Monday, March 29, 2010

Cluttered Desk or Something to Ponder?

I've been teaching for a decade now. Today I had a moment when I realized just how much things have changed in that decade. This is a picture of how my desk may have looked on a given day:

This is what my desk looked like by lunchtime today:

I did have to group everything so that it fit into the shot, otherwise there would have been a whole lot more clutter in the picture. I notice two things about these pictures.
  1. My desk looked a whole lot tidier back then. I hate to imagine what this picture will look like 10 years from now.
  2. The tools I use have changed dramatically.
Point #2 had me thinking about the tools I will use in the future. Just to be clear I still use most of the tools I used 10 years ago and today's display was unusual. However, I do see myself using more and more tools. My hope is that by expanding my toolbox I can  make math more interesting and engaging for students. I think this is working since one my students made a comment along the lines of "I usually hate math, but this is a lot of fun" as she was leaving today. I also hope that I can provide my students with skills that will help them in the 21st century. I want them to be able to blog, edit images, participate in online communities, etc. If we don't teach them these skills who will?

What tools do you think teachers will be using in the future? What 21st century skills (if any) should we be teaching students in addition to the curriculum?

1 comment:

  1. Your photos are typical of the "gadgetry" around our home at many times of any given day. And yes, there are times when it is just the graphing calculator and a notebook too. Last evening for instance.

    If you can garner comments like the one you mention above "I usually hate math, but this is a lot of fun" you may be on to something here.

    Thanks for spreading the good news that gizmos and gadgets can be used in math.