Math 2.0 interview with Sylvia Martinez

On Wednesday, Oct. 27 2010 I’ll be talking with Ihor Charischak of the weekly Math 2.0 online chat about Engineering, Game Development, and Math Education.

A couple of careers ago I was an electrical engineer and programmer in aerospace, then did game development for consoles and PCs. Some the games were “educational” and some weren’t, but the process of building a game was certainly educational for me! The connections between these subjects might not be obvious, but I think the connective thread is that “real world” math is disconnected from “school” math in many ways. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to talk about all that and some solutions during our hour together.

Ihor and I are old friends, so this gives an opportunity to make some of our private conversations over the years more public.

When: Wed October 27, 2010, 18:30-19:30, US/Pacific (GMT-08:00)*Find your local time zone here.
Participant URL:
More information:

Please join us!

Educational Technology Doesn’t Work?

Education Week: Reading, Math Software Found to Have Little Effect on Scores.

A year ago I wrote about Part 1 of a study on “educational” software – Headlines that won’t help. The preliminary results of the study found that various software test prep packages had little impact on student test scores. Now the second half of the study is out. Guess what. The software still doesn’t work.

All of these software packages promise to improve student scores in reading and math. But as endless research has proven, drilling kids for tests doesn’t result in significant test score improvement, and has negative long-term results in what students actually retain. It doesn’t matter if we drill more efficiently with expensive software. Doing things that don’t work DOESN’T WORK. How much simpler can this be? As I said last year, the headlines SHOULD read, “Bad Educational Practice Proved Ineffective, Again!

All of the studied software test prep programs are far removed from creative software applications that allow students to use modern technology to express themselves in innovative, personal ways.

But to repeat another prediction from a year ago, this will have a chilling effect on creative uses of software. To me, they are as different as zebras and baseballs, but all get lumped together under the banner of educational technology.

Now, every time we talk about kids doing interesting stuff that involves a computer, we’ll get hit with this. Making movies, programming, blogging, collaboration, projects, kids making games, exploring virtual worlds, GIS, Google Earth? What are you thinking, haven’t you heard? Educational Technology Doesn’t Work.

We have to find a better way to differentiate these things.


Subscribe to the Generation YES Blog

Free NASA opportunity for California math/science teachers

NASA Ames Education and the Lewis Center for Educational Research, is conducting a special workshop for up to 25 science and math teachers from local schools February 26 – 28, 2009 at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.

This 3-day training program provides teachers with all the necessary tools to remotely access and control the Lewis Center’s, 34 meter, Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) from their classrooms. The GAVRT program involves American students throughout the world in real science using a hands-on, standard-based curriculum that helps middle and high
schoolers reach for the stars. Students participating in the GAVRT program will assist NASA by monitoring the progress of the LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) during its mission to the moon in 2009.

The GAVRT training is normally $600 per teacher. However, due to a unique LCROSS scholarship opportunity, this workshop is currently FREE to 25 teachers! And, these 32 hours of professional development are recognized for state, district, and NCLB requirements. If you are teaching science or math in your classroom, you are qualified to apply for this unique program.

The training will include a special NASA Ames tour at that is not normally open to the public. Andrew Chakin, world-renown author of Man on the Moon – the basis of Tom Hanks’ miniseries From the Earth to the Moon will meet with the teachers to share his experience inspiring students.

For more information about the LCROSS Mission and the Lewis Center and GAVRT program visit : and

Applications are now being accepted for this exciting program. To enroll, immediately contact: Barbara Patterson at NASA Ames Research Center: barbara.e.patterson [at] 650-604-0494

Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge 2009

Ever question why technology seems to have gone missing in so many math and science classrooms? What happened to the “compute” in computing? Wondering what STEM really looks like?

Yes, technology, math, and science can be friends!

Constructing Modern Knowledge is organizing a one-of-a-kind educational event for January 22, 2009 at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy. Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge is a minds-on institute for K-12 teachers, administrators and technology coordinators looking for practical and inspirational ways to use computers to enhance S.T.E.M. learning. Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge is a pre-conference event for Educon 2.1, an innovative conference and conversation about the future of education.

The presenters represent high-tech pioneers and seasoned veterans at the forefront of innovation in math, science and computing. Read more about them here.

Come to Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge and stay for Educon 2.1!

  • Early-bird registration (before December 15) – $100
  • Regular registration – $130

You may register for both Constructing Modern Math/Science Knowledge and Educon 2.1 with one click.