Learning is better when you study in advance!

In the advent of technology, more students are able to access tools which have potentials to maximize their learning. Though, several studies tackle the effectiveness of learning with technology from both sides with those in favor and not in favor. There is one thing for sure, it has opened alternative, yet exciting ways of implementing the curriculum of the 21st century education. While it continues to be a big challenge for many which tools are appropriate to use, there are many ways teachers can be guided in choosing and evaluating the right tools. With wide range of options in digital technology alone, teachers can do a lot of things to improve the learning experiences of their students. It is now possible for one to advance their own mathematical understanding, improve their problem solving and critical thinking skills, and develop their digital literacy skills anytime and anywhere. Having digital tools such as smartphones, laptops and the like put some learners at a greater advantage, but only if these tools are just used properly and productively. For example, a study on the use of Geometers Sketchpad shows significant boost on students’ mathematics test scores in Geometry (Myers, 2009). However, this is not always the case. Some studies show no link between technology and achievement, but a positive relationship between technology use and discipline (Garthwait, 2007). In order for the technology to have positive impact, technology integration must have a purpose. (Cramer and Smith, 2002). In the case of Math Log, it is created primarily for the following reasons:

  • To personalize learning where students can practice mathematical skills at their own pace; and
  • To improve students’ problem solving and critical thinking skills through challenging activities promoting competitive and cooperative learning environments.

So why “Math Log”?
Merriam-Webster dictionary defined the word “log” as a record of performance, events, or day-to-day activities. In Mathematics, the word “log” can be associated with the concept of common logarithm – a logarithm to the base of 10. As we know, logarithmic function is the inverse of exponential function. My students define an inverse function as something that reverses another function. From these definitions, Math Log can be thought of as an electronic portfolio that compiles important lessons discussed in the classroom. As we progress to the new lessons, some students have tendency to forget. Math Log provides them the avenue to return to the steps on learning the important lessons before joining the rest in the boat. As they say, the more you build your foundation, the stronger you are in the next chapter. For one to advance in mathematics, one has to master the basic skills. But more than allowing students to access previous lessons and reteach themselves, Math Log is specifically designed for students to access lessons in advance so by the time they’re in the classroom, mastery of the skills will be given more emphasis.

The future of Math Log
To maximize its potentials in the niche of educational blogs, the site will develop to include more resource materials such as modules, worksheet, and practice activities in line to the Philippines’ K to 12 Curriculum Guide for Mathematics. The site aims to produce several alternative assessment tools for math learners. It also wished to participate in future studies that will evaluate the effectiveness of the tools use in the field.