I originally wanted to compare US and Western European mathematics instruction, paying particular attention to the use of tech. After I did some preliminary research (and had my imagination sparked by two articles from Dr. Droujkova), I realized that 'Western Europe' is too broad a topic. Therefore, we will be focusing on mathematics instruction in Finland, whose education system has been getting a lot of positive press lately.
If you wish to search for articles written in Finnish, Dr. Droujkova has kindly offered this tip (originally posted in Drafts):
"I just used Google Translate to find out what "mathematics education" is in Finnish, then put that phrase in the search, then translated what I found into English using the Chrome "translate" button on the results page:
This is the same method that I use (you can search by terms like 'blogs by finnish teachers, teacher blogs, mathematics technology, etc.). Words that don't translate directly are usually easy to figure out by context clues.
Task 1: Please read the following articles that were originally posted by Dr. Droujkova:
Find at least one additional article about Finnish mathematics instruction (it can be about tech specifically, or about a subject that you feel influences tech use (such as funding or teacher training)). Post the link and give a brief summary. Discuss what you personally find the most intriguing/useful about the article. Some examples: What are the main differences/similarities between the US and Finnish systems regarding tech use, how do you feel tech might figure into the achievement differences (if at all), do you feel that Finland's approach might rely more or less on classroom tech (used as instructional aids) than the US (if so, why). Please include your personal opinions about the information presented in your article.
Task 2: Find a blog post, discussion forum post, or article written by a Finnish math, science, or computer literacy teacher that mentions instructional tech. The item can be as formal or as informal as you wish - what matters is that you, as a future (or present) math teacher, find the content enriching. Please provide a link and summary. As with Task 1, discuss what you found the most intriguing/useful about the item. Some examples: How is tech use similar or different than in the US, what types of tech are used, does one nation's system seem to be more accepting of tech, or not? Lastly, please include your personal opinions about the information that you found.
Task 3: This last task centers around ways that tech can unite the international learning community. How can we use tech to help students who don't speak our language (aside from translation software)? This includes ELL students. Find a piece of tech (video, manipulative, iPad resource, etc.) that a student unfamiliar with the language (or written numerical system) could use to learn about a concept. Please share it along with reasons why you like it.