Reviewer: Karen Blumberg
Position Held: Technology Integrator
District/School: The School at Columbia University is an independent school on the Upper West Side of New York City.
Number of Students in School: 500 students in grades K-8
Product: Sketchpad Explorer app from Key Curriculum Press
I have been a huge fan of The Geometer's Sketchpad for years (since I was introduced to it in 1994!), and I believe it is one of the best educational tools out there. Therefore, I was incredibly excited when I learned about the release of Sketchpad Explorer. I will be supporting the 5th grade team as they incorporate the Sketchpad Explorer app and the Dynamic Number Project into their math curriculum this year. We're looking to fully engage the students and encourage them to hypothesize, investigate, understand, and share mathematical principles.
The School at Columbia University has a 1:1 iPad program in grades K-2 and a 1:1 laptop program in grades 3-8. Our website reinforces the four pillars of our school community: Innovation, Collaboration, Diversity, and Technology. Hence, our administration, parents, faculty, and students support our efforts to fully explore ways to integrate technology. My personal goal is to teach my students how to use technology academically, respectfully, and responsibly.
After opening Sketchpad Explorer on the iPad, teachers and students are able to quickly navigate through a variety of mathematical investigations. Within seconds, students can adeptly explore and interact and make sense of mathematical concepts.
How We Use It:
In addition to capitalizing on our students' enthusiasm and willingness to embrace technology as a learning and collaboration tool, the teachers and I are planning lessons and activities to integrate Sketchpad Explorer into the 5th grade geometric and algebraic curriculum. Also, there is a robust online community sharing ideas and lesson plans at the Sketch Exchange!
We are excited to use this year to examine how Sketchpad Explorer may engage, empower, and educate our students. I am hoping we can eventually build an in-house repository of homemade sketches for our students to use as a resource archive...sort of like our own version of a Khan Academy.