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Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Jenjames2, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Hello
    Does anyone know how I can find critical reviews of mymaths? I would like to incorporate these views into the use of ICT in mathematics. So far, the only ones I've found are from pupils and teachers which are not adequate.
    Many thanks
  2. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    teachers' views aren't adequate?
  3. MrBartonMaths.com has a review.

    If you search this forum there's plenty of opinions on MyMaths - some like it, some don't. I'm in the former camp - for what you pay for, it's quite a wide-ranging tool for revision and homework, though some don't like the fact that you're rarely expected to show method.
  4. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    As a way of pupils logging on to see presentations on methods then great.

    As a way of completing work and entering stuff online - awful.

    I find the same at times with Mathletics. What is the point in having to have pen and paper next to you to do your working, then enter the result on a computer, why not do it on paper in the first place. However Mathletics is great for mental calculations, the ones we want the pupils to do quickly in their heads.
  5. Whilst I agree mymaths is pretty good value for money in terms of cost per pupil, I think the presentations are generally of poor quality and often lack rigour. Presenting the cosine formula as 'a big scary formula' seems a bit unfortunate to say the least!

    The big problem I have with using it for homework is that it's impossible to see where a pupil has gone wrong and there's no real attempt by the site to push the student in the direction of supporting material if they get questions wrong.

    It's not a bad site but I do wish that someone would come along and produce something better.

    A number of the big publishers are starting to get their act together now (Pearson have a new site, Hodder have Dynamic Learning and Oxford have Oxbox). I've not used any of these but they all lack the one thing that mymaths does have and that's completeness. All of the sites i've mentioned are book specific. Does anyone have any experience of using them? It is something that we will be looking at more closely next year.
  6. Hi Sara I agree with you. I am working with OCR at present on a really interesting project to create a nationwide free teacher resource to support teaching at GCSE to start with. If you would like to be involved I am looking for school networks to work with. By the way its a scheme / resource / starters not just for OCR (with teacher Top Tips) Send me a PM and we can have a chat, Steve.
  7. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    Steve are OCR going to make this available for all then?
  8. DM

    DM New commenter

    Can I suggest you report your own post and ask the moderators to remove the email address? You can rewrite it as drmaths at hotmail dot co dot uk - if you don't, you will find it is farmed by spam bots and you will start to be bombarded with vast quantities of unwanted rubbish.
  9. Thanks DM will do.

    In answer to the question Yes OCR are going to make this free to all teachers. In fact the schools I have started working with both do Edexcel. With schemes for GCSE Maths it does not matter which board you do.
    I think it's a great idea to have a teacher scheme which can be added to by teachers.
    We all have some top tips for lessons we teach, imagine a place where all those top tips can be found :)
    Ok style of teaching is different from teacher to teacher - so something that works for x may not work for y. BUT it's just going to be a scheme of ideas for each topic

    So any ideas I would love to hear about - we intend to credit teachers and their schools with the top tip if they want to be credited.

  10. Sounds interesting Steve, I'll flag it with my HoD after the half term. We are a bit stretched at the moment, being a teacher down, but if she agrees then I'll give you a shout.

    Is your project a free mymaths rival, kind of 'open source' for maths teaching, or is it a collection of ideas and presentations? I think the electronic era has shown real opportunities for maths teaching but at times it has created a lot of work too. Sites like TES and Tandy's e-maths are a big help but I still sometimes find myself trawling around for resources and then end up writing one myself!

    It's interesting what you say about the different methods people use. I've worked in schools where there is a 'departmental' method of doing certain topics and in others where it's left totally up to the individual teacher. It's a subject I've never really come to a view on, having different methods for pupils sometimes works, sometimes doesn't!

    I'm sure you will have your own ideas Steve, but as regards organisation there was a discussion on here earlier in the summer when e-maths was being organised, I'd suggest you have a look at Tandy's site and if you haven't already maybe have a chat with him?

