Saturday, 29 March 2014

Why My Asymptote?

I am a high school Mathematics teacher. I decided to start this blog as a way to document and share my experiences trying to provide opportunities for my students to become independent learners.

Being a Mathematics teacher, I regularly make reference to asymptotes. An asymptote is a line that a curve approaches as it heads towards infinity.

I particularly like the example below as a symbol of my journey as a teacher. The ever changing nature of education, has meant lots of changes of the path. However, the path is always heading towards the common goal, the asymptote. There has been many asymptotes in the journey, and many more to come, I'm sure. Underlying it all for me, is a desire to increase the love of Mathematics in my students.

I have been teaching long enough to see many initiatives come and go. I know all these initiatives are founded on an idea to help our students. Everyone who enters into education truly have a desire to help students become the best learners they can be. I am taking this opportunity to share my experiences, be it good or bad, as a way to motivate myself to improve my practises.

I work at a co–education Catholic high school. We have just under 1000 students. 2014 has marked the introduction of a 1-1 BYOD iPad program for year 7. We already have a 1-1 laptop program for years 10, 11 and 12.

At the start of this year, I had two really big goals. One was to integrate technology in a meaningful way into my lessons to increase engagement of my students. As a result of this engagement, I am hoping to increase the love of Mathematics in my students. The other was to go paperless (as much as you can in an educational organisation). 

Goal one is always going to be a challenge, hence the integration of technology is going to be another asymptote for me in this journey. This challenge will also be the bases for many posts I'm sure in the future.

Goal two, initially, I thought it was going to be much harder than it actually has been. If you really make a conscious effort not to use paper, it is amazing how easily you can come up with other alternatives. The biggest change I have made which has meant that I have been able to save on paper is by using google drive. I am able to share documents with my students electronically instead of using paper to print them out and my students are able to share their work with me via google drive also. This has been an easy transition for me, as the majority of my students have their own device, either an iPad or a laptop. This might be more difficult for others if your students don't have easy access to devices.

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