by Dave Bailis, STEM Content Director
Mastery of math has always been a cornerstone of K-12 education. This skill has become crucial as technology takes on an increasingly prominent role in our lives. Calculations and algorithms are integral to everything we do, from cooking a recipe to running complex computer programs.
How can publishers and educators help students better understand the mathematical concepts required to succeed in the digital era? I had the opportunity to attend this year’s ASU/GSV and NCTM conferences, both of which included discussions focusing on two key areas where Westchester K-12 has worked with publishers to successfully develop effective math content:
AI (artificial intelligence) driven tech products – As more students gain access to personal computing technology in the classroom and at earlier grade levels, there will be a greater need for AI driven tech products where the curriculum adjusts to the learner as they move through it. One example of this is adaptive testing where once a student answers an item, the software automatically adjusts the difficulty level of the next item in accordance with their response. This type of differentiated instruction creates the need for a wider array of content at many different levels, and most importantly when well executed, it is able to truly meet the learner at their competency level.
Productive struggle – Another approach that is improving how students learn math concepts is productive struggle. Productive struggle is a learning strategy where the student encounters initial content without teacher guidance, content that pushes their limit of frustration. If a student encounters content that requires a productive struggle and is able to overcome that challenge through the use of creative problem solving, the student will be more equipped (and interested in) taking on more difficult material earlier in the educational process. More information about the concept of productive struggle can be found in this article published by ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).
Contact us to learn how Westchester K-12 can help you develop math content in print and digital applications that meet federal and state education guidelines.