As we all know, U.S. students score pretty low on international math tests -- 24th out of 29 industrialized countries. What can we do to get kids really excited about math? One thing is to make it relevant to the world today. How about learning to program your cell phone, for example, just to start?
Many groups have been working to improve teacher effectiveness and student engagement in math. There are lots of resources on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics website as well as on Math Forum for math teachers website.
A wonderful new resource for math and science teachers and for parents just appeared last week on Google called Exploring Computational Thinking. The goal of these resources is make the study of computational thinking, math, computer science, science, and social science more exciting for K-12 students and more applicable to today's world.
These resources were developed by math and science teachers in cooperation with Google engineers
It involves a set of problem-solving skills and techniques that software engineers use to write programs that underlay the computer applications you use such as search, email, and maps. Specific techniques include: problem decomposition, pattern recognition, pattern generalization to define abstractions or models, algorithm design, and data analysis and visualization.
If you are not a math teacher or a K12 teacher, you might want to share this link with a math or science teacher. We all need to work together to help students everywhere be better mathematicians and scientists.
Follow Esther Wojcicki on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EstherWojcicki