My ISTE Goal – Learning New Ways

Douglas Merrill in his new book, Getting Organized in the Google Era, states in the preface that

In my research, I found that most of the ways we teach math (and other subjects) are poorly designed for how are brains actually work. Dyslexic or not, most of us have trouble learning math (or other subjects) not because we’re stupid or lazy but because we’re simply being taught in the wrong ways.

As a a parent, I can attest to this statement. My daughter does not learn algebra the way I process it. I want to see the problem, sketch, and then manipulate the symbols to construct the solution. She on the other hand, wants to talk through the problem verbally, without writing or sketching. This year, she finally had a teacher who recognized this and showed her ways to process the information using her strength. When factoring, She talks and used a diagram that works for her, for me, it is writing factor trees and arrows and boxes. In the end, both processes work for each of us.

At previous NECC conferences, renamed ISTE this year, I have enjoyed the conversation, but I have felt that it has suffered as it occurs oftentimes in the echo chamber. This year, I am going to do my best to seek out others who are teaching and learning new ways, to seek out new voices, to gain their perspective. I want to find a diversity of ideas and folks. I look forward to the opportunity to share with old friends, but cherish meeting new ones.

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