This article presents our plans and initial work to explore how mathematics teacher education programs can prepare teachers for diverse middle grades classrooms. It describes the start-up of a five-year National Science Foundation project to design, develop, and test technology-enriched teacher preparation strategies to address equity in algebra learning. The participants in this pilot group demonstrated a need to develop their mathematical problem-solving skills, but they also exhibited strong beliefs about their own potential to be successful in the mathematics classroom. Preliminary results appear to indicate that Second Life (software) simulations can provide rich settings for teacher development on specific mathematics teaching skills and challenge them to apply their ideas about diversity. (Contains 5 tables and 4 figures.)
Barbara Chamberlin, with the NMSU Learning Games Lab, shares their user testing processes and strategies. The educational development studio involves content experts and game developers in their game design process, also employing a rigorous user testing process throughout development. The Games Lab developers host learners in their target audience for 2-week sessions during the summer, and on holidays throughout the schoolyear. They train their "game lab consultants" in giving feedback, and have access for frequent testing. Barbara shared the underlying principles that guides their user testing, with recommendations on how they could be amended by others for testing, even in shorter sessions.
This is the final poster that was presented at the PI conference in Washington, DC. it was part of the DRK 12 Sims & Games session proposal of 12 posters.
As part of the Data Games project, we are researching how students record and organize multivariate data. This research is informing the design of new software interfaces for Fathom and TinkerPlots that will allow students to explore and understand data that live in other than "flat" data structures — the structures that most software tools currently limit themselves to.
We have designed the Traffic Problem to explore the following questions:
1. What methods do novices and experts use to sytematically record data with multiple attributes?
2. In recording data, do students employ a recognizable notion of “case?"
Barbara Chamberlin, with the NMSU Learning Games Lab, shares the Educational Game Design model developed at NMSU. The educational development studio involves content experts and game developers in their game design process, also employing a rigorous user testing process throughout development. In this presentation, she explains the pre-development work they do in working from broad educational objectives, forming team, immersing team members in both the content and game design, and guiding questions for refining educational objectives and driving game development.
This interactive poster session brings together 11 projects using digital computer technologies (games, simulations, tools) to discuss current research questions, corresponding methodologies, and next steps.
This interactive poster session brings together 11 projects using a range of digital computer technologies to improve science and math learning, including simulations, games, and other cyberlearning tools and environments. In addition to increasing communication and collaboration among these researchers, a key goal of this session is to discuss the diversity of research questions that each project (and the community as a whole) is engaged in, the research methodologies used, and the coupling between the research questions and the selected methodologies.
Presenters seek feedback on activities, now in field test, in which students build mathematical and statistical models to improve their game-playing strategies. Bring a laptop.
Participants are invited to play online games embedded in a data-analysis environment, analyzing their game data to improve their strategy. The structure follows an abbreviated version of classroom activities that presenters are now field testing. Product release is scheduled to begin in fall 2012. (Participants should bring a laptop computer that can connect with conference wifi.) With each game-based activity, subsequent discussion focuses on different issues about which presenters would like feedback.
A 2011-12 CADRE Fellows presentation
The panel presentation addresses the role of the teacher in online, game- and simulation-based learning.
This panel presentation showcases various NSF DR K–12 projects (Data Games, Evidence Game, MathSnacks, PhET, and TESLA) and the role of the classroom teacher in these project-related online, game-, and simulation-based learning environments. The session presenters highlight the envisioned role teachers play when implementing each game or simulation project. Presenters also discuss how the vision of the teacher’s role has evolved during the life of some of the projects.