Monday, January 25, 2016

Tech Tool Criteria

Why get out of bed tomorrow and teach math?
I love student thinking because it helps drive my math instruction.
*this is just one reason for me

So when it comes to tech tools in the math class, I need tech tools that allow me to focus on student thinking because student thinking will better drive my math instruction. This video shares a few more detailed thoughts:

Here's my criteria:
In order to focus on student thinking, my tech tools need to :
  • SORT
Let me explain:
  • I need tech tools that capture student thinking as best possible. And I mean ALL students.
  • I need tech tools that sort the student thinking efficiently and effectively. 
  • I need tech tools that allow me to quickly assess what students are thinking. In REAL-TIME.
  • I need tech tools that allow the students and me (the teacher) to discuss the thinking and mathematics that has been captured, sorted, and assessed.
My next post will include:
  • my rubric
  • examples of tools that currently DO and DON'T meet my criteria 
What's your criteria?

Student thinking,


  1. Open source tool. Knowing what the program really does and that I could modify it, it's essential to me

    1. Thanks for sharing, Xavier.

      I'd love to know more about this. For example, how does this criteria align with where you want to take the learning/instruction?

    2. First of all, I think about what is the tool I need and then I search open source tools for that. Unfortunately in some ocasions, there are not open source tools. In the lack of those tools, I make manipulate materials (like cards for matching) or I think of making my own. Usually the last one does not "curdle"

      I really have very few "interesting" activities like you and for example Dan Meyer do. I'm starting to pass the old stuff to new one....

  2. Tech-Tool #1: Help students find disequilibrium.
    Tech-Tool #2: Help teachers find students in disequilibrium.
    Tech-Tool #3: Help teachers address the individual needs of each student.
    Tech-Tool #4: Improve and simplify the process for displaying, discussing, and rethinking ideas.

    The full thought is found here:

    Thanks for the springboard to think about these ideas for myself. Btw, I've been using estimation 180 with my students. I love it! It is helping them transition to new ways of learning math.

    1. Thanks for sharing your criteria. I just posted a comment on your blog.
      Glad to hear that Estimation 180 is helping students transition to new ways of learning math. I'd LOVE to know more about that.

    2. I'm at a new school this year. Some of the challenges I have been faced this year with some students:
      1. Students feeling like they can't do math (They think they didn't get the math gene).
      2. Students disliking math.
      3. Students wanting to mindlessly do mathematics.
      4. Students wanting me to tell them or show them how to do everything ("That's how Mr. so and so taught us.").
      5. Students afraid to take risks.

      I have been doing the estimation challenges in an effort to "win small, but win often." I have been seeing great results:

      1. Near 100% participation!
      2. Students are gaining more confidence. They are taking more risks.
      3. Students are visibly excited to learn math, and they anticipate it.
      4. Students have better feelings associated with and better attitudes towards mathematics.

      Students clearly prefer this type of learning to traditional math teaching methods.

      Thanks again for all of your hard work and your willingness to share it!

    3. Thanks for sharing, Ryan. I appreciate you taking risks and finding ways to win small and win often. It sounds like you're investing in activities that will continue to pay off. Thanks for all your hard work and what you do as a teacher!