Week 3 Reflection

It was great to read my classmates blogs about their research ideas and what they plan to do to begin.  I have begun to do a little research on my topic (computer-based math) and I have determined that it is not quite what I envisioned the topic would be.  First, “computer-based math” is a phrase coined by the company with the same name.  I really like the philosophy they describe, which I totally agree with, but it now appears they are a company that is selling a product!  If this is the case, I can’t do my action research based on my original idea.  There is another similar phrase that is called computer based mathematics education.  It is a little more of what I envisioned my research would be, teaching mathematics emphasizing the use computers, or technology.

I have contacted the computer-based math company and described my interest in their methodology/products and I am still waiting on a response.  In the meantime, I want to focus more on the idea of computer based mathematics education as my primary research topic.  If I get a positive response from the company and they will allow me to have access for research purposes, GREAT.  But I can’t assume they will respond in this manner.  The descriptions and modules they describe on their website are impressive and intriguing.  It really plays into my philosophy of learning mathematics by solving real problems.  They describe four major steps of problem solving: define, translate, compute, interpret. (repeat as necessary)  I can describe this in more detail at the end of my research.

I am in the process of using computers quite heavily now my math courses so I can research how this method is affecting my students.  The data collection process has actually begun, but the analysis will come later on this term.  The main topic of computer based mathematics education is still viable at this point.  I will still do major literature review and probably refine my questions, but I am still on track.

I suppose this is what can happen in actual research, right?!  Adapt and modify…

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