I found this video during the summer but never had the chance to post it in my blog. Hopefully, this video will answer the question that is often asked in my developmental math courses: When will I use this?
What an interesting question! I once asked my developmental math students (college level) the same question and only a handful of them were able to provide a response that was not taken from a dictionary, encyclopedia, or math website. My students were not able to see many of their daily actions or decisions as a form of mathematics. For them, math just happens in the math classroom; in other words, math is just a class or course!
No wonder why they are taking my class, in which they are learning what they should have learned during their schooling years! No wonder why they dislike math or perceive acquiring this knowledge as a waist of their time! For such reason, one of my goals as a math instructor is to create awareness among my students of how math is everywhere! This is why I created this blog.
I want to share examples in which mathematics is a key factor when they think, decide, and do something in their daily lives. For example, I am Fantasy Football enthusiast (check my team this year: http://screencast.com/t/ZjM5MjI2ZD. What do you think about my team? Any suggestions?) and the way I play this game is based on how I analyze the statistics of each player and football team to make my decisions of using a player or team. However, I hardly think playing this game as a way of doing mathematics. I just PLAY the game. This is what I want my students to achieve after they finish taking my developmental math courses: become aware that we do mathematics every day as a seamless human activity.
I believe learning mathematics is about having a postive attitude and an open mind to become aware of the mathematical events around us and the mathematical actions we do everyday. I want to help students avoid their anxieties when learning and doing this subject matter. To accomplish this, I need to connect mathematics with my students' lives.