The scenario shown below is faced by many educators, mathematics or otherwise. Yes, including your teachers!
To make these wishes come true in Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Mathematics & Science (MS), a focus team of lecturers were officially formed in 2007 to spearhead the school to incorporate ICT to improve teaching and enhance learning.
To date, MS has amassed many teaching resources and technologies, visualisation software and applets, as well as pedagogical practices and methodologies. With the implementation of tablet PC teaching in 2008, MS lecturers are able to efficiently create notes and videos to supplement their face-to-face lectures. Furthermore, Web 2.0 tools are more effectively incorporated with the tablet PCs because writing mathematical symbols and equations are no longer difficult!
To keep the school current with applications, MS lecturers constantly source for relevant software to demonstrate thinking processes and solutions, especially in the area of statistics. Some of the software includes MathCad, StatGraphics, StatsCrunch and Graphmatica.
MS will continue to expand its resources, promote sharing among lecturers and explore future new developments in technologies. Here, we proudly showcase the following resources that are developed in-house.
Descriptive Statistics Learning Package
With the help of programmers, this fun and colourful learning package was designed and developed by MS lecturers. Students are able to pick up knowledge of descriptive statistics interactively and independently, at their own learning pace. A case study built into the package gives students a chance to apply what they learn immediately, hence strengthening the concepts. Two thumbs up!
Online Video Lessons
With the help of developers, a series of lectures on various mathematics topics, delivered by our very own MS lecturers, were recorded and made available to SP students online. Students find these videos very handy and relevant when they are revising or if they missed out on important points during lectures.
Visualisation with Matlab
To move the imagination of students, animations of concepts are very powerful, especially in 3D modelling. MS lecturers are able to make use of Matlab to display these 3D models when teaching calculus. Students’ faces brightened up when they understood seemingly abstract concepts!
Computations using Mathcad
Students are able to use Mathacd to display 3D graphs and perform computations such as partial differentiation, integration, solving cubic equations, etc. This will enable them to work out the solutions of their engineering problems quickly.
Progressive Teaching of Mathematics with Tablet PC
Tablet pc is used to make teaching Mathematics modules more effective. In explaining the solution to a Mathematics problem, many lecturers are in favour of writing out the solution in tandem with a verbal explanation. Hence, each student is presented with an opportunity to comprehend and write each logical step together with the lecturer. As each step is crucial before the next step, the progressive understanding of each step becomes critical. As part of an explanation, a lecturer also usually physically highlights the intricacies of how a logical step is being derived whilst writing the solution. Sometimes, a recollection of a basic mathematical rule needs to be re-written and re-explained to the students in the midst of solving a problem as illustrated below.