units of work such as video, powerpoint, Microsoft publisher and word documents
- use iPad apps to enhance learning and library research
- use video presentations to assist learning like those from http://www.brainpopjr.com and a select few on http://www.youtube.com
of course, among others.
Why I believe that math curriculums with a small amount of rote learning would be good?
I fully support and wholeheartedly believe that integrated learning through hands-on activities and real life situations are the best way to learn math. I love playing learning games and using maths centres to solidify learning in my classroom. However, after teaching for 2 years in a school with a wide variety of incoming 7 year olds from a vast selection of school curricula I can see that students with a strong background in basic number sense and numeration do much better in hands-on and situational learning activities. Students who master and actually just go ahead and memorise their times tables and simple addition and subtraction facts really perform to a much higher standard than students without that solid mathematical awareness as a background. I fear that the humanistic focus may in fact be a little too lenient on students in this simple and rudimentary aspect of learning. I can remember the only way for me to learn these skills when I was young was flash cards and drills. I remember thanking my teacher for finally taking the time to drill the facts into us, so the rest of math would come easier, later on – like word problems and comprehension questions related to maths skills.