Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I am Blogging Again!

Hello World! Here I am trying for the second time to create and maintain a blog. I created my first blog in Yahoo 360, in which I have posted a few reflections about my experiences as a math educator using technology in my practice. I do not post often there due to time constraints (I have a heavy teaching course load!) but I will continue the blog as a self-reflection exercise of my teaching practice.

However, this blog will have a different purpose than my first blog. I created Be Aware Math is Everywhere! blog as part of a doctoral assignment in one of my specialization courses (i.e. LTM 5005 The Connected Classroom: Curriculum Development and Technology) at Northcentral University. In every doctoral course, I apply the course assignments in my classroom practice to achieve my pursuit of becoming a better educator (That is why I am pursuing the Ed.D.: to become a practitioner-researcher and improve my practice!). For some time, I have been pondering the use of Web 2.0 tools to enhance teaching and learning in my classroom and this assignment provided a great opportunity for trying blogs in my practice.

As a developmental math instructor, I often encounter students who question the reasons for learning mathematics and they request examples of practical real-life applications of the math concepts and skills they are learning in class. Unfortunately, many students believe learning mathematics is just for the sake of meeting degree requirements and not for personal gain. They are missing the bigger picture that mathematics could help them understand a world where numbers are used to quantify and explain every human endeavor and natural event that occurs. These students are giving away their power of understanding and making informed decisions due to misconceptions, inexperience, or reluctance for appreciating the true power of mathematics.

For such reason, I created this blog to promote awareness among my developmental math students of how mathematics is used daily in their lives. To accomplish this goal, I need to make connections of the mathematical concepts and skills my students learn in class with their everyday life experiences. My intentions are to find real-life examples where mathematics play a vital role and explain it in layman terms to my students. From my experience, students find learning mathematics meaningful and useful when is related or connected with their lives. By making connections, students will realize that they have been doing mathematics often in their lives but were not conciously aware it was mathematics.

I am hoping that somehow this blog will generate discussion of the reasons for learning mathematics among my students and visitors. Talking about mathematics is the only way to create awareness of how mathematics is deeply integrated in our lives. Be Aware, Math is Everywhere!