Sunday, September 30, 2007

R&D Project on Algebra Software Shows Promise

SRI, the sponsor of TappedIn online educational social network, reports provided encouraging data used to determine that a longitudinal study of SimCalc based Algebra I and II learning. It appears that teachers with strong professional development in the use of the software and working knowledge of the state's curriculum standards effectively lead students in learning that was significantly higher than the students in the control classes learning from their usual textbooks.
clipped from
Computer software that shows students visual models of mathematical concepts—and lets them manipulate those models by doing math—has a certain intuitive appeal.
recent research on SimCalc MathWorlds,
is providing some of the best evidence
can lead to gains in student learning.
Data released last spring by
SRI International
“large effects” from the use of SimCalc, when
bolstered by professional development and a curriculum that are both geared to the state’s math standards
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
owns the software
U.S. Department of Education has provided a $2 million grant to the university to conduct a four-year longitudinal study starting this fall

In one algebra activity using SimCalc, each of two students has a
colored “fish” that moves according to formulas they create. Lines of
corresponding colors underneath represent the students’ formulas.

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