WIDGET BASED LEARNING TO DEVELOP MEANINGFUL COMPREHENSION IN MATH AND SCIENCE COURSES
Mobile learning has become a technological trend with a very fast time of adoption in education. Actually, with lots of educative Apps and other applications to develop educative products by teachers in an easy way, the perspective is open to innovate in education by implementing several educative technological tools supported by this technology. Today, mobile devices embody the convergence of lots of technologies, ready to enrich education. By including electronic book readers, annotation tools, tools for creation, sensors and composition and easy access to mobile educative sites, they allow enable the device to be used creatively in classrooms and labs.
Current work is a final report of design and initial implementation of outcomes about an educative program based on the use and construction of widgets at higher education level for engineering and sciences areas with four main different tools: Wolfram Alpha, Desmos, Math Studio and Mathtab. The project is centred at higher education level for engineering and sciences areas but it can be easily extended to High School students with similar orientation. Applets and widgets were created around of Physics and Mathematics curricula under Project Oriented Learning and Blended Learning methodologies.
Two phases for each activity help to develop basic and high level thinking:
a) teacher’s designed widgets are first used by students to appropriate basic and middle concepts of each specific course, after
b) students generate more complex thinking skills by the construction of them by selves, by applying that concepts, but involving at this time, different applied situations.
Proposed design is based on curriculum integration to show mathematical, technical and visual representation of problems and concepts being considered. Description of design is shown, when Wolfram Alpha, Desmos, Math Studio and Mathtab widget developers, together support managers tools as Weebly, Google Drive and Jotform tools are combined to set up activities being depicted in terms of teacher-students interaction.
Currently, those activities are distributed in three different didactical constructions:
a) General purpose Physics and Mathematics widgets,
b) Calculus lab based on Desmos, and
c) m.physlab: a mobile physics lab implementing applets and widgets to support data analysis in Physics experimentation.
Additionally, an institutional continuous teachers’ training program has been generated to support their technologic development in Math and Physics education, based on these technologies and applications. Training courses involved are completely based on Math and Physics constructions and they are taught by colleagues developing and boosting current project. First outcome of introductory implementation with students is shown.