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MN, United States
Tutor, Business Owner, Technology innovator

Monday, January 19, 2015

When am I ever going to use this?

It seems that 

students who do not value math, or perhaps do not fully understand the nature of how math is a vital part of their lives, do not take their learning seriously (or have doubts that such concepts they are studying ARE in the real world, despite all the "real-world" exercise problems they have been given.  (I say that sarcastically, but that will have to be expanded on in another issue).

The problem lies in getting students to actually make connections to what they are learning.  Several times they practice the concept, but fail to make a translation of how it can be used in their own lives.  --Much like the monitor I took a picture of.  It can be useful, and by now it seems ridiculous to not use one almost every day.  Do you see a problem with it?

IF you said, "Well duh, it's unplugged," then you are right.  It may have value, but if there's no connection to the wall, you can't turn it on.  So unless you are Infamous (Cole) there's no way power is going to make it work without plugging into an outlet.  In this analogy the brain is the source of power, and the application is the monitor.  Sometimes in math, we need to generate the "electricity" behind the concept before "plugging in" the applications.  

Of course, in this instant gratification age (wait, I thought that was my age, except now instant oatmeal takes too LONG to cook for our illustrious 13-18 year olds), they just want "the answer."  My response is usually "I don't care about the answer, it only means you did the PROCESS right.  If you want credit for an incorrect answer, show me the work."  

For all answers, "there's an app for that."  For everything else, we need to train the 3 pound computer between the ears to power up and process.

Til net time,  Mr. Shel