I am a Middle School Mathematics major who is taking this course as an undergrad. I don't have any formal teaching experience and am totally unfamiliar with mathematics software. I have a lot to learn and am looking forward to it!

When I'm not studying, I enjoy birdwatching, music, gardening, playing backgammon and TexasHoldEm, as well as camping in our pop-up at the Delaware shore (where I surf fish and kayak). Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family (I've been married for 19 years; my sons are 15 and 17).

1. I'm a middle-school mathematics major who is excited to learn more about educational/mathematical technology (my math technology experience is limited to using the TI84 and Voyage graphing calculators). This course is a requirement for me, but even if it weren't, I would view it as essential anyway, as I am interested in learning about techniques/technologies that might enhance their students' learning process.

2. I hope to gain at least a casual familiarity with the mathematics education software that my future students may be interested in/required to use by the district curriculum.

3. At this point in time, I think that being an observer of this course would benefit me most - I have so much to learn that I don't think I'm qualified to help anyone.

PART 1:

I do not have any blogs or sites about my projects. Currently, my projects are informal ones that don't directly involve math - they consist of improving the environment by picking up garbage and removing invasive plant species (the walking path at our neighborhood park and beaches where I camp need a lot of care and I'm happy to help).

As a teacher, I will be passionate about getting to know the socio-economic-ethnic backgrounds of my students, and how to best relate mathematics to their life experiences. College-bound students may be more interested in theoretical concepts, while students who choose other career paths (trade school, apprenticeships, etc.) might need more applied examples. My goal is to help all of them.

As I said previously, I'm a Middle School Mathematics Major, but I'd honestly be happy teaching any subject. Math is my favorite by only a narrow margin; I sincerely enjoy discussing all academic subjects with young adolescents. Biology was my first choice, but I am unable to control my gag/nausea/fainting reflexes when confronted with real-life dissection (illustrations don't bother me in the least; I'm fascinated by them, but that doesn't quite meet a professional level).

PART 2:

1. I know the Web isn't really 'modern' any more, but it still fascinates me as much as it did when I first accessed it via MS-DOS many years ago (it was text-only at the time); it is a priceless learning and communications tool. I also am excited by MIDI/synthesizer technology and the sounds that result, as well as being fascinated by how technological advances have enabled things like Moog's early synthesizers to shrink down to a size that anyone can accommodate. What most intrigues me is how technology can be used for advances in healthcare, whether it be a system for managing a particular patient's medications and warning of interactions, or the emergence of fMRI technology.

2. Difficult time in mathematics: it's definitely when I was learning how the 2D graphs of trig functions relate to a circle. I'm so thankful that my Dad (back then he was called a draftsperson) used his mathematical understanding, drawing skills, love of model trains (he used the wheels), and my beloved spirograph set to give me endless demonstrations until I finally understood. Computer animations such as those at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sine_function would have made the whole process a lot quicker and saved a lot of paper.

3. This question is tough - I totally agree that it's essential for students to master a graphing calculator, but think that having them be able to master using a search engine might give a little more of a learning advantage. A calculator is a valuable teaching tool, but a search engine can provide the student with a wider scope of information. For example, a student can use a calculator to experiment with graphs. But, a search engine used to its fullest potential would show results demonstrating graphs, as well as articles explaining what mathematician(s) explored this particular concept, its practical applications, etc.