    Without wishing to sound snobbish in any way, or putting a downer on anyones idea, the quality of resources that get produced for free range from absolutely brilliant (Pencho had some fantastic algebra sheets on here in the summer) to others that are, at best, indifferent.

    Anyhow, good look with your project Steve, it sounds like a great idea, especially if you have the backing of OCR.
  11. It's not a rival to anything and I will be suggesting Mymaths links along with loads of others.
    It's about looking at what is out there and saying this works well for this topic, but this works better for this

    I think that as it grows it will become special as teachers tell us their top tips for teaching a topic with a certain resource. A collective scheme made by teachers around the country with their top tips on how to use the resources with the class

  12. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    So is it essentially a collection of resources and links. If so how does it differ to sites that are already out there.
  13. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    This is my worry again as I can't yet see how it is going to be different to other websites that try to do it. I don't want to sound pessimistic as I hope it works. I just fear there is too much out there and this will just add to it.
  14. At my school MyMaths has provided a great solution for setting homework and as a reference for students and parents at home. I can't see why it should be used in the classroom however.
  15. Well, I would say that maths really matters so a quick Google of that might turn up something...

    Electronic resources are something that I can't help but feel are still in their infancy a little bit. What do we as teachers want/expect and how do we tell people? I've spent countless hours knocking out Keynotes for topics where people would have previously just written with some chalk on the board. I don't expect I'm alone in this.

    Do we want presentations that someone else has written for us, even if they are long winded (mymaths), or try to cram loads of text on the screen (board works). Do we want tools that let us quickly create our own presentations? Or as gogojonny suggests a quick video plus worksheet (I think mathswatch already does at least some of this).

    My own observations are that a presentation, if done well, can help in a lesson but I usually end up writing on the whiteboard to supplement what's there or to make the content more appropriate for my class. I don't think any two lessons on a topic ever go quite the same way with two classes and so flexibility is key.

    I remember reading some research (by IoE I think) that said Interactive Boards had relatively little to do with raising standards and that going through things more quickly as a result of presentations could even be counter productive. I'm genuinely interested in what others have found/think.
  16. Spot on. But why not come up with something concrete and say "This is what I want. This is the best way to teach."? Otherwise you end up with a hotchpotch. At the moment, everyone sits back and says "What resources are out there?" or "Can anyone recommend any good resources?". I have seen countless websites that try to aggregate the "best resources" (TES for a start). End result? Something like this:
    or this:
    or this:
    My view is that the teaching community should embrace technology, i.e. be able to very quickly create interactive material that can be viewed on multiple devices (so not PowerPoint), otherwise the job of teacher becomes that of a signpost, i.e. watch someone else teach in a video, then scramble around in the filing cabinet for something to photocopy.
  17. Student engagement is the key. If technology supports your teaching style to get this then great.
  18. That seems a bit harsh! All I was trying to point out is that I would use different resources/techniques for different topics, as I think is common with many teachers, other than the 'PowerPoint/presentation/mymaths with chips' brigade.

    For something like solving equations I might have a starting point on a slide, a couple of examples of clouding an equation, and then get pupils to have a go at clouding some equations themselves, then working together to solve each others equations. We would then get them out to the front to write some examples up on the board and discuss the different points that brought out. I usually use a matching exercise next, in which they have to collect together different forms/presentations of an equation. Finally, I'd have a few equations on a slide and use mini-whiteboards to check on understanding/misconceptions.

    So, the 'electronic' part of the lesson is relatively minor and does little in the way of explaining, the explaining comes from me and from discussion amongst and with the pupils, particularly during the part of the lesson where they are working together.
  19. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    I haven't got a problem with your viewpoint.
    However, I think the artistic analogies of humble steve are, to say the least, clumsy. By his reckoning, all history of art students are a sham, if they cannot paint. Sir Simon Rattle has no appreciation of music since he only conducts it, and doesn't listen to it. And I couldn't possibly appreciate literature, since I've never written a book.
  20. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    mean't, of course, to say that Rattle conducts but doesn't <u>compose</u> music [​IMG]

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