Fall 2021 - EDUC 845 G031

Learning Mathematics with Computers (5)

Class Number: 5158

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



Experience in incorporating computers in mathematical problem solving, adaptation of materials for use in mathematics classroom.


Meeting Dates:

  • Sept 17, 18, 19
  • Oct 1, 2, 3
  • Oct 15, 16, 17
  • Nov 19, 20, 21

Times: Fridays 5:00 – 9:00 pm; Saturdays 8:30 – 3:00 pm; Sundays 8:30 – 1:00 pm

Location: École H.S. Grenda, 10168 Konschuh Road, Lake Country, Room TBA


Students will have many experiences in using digital technologies to practice with and address a variety of mathematical topics across the curriculum. They will reflect on how to best integrate these technologies within their own teaching, with particular attention to how they change current practices (such as assessment), as well as look at current assumptions about particular mathematical concepts (and how they might change with different technologies).


  • Introduction to a reading 25%
  • Technology/task critique 25%
  • Try something in your classroom 25%
  • Problem Portfolio 25%


  1. Introduction to a reading: Readings will be introduced in pairs. This will involve addressing questions such as (but you don’t need to address them all): What is the article about? Who is the intended audience? Is it rhetorical, empirical or theoretical in its arguments? What do you find interesting? How does it connect to activities or discussions we’ve had in the course? How does it connect to other papers we’ve read in the course? What question would you have for the author? Please also be prepared to have some questions you would like the whole group to discuss.

Note: Please keep focus and discussion on the paper (Drawing on experiences is fine but the relevance of those experiences in the context of the paper should be make clear).

  1. Technology/task critique. This is a three-person project. You will choose a mathematical idea or concept that you want to teach your students. You will then design a task that will be carried out using digital technology. You will describe in detail why this digital technology is a good tool for the task. How is this digital technology different from traditional tools, what affordances does the technology offer the student and how and what will they learn. Attend to the various design choices that were made in creating the digital technology and that we’ve discussed in class. Is it manipulative or constructive? What kind of feedback is given? Is the interaction direct or indirect? Is it continuous or discrete? What things can you do with it that you couldn’t do in a paper-and-pencil environment or with physical manipulatives? Why, for example, is the task you are posing relevant and bound to be enhanced in this technological environment? How does it change the nature of the mathematical objects involved? Does the task make good use of the digital technology? What kinds of actions does it invite students to undertake? How does it help teachers learn about what students can do and can think? What would you change about the task or the digital technology? You do not have to address all these questions.

Please produce a group written report, approximately 6 pages. You can have up to 2 pages of screen shots or images to help the reader understand the tech/task environment. This assignment evaluates your attention to the relevance of a task with a technology.

  1. Try something out in your classroom. This is a follow-up assignment to the Technology/Task assignment above. Implement the task with the digital technology outlined in assignment 2. For this assignment, other forms of technology may be used as well to enhance the overall teaching of the mathematics idea or concept.

The implementation can take many forms. It might involve using a laptop with a small group of students, going to the computer lab, using iPads, doing a show classroom discussion with the IWB, or any other configuration that works for you.  It may also take more than one class. Take notes of what you experience immediately after your implementation. If you can, gather work from the students, or jot down some things they said or did to help you explain what happened. There will be time in this course to discuss with your partners who also implemented the digital technology and task to discuss different experiences. Produce an individual written report that includes what actually happened, how it differed (if at all) with your thinking in assignment two, the differences of you with your group members, a reflection on what you would do differently next time.

Please produce a written report, approximately 3 to 5 pages. Take some pictures of your student’s work and include this in your report. You can have up to 1.5 pages of images in the report. This assignment evaluates the implementation and personal experience as well as your analysis of its success or failure with regards to curricular goals and/or student’s experiences.

Presentations will be made with group members after implementation in class.

  1. Problem Portfolio. You will play, pose and solve a problem using a digital technology (or more than one, if you’d prefer). This problem will probably arise out of investigations that we do in class. It may be an extension or variation on existing problems, or it may be inspired by readings you do, or activities you underwent in trying to pose, solve and explain the problem. By “process” I do not mean a long list of the things you did “First I did this and then I did that...” Rather, I mean a more reflective, narrative explanation of the barriers you ran into, the insights you had, the way in which the software you used helped or detracted, and so on. I want to read a story of your time with the problem. In a reflection section, I want to know why you found your problem interesting, and what role technology played in helping you pose or solve the problem.

Please complete a 4 to 5 page documentation of a problem you posed and solved in a digital technological environment. You can include up to 1.5 pages of images if necessary. You may also include a digital file of the work you performed. For example, if you used GSP, include the file you created in your solution. This assignment evaluates your engagement and inquiry into a technology and its affordances in the context of solving a problem (which as mentioned in class, may or may not be successfully solved).



All students must purchase a student license for The Geometer’s Sketchpad, Version 5. Information on where and how to obtain this license will be communicated before the first meeting.


There is no dedicated textbook for this course.

Required readings for EDUC 845 will include a combination of journal articles and book chapters that have been selected to support the aims of this course. These readings can be downloaded each week from Canvas.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.