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Use of Educational Technology

The increased use of technology in mathematics and all other quantitative disciplines has progressed well. From the Consortium and other sources, a growing number of faculty are becoming proficient with using calculator- and computer-based materials as well as web pages and hypertext. The required use of graphical calculators on the AP Calculus test has led to widespread use of graphing calculators in courses leading up to calculus in high schools. The proposal's goal was to have 100 new users of educational technology by the second year of the project. The Consortium is on track for achieving that goal. Setting up a home page for one�s courses will be a major theme for next year. However, there needs to be better coordination and communication among users of technology. The Consortium is working to coordinate such efforts with existing institutional groups (e.g., local computing operations support personnel).

There have been a number of Consortium-sponsored faculty workshops at individual institutions about educational technology, involving particular software packages, home pages, multimedia, etc. One of the most popular topics has been spreadsheets, which faculty are using not only in business courses but also in biology and chemistry labs, and in social science courses.

The most elaborate technology effort is in chemistry at Stony Brook. The Consortium is sharing with an NSF grant of Professor Hanson the support of a post-doc who is helping Hanson develop elaborate multimedia/hypertext material, linking mathematics and chemical processes. A number of the Development Fund awards involved integrating technology into the classroom. At Stony Brook, half a dozen talented computer science undergraduates have been hired to work with faculty in developing multimedia/hypertext materials in mathematics, earth science and chemistry. An interesting development, discussed in Multidisciplinary Courses, is the use of the Internet in a new course at St. Joseph's on quantitative reasoning for elementary school teachers.

While graphing calculators can be acquired by students for reasonable costs, in some cases the use of computers requires the purchase of additional computers by institutions (especially since many students at Consortium institutions still do not own personal computers). Fortunately, efforts of faculty to develop technology-based materials have helped speed the acquisition of new computing equipment at some institutions. Also, some faculty at Consortium institutions have prepared NSF ILI proposals. In general, the efforts of the Consortium in this arena have worked very synergistically with plans of local institutions to increase the use of technology.

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The Long Island Consortium is sponsored by the NSF Initiative: Mathematical Sciences and Their Application Throughout the Curriculum, DUE #9555142. The original NSF proposal can be accessed by clicking here.

Last updated October 7, 1997. Please direct comments or suggestions to Webmaster@licil.org