Many forms of media can be used in math lesson plans placing the medium in the role of both instructor and as a tool used by the "live" instructor. One educator who developed and employed multimedia into math lessons found that:
o mathematical vocabulary of the students increased (and they made a more conscious effort to USE the correct terminology)
o students asked more questions
o response quality improved
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Math Lesson Plans - Medium as Instructor
When teaching concepts or skills, the computer serves best in the role of tutor. There are many programs commercially available where the computer presents information and asks questions. Then, when the learner responds, the computer evaluates the response and determines what to present next. This is called Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) or Computer Based Training (CBT).
In addition to tutorials, the computer can serve as instructor for drill and practice, simulations, and instructional games.
Long before computers entered the school environment, videos have been used for instruction. Traditionally, the video served the role of instructor while the "live" instructor simply reinforced the lesson presented in the video. Today, videos are being created that may be used as BOTH the instructor and a tool the instructor uses to teach related lessons (see below).
Math Lesson Plans - Medium as Tool
When carrying out definite functions, such as graphing, calculating, and storing/retrieving information, computers behave as a tool. Students can be engaged in activities that require collecting data, organizing it, and making graphs to show their findings. Because, in the business world, a graph is typically used to explain statistics, students should be encouraged to experiment with different graphic representations and pick the one that most "forcefully" displays the data.
Here are some ways that video can be used as both instructor and as a tool the "live" instructor uses to teach other concepts.
o Modeling: Video on modeling behavior can be used to teach social skills but also as tool to explore the usefulness and applications of creating models in mathematics.
o Scale: A murder mystery video can be used to teach problem solving skills and as a tool to demonstrate how scale is needed to construct a bar graph to prove the accusations against the culprit.
o Monetary system: A social studies video on life in another country can be used as a tool to teach how monetary systems are based on a standard unit of value.