Math 2.0 at NCTM - a recap


There were problems with audio. We are investigating what happened. Meanwhile, here is the recording. (It was strange to say the least. You may rather listen to the interview (below) instead. -Ihor)

Update from Maria Droujkova: I interviewed Ihor about his NCTM experiences again, this time without audio problems. Here is the new recording. He shared why he is pessimistic about NCTM's current course, but has hopes for the future. Some highlights of what he said (rough draft - links coming soon. -Ihor):

  • Technology and social media at NCTM and conferences:
    • I am a very harsh critic of NCTM, but I am also a huge defender. I have been on committees, program committees, various meetings and trips. The people are great. The presidents are outstanding people, they are all outstanding citizens.
    • The problem is the culture of NCTM. It's static, and the board runs it, and they get elected, and technology never makes it to the top of the list. Yet some of the best technology innovations come from NCTM people like Patrick Vennebush who is on Staff and plays an important role in promoting it. Calculation Nation and the Illumination site are good examples of this.
    • As far as social media, neither NCTM nor NCSM promotes it any significant way. The do have blogs, Facebook and Twitter sites but they are just beginning to use them.
    • People check their Internet at the Cybercafe and very few (?) take advantage of Wifi which costs $12.95 a day. I saw very few people carrying laptops.
    • About 10-15% of the conference [NCTM] sessions had some technology flavor to it, whereas at NECC [now ISTE] it's nearly 100%
    • People who go to the conference like it. They enjoy it. NCTM always gets positive reviews. The problem is, they don't publicize negative ones. They don't have an open blogging system on their NCTM site. I was invited to blog for NCTM conference. There were only few other bloggers who shared their experiences of the conferences.
    • There is good stuff coming on on illuminations. Some of it is mediocre, but most of it very good and the collection grows as part of the part of Illuminations. There was a new Tessellation applet that I thought was great and wanted to email the author but there was no contact information so I had to find through colleagues who made that wonderful tessellation activity.
    • They have an Illuminations area in Facebook devoted exclusively to talking about the activities and lessons. Does does anyone go there? No! There are a lot of people out there who are interested in making comments - I know because I talk with them. But how do you get these people together is a big challenge?
  • Technology in the booths:
    • It's dominated by textbook companies, and they all do want to sell technology, but it's in a more conventional way, such as e-books: to teach the math they've been teaching. It is in the spirit of NCTM standards, and they certainly want to be effective in it, but the technology is an add-on.
    • Individual booths had Internet access. It cost $100 a day. They mostly used it to demonstrate vendor software so it was very much a Web 1.0 [one way] kind of deal.
    • Some noticeable large tech players weren't there. Google SketchUp had a booth at the last one, but not this year.
  • Innovation
    • Unfortunately, there weren't a lot of "Wow!"-s, mostly there were disappointments, but there were some good ones. The idea that you can use technology in collaborative ways isn't even on most of their drawing boards yet.
    • Math bloggers such as Dan Meyer will hopefully influence how curriculum will evolve given a Web based platform.
    • and Bonnie Roskes, with Jonathan Choate shared Google SketchUp at their session and in my Math 2.0 booth [mathcast coming soon].
    • Key Curriculum with three strong pieces of software [Sketchpad, Fathom, TinkerPlot], though Sketchpad maybe in trouble because of open-source software such as GeoGebra. I love their chief Sketchpad architect, Nick Jackiw. He was demonstrating how you could use Sketchpad to create some of the morphing in the movie "Avatar" - that was a highlight. Their booth was also interesting, and they had people come up and write notes on a "wall" - kind of like writing on the wall in Facebook without the Internet.
    • Fastt Math [Tom Snyder Productions]: If someone got this program and would just stick to it, most kids would know their facts. It's not a high priority to get kids to memorize their facts in schools.
    • One of the most effective venues for using technology is Calculation Nation led by Patrick Vennebush [Staff Member NCTM]. It is brilliant: you can play games with other people, and what is special, they turn best Illuminations ideas into games.
  • Ihor's petition
    • I sent it to 185 people who who spoke on a technology theme. I also sent the petition to all the speakers at the conference. I got 12 signatures. That tells you the story.
    • We should bring back the 2008 resolution and get the board to understand we are not messing around. This is critical to the future of math education. If you [NCTM] don't get on board, you are going to die [quoting someone Ihor overheard at the conference!]
    • I heard several comments that NCTM as an organization is going to go into the oblivion, or become small potatoes. [That's very unlikely. What I meant is they won't be changing the format of conference to reflect how the emerging technologies are changing life around us.-Ihor]
    • I was discouraged about what's going on with technology in math education from what I saw going on at both conferences. But what I am optimistic about is that many of the young teachers - the upcoming Linchpins [the ones Seth Godin refers to in his latest book] who also blog are making inroads "disruptively" in their classrooms. Ten or fifteen years from now we should see some major shifts in the dynamics of how we teach and learn math assuming the conserving forces will be disarmed by how society will change by then. I want to believe what I'm reading in the current flurry of books on this topic. My latest is John Seely Brown's new book "The Power of Pull : How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion.


