MTH SAC Technology Use Pilot Fall Term 2016

What’s being piloted, and when?

The PCC Math department will be running a technology pilot during Fall 2016 in a select set of MTH 111 courses. Courses participating in this pilot will not require that students have or use a physical graphing calculator. They will all be run in computer classrooms and will instead utilize online graphing calculators and computer algebra systems. We see a lot of benefits in these online graphing programs, particularly in that they are interactive and quite easy to use. They’re also available (for free!) on smartphones and tablets. This doesn’t mean that students won’t be allowed the use of a physical graphing calculator, but rather that it won’t be required or used for demonstrations. All of our computer classrooms are equipped with Lanschool, a software that enables instructors to limit and monitor which programs/websites are accessed while students take exams.

Will I be prepared for the next course if I don’t use a physical graphing calculator in MTH 111?

The graphing calculator skills utilized in MTH 111 are all taught in MTH 95, so using a different calculator in this course should not put students at a disadvantage.

How can I expect this course to be different from a regular MTH 111 course?

The only distinction will be the technology you use in the classroom and during exams. You should expect the content and assessments to be similar to any other MTH 111 course. If these programs are free, why can’t I use them in a class that’s not participating in the pilot? The main roadblock for the Math department to fully adopting the use of these programs in place of a physical graphing calculator is that they require internet access, which gets complicated during exams. Your instructor may allow you to use these programs on a personal device while you’re not taking exams in a section not participating in this pilot, but that’s up to your instructor’s discretion.

Instructor’s Syllabus Statement Technology Requirement:

Although a graphing calculator is not required for this course, it may be required for your next math course. The TI-89 Titanium or Casio Classpad is recommended should you need a calculator for future classes. All technology done in class will be done on Desmos, Geogebra, or some other type of free technology. You can use either this free technology or the graphing calculator in this course.

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