Students quantitative literacy and critical thinking skills can be improved by regular use of spreadsheet tasks

How are Spreadsheets used in Schools My experience and observation in New Zealand Secondary Schools has been that using spreadsheets is a nice optional extra. Hardly surprising really when the Senior Mathematics Assessment Achievement Standard guides have no requirement for spreadsheet skills, thus giving little motivation for teachers to implement a spreadsheet skills program. Some…

Do interactive video tools lead to more active and deeper learning?

Introduction Last year I completed a Masters research paper with Waikato University (NZ) called “Digital Technologies in the Classroom: New pedagogies, new practices”. I was tasked to choose and analyse an emerging technology within a teaching and learning context. I chose to explore how interactive digital video tools, used in the classroom, could enable more…

Teaching Effective Research Skills to Middle and High School Students

Introduction In this recent article I discussed the alarming incidence of plagiarism by students, particularly copy/pasting work from online sources directly into their research work, often re-arranging some text so that it appeared to be in their own words. If students are properly taught basic skills in how to gather and organise their research, then they can build on…

Tackling Low-Level Plagiarism in Schools

“Houston, we have a problem!” At the start of 2013 I joined a new secondary (high) school where I taught two junior Social Studies classes. The students for both courses were required to complete three internally assessed research assignments over the year. There was some scope for teachers to modify aspects of the assessments, so…

Scaffolding Maths is numbing our students minds

Today I saw the video below for the first time “Math class needs a makeover” by Dan Meyer from his TED talk back in 2010. Dan describes how today’s math curriculum is teaching students to expect – and excel at – paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. In his talk, Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math…