Invited Talk Abstract Presented at the 10th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics
December 12-19, 2005, South Korea

Dynamic Geometry Software across the curriculum:observations from the national adoption scenario

Nicholas Jackiw
(presented by Steven Rasmussen of KCP Technologies, Inc.)

KCP Technologies, Inc.


The Geometer's Sketchpad software, originally situated as a construction and exploration environment within the context of geometry education at the secondary level in the United States, is after 15 years one of the most widely used educational technologies in the world. In Asia, it has been adopted or mandated at the national level by Ministries of Education in some countries (e.g. Malaysia, Thailand), is part of sustained national-level education reform and development initiatives run by state and professional teachers associations in several more (South Korea, Singapore), and enjoys grass-roots popularity in yet others (China, Russia). But where a given technology's classroom endorsement in the hands and by the choice of a skilled and enthusiastic teacher is best understood in reference to that teacher's goals, practice, students, and classroom culture; deployment at the provincial or national level alters many of the core dynamics of technology adoption and use. Questions of access are peremptorily removed, and questions of curricular integration become tantamount. More gradually, issues of training reduce in urgency, as grade-spanning ladders of competence and capacity emerge. Perceptions of the technology change rapidly as it penetrates classrooms "beyond the chasm" that traditionally separates--in any technology milieu---early-adopters from entrenched practice. These changes in perception interact with the inevitably local flavor of mathematics curriculum and instruction to produce new mathematical interpretations and mathematical applications of the technology, reaching far beyond its original design intent. In this invited speech, Sketchpad's designer discusses how Sketchpad has influenced and in turn been influenced by national-level practice here in Asia and in North America.

He will also look at some of the purposes to which Sketchpad--initially designed to support secondary geometry education in the United States--has been put in the much broader age- and mathematical-content spans of its curricular adoptions, and discuss the role that Sketchpad and similar powerful tools play in a larger taxonomy of interactions between mathematics technologies and the contexts of their classroom application.

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