Wrap Up

We end with another look at the resources available at the Mathlets website, and a listing of the Virtues of the Mathlets that have been illustrated along the way in this short course.

1. In this section…

We will summarize the topics covered in the course and the virtues of using Mathlets in the classroom.

2. Mathlets: A Wrap-Up

I hope that you are walking away from this course with ideas for incorporating Mathlets into your courses. Let us conclude by reviewing some of the additional resources available on the Mathlets website.

Launch

Website: Mathlets.org

3. Virtues of the Mathlets

Here is a compilation of the ten Mathlet Virtues we have seen over this short course. You can learn more about most of these features $-$ especially the last two $-$ by reading the article Computer Manipulatives in an Ordinary Differential Equations Course: Development, Implementation, and Assessment written by Miller and Upton (2007).

1. They bring out the intrinsic visual character of mathematics.
2. They mediate between special cases and the general case.
3. They can be used to break a lecture into bite-sized fragments.
4. Their graphical and artistic quality can excite interest.
5. Most students prefer algorithm and pattern matching to mathematical thought. The graphical representation of mathematical contexts makes it possible to lead students to make truly mathematical arguments.
6. Group work can be difficult to organize in a mathematics class because there is no physical object which all participants share and work with together. The Mathlet provides a center of attention which a group of students can address in parallel.
7. The Mathlets support a version of inquiry based learning, inviting students to experiment and then explain their observations.
8. Students learn best when they can work with the Mathlets themselves. There is a lot to be said for the power of kinesthetic learning.
9. Interaction with a computer offers more focused and effective feedback on student performance: intrinsic rather than extrinsic.
10. The Mathlets support transfer.

References

Miller, H. R., & Upton, D. S. (2007). Computer Manipulatives in an Ordinary Differential Equations Course: Development, Implementation, and Assessment. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 17(2), 124–137. doi:10.1007/s10956-007-9058-2