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Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real maths with computers

12 September 2013 By In MyPal Blog

In this extremely interesting TED video, Conrad Wolfram, British technologist and business and founder of Computer-based Math talks about the need for reforming maths curriculum and the way it is taught. He highlights the need for using technology extensively in maths education.

He defines maths as a four step process:

1. Posing the right question: The first step is to ask the right question.
2. Real world —> Math formulation: Take the problem and turn it from a real world problem into a math problem
3. Computation: Turn it from that into some answer in mathematical form
4. Math formulation —> Real world & Verification: Turn it back from mathematical solution to real world.

He mentions that an alarmingly high rate (80%) of time spent on teaching maths is spent on Step 3: Computation, and that too – manual. The philosophy is simple: Repeated practice will make one understand the procedure better. However, that’s the one step that a computer can do better. So, why not use computers to do that step and focus on the remaining three?

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