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Serendipity in Interactive Mathematics: Virtual (Electronic) Manipulatives for Learning Elementary Mathematics
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, , , Utah State University, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, ISBN 978-1-880094-37-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA

Abstract

The authors are co-principal investigators for a National Science Foundation project to create a web-based National Library of Virtual Manipulatives for learning mathematics in the elementary grades (K-8 emphasis). Many of our virtual manipulatives are based on physical manipulatives commonly in use in the schools (i.e. geoboards, tangrams, pattern blocks, fraction bars, etc.); others are concept manipulatives especially designed to teach or reinforce basic mathematical concepts. Our emphasis is on interactivity for the user, so the learner controls the variable aspects of the manipulative and is not only free, but encouraged, to explore and discover important mathematical principles and relationships. Teachers or parents can provide direction, but control of the activity remains with the user. This paper is preliminary and descriptive only, but it describes aspects of our experience in the design of manipulatives and some of the delightfully unexpected advantages of interactive technology for discovery learning.

Citation

Cannon, L., Heal, R. & Wellman, R. (2000). Serendipity in Interactive Mathematics: Virtual (Electronic) Manipulatives for Learning Elementary Mathematics. In D. Willis, J. Price & J. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2000--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1083-1088). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved December 5, 2019 from .

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