All Math 2.0 events are free and open to the public. Information about all events in the series is here:

Wednesday, May 5th 2010 we will meet in the LearnCentral public Elluminate room at 6:30pm Pacific / 9:30pm Eastern time:

webinar_buttons.pngEnter the webinar room

Event notes by Ihor

May 1, 2010. 12:45 EST

Hi there. I'm currently writing this as I'm flying home to White Plains, NY via Atlanta, GA. First time for me on a flight using Wifi. Very exciting!

I'm inviting everyone who attended, participated in anyway or is interested in the NCSM and/or the NCTM meeting in San Diego to join our Elluminate session this Wednesday, May 5th, 9:30pm (EST). If you have a written about the conference in any form please share your URL with us - even if you can't make the Wednesday session.

Early returns on where to find comments about the conference:
NCTM Conference Blog. I've added a couple of entries myself.
Dan Meyer is blogging about both conferences in great detail. See
NCTM Conference Wrapup site

Math 4, 2010. 12:26 EST

I'm working on my reflections of the the conferences (NCSM/NCTM) and will be sharing them tomorrow at the Math 2.0 Elluminate session. Topics for sharing include:
  • Your highlight sessions
  • Your not-so highlight sessions
  • What kind of session do you wish they had?
  • Math 2.0 Linchpins who are changing the way we teach and learn math.
  • Prominent Math Bloggers. Highlight: Dan Meyer's Ignite presentation at NCSM
  • List of URLs of blogs etc. with reviews/descriptions of events at the conferences. If you send them to me ( ) in advance I'll post them on one of my slides.
  • Some issues to discuss:
    • When will the Board of NCTM/Program committees wake up and smell the Wifi coffee? It's time to retire the CyberCafe in its current form. Imagine going to Starbucks and having to use their computers to connect to the Internet?
    • Suggestions for improving the conference experience

Event Host

Ihor Charischak
President of the Council for Technology in Math Education (CLIME) an affiliate of NCTM since 1988.

external image ihorbooth.jpgA career mathematics educator Ihor retired from Stevens Institute of Technology in October, 2007 and continues to pursue his passion of firing up teachers imaginations about how learning and teaching math with technology can be interesting, useful and empowering. At Stevens Ihor led projects dealing with technology applications in mathematics education at the Center for Innovation in Engineering & Science Education (CIESE) at Stevens since 1990. He has more than 35 years experience as a classroom teacher and teacher educator. He helped found the Council for Technology in Mathematics Education (CLIME) in 1988 which is an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and has been active member on their technology committees. He participated on the Editorial Panel for the NCTM 2005 Yearbook on technology and mathematics. At CIESE he last managed a professional development project in Elizabeth, NJ where he worked with eleven middle schools to help strengthen teacher content knowledge and pedagogy as well as help them align their textbook lessons with more engaging, technology based activities and projects. You can find out more about his current adventures at his website: and his role as president of CLIME at His Twitter handle is: @Climeguy See his CLIME blog for updates.