I wanted to get wiser about how instructional technologists interact with math teachers. In particular, I wanted to know what makes math teachers more reticent to adopt technology than teachers from other disciplines.
Help me out: if you're an instructional technologist, what makes math (or math teachers) challenging to support?— Dan Meyer (@ddmeyer) April 17, 2017
Alice Keeler offers professional development in technology much more often than I do and echoed the question:
Almost every event I will have an admin come up to me with "We are Google Apps... it's going great... except for the math dept"— Alice Keeler (@alicekeeler) April 17, 2017
Here are the primary reasons for that disconnect I received on Twitter:
Technology is a distraction from content and assessment objectives.
Ts worry that tech will get in the way of being able to get through their curriculum especially with standardized tests.— Nicole Johnson (@njohnson0622) April 17, 2017
Perceived time constraints associated with test materials and completing a curriculum.— Diane Savatt (@MrsSavatt) April 17, 2017
Also in Texas, algebra is a gatekeeper for a diploma, so pressure is immense math teachers. They have to KNOW something is going to work.— Caleb Hudgens (@calebhudgens) April 17, 2017
Worst things to happen to the relationship between Math Teachers and IT are QWERTY, Equation Editor, GoogleDocs & LaTeX.— Cal Armstrong (@sig225) April 17, 2017
Math needs doodles
Traditional teaching methods being seen as the "right" way to teach math. Complicated workarounds to type math characters.— Jessica McMahon (@JK_McMahon) April 17, 2017
Reliance on a pen/stylus-based input device. I totally get this need, but it's a challenge to support in a BYOD environment.— Jay Heath (@heathjw) April 17, 2017
Generally, it’s hard to break from tradition.
When new pedagogy ideas are too different from current work - have to have something to connect to.— Jade White (@JadeMohrWhite) April 17, 2017
some technology-driven deviations of mathematics break the age old norms of what it means to "do math" in traditional settings.— John Stevens (@Jstevens009) April 17, 2017
Many Ts feel traditional paper-pencil (and often multiple choice) are the only valid way for Ss to show their thinking/be assessed in math.— Annie Forest (@mrsforest) April 17, 2017
There are more applications for the humanities than for math.
Most tech PD is on writing/research so math Ts feel it won't work for them-difficult to get Ts past this &be comfortable w/it themselves too— Kim Scarbrough (@frenchmath) April 17, 2017
I don't like sitting in PD where I hear presenters say "this may not work for you math teachers" over and over.— Rachel (@rlawsum) April 17, 2017
Sometimes you don't have great examples of math assignments, so they feel left out on training without math examples.— Jeff See (@JeffreyASee) April 17, 2017
Math edtech often focuses on routine math knowledge.
The last ins tech coach session we had demoed kahoot and quizlet as vocab review. Maybe fewer free options to reach/assess depth??— Deb (@dbarnum11) April 17, 2017
This! As a teacher, the examples provided are rarely math focused. Plus, a lot of tools seem to focus on speed & competition...— Deb (@dbarnum11) April 17, 2017
Math anxiety and technology anxiety compound.
We have math anxiety compounded with Tech anxiety at times!— Rayshell Fambrough (@Tech_Buddha) April 17, 2017
Many ITs shy away from math because it isn't their background; math is [incorrectly] seen as different, beyond people, not for everyone.— Amy Roediger (@AmyRoediger) April 17, 2017
Finally, here is a strategy for working with math teachers that sounded promising to me.
I sometimes ask Ts to makeover (or let me help makeover) a lesson they hate, something they loathe to teach. A little win builds traction.— Amy Roediger (@AmyRoediger) April 17, 2017
Thanks for educating me, everybody.