Thomas Garcia, a teacher at the Collège Fontreyne - Académie d’Aix-Marseille, was looking for ways to use technology to make positive improvements in his classroom and enhance the learning environment for his students.
Garcia began using Maple T.A. with his Grade 9 students. Students begin each class by completing questions in Maple T.A. and gathering as a group to discuss the results.
Garcia says he sees great improvement in the quality of both the classroom environment and the students' learning, after using Maple T.A. The co-relation between increased math skills and enhanced motivation is clearly visible, he notes. A global research initiative, FASMEd (Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education), is now monitoring the progression of the class as they examine ways to increase student motivation in STEM courses. Mr. Garcia has begun using Maple T.A. with his Grade 7 students as well.
Technology is steadily making its way into classrooms around the world. Schools and teachers are experimenting with technology in the classroom and seeing lasting effects. Using Maple T.A., the online assessment system from Maplesoft, a math teacher at the Collège Fontreyne Académie d’Aix-Marseille in France experienced important positive improvements in the classroom.
Thomas Garcia, a grade nine math teacher at the Collège Fontreyne - Académie d’Aix-Marseille is a believer in using technology in the classroom to aid in teaching and learning. At the beginning of every grade nine math class, students are given ten minutes to work independently on the school tablets to complete a set of Maple T.A. questions. The class then comes together to discuss the results. The questions that challenge the students the most are discussed by the whole class on an interactive whiteboard. What makes this most attractive to students and teachers is the immediate feedback that Maple T.A. provides, letting students know if they have grasped the concept correctly. The algorithmic nature of the questions in Maple T.A. lets students practice with variations of the same question till they are confident about the concept.
When Mr. Garcia first introduced Maple T.A., his main goal was to improve math skills in students through regular assignments and tests. He particularly finds the quality of the math content extremely high in Maple T.A. "My primary objectives were fully met through Maple T.A. The co-relation between increased math skills and enhanced motivation is clearly visible," said Mr. Garcia. "I am seeing great improvement in the quality of both the classroom environment and the students' learning. While mastering new skills, students are also having fun in the classroom."
My primary objectives were fully met through Maple T.A. The co-relation between increased math skills and enhanced motivation is clearly visible.
- Thomas Garcia, Collège Fontreyne - Académie d’Aix-Marseille
Another feature he finds very useful is the ability to create customized content in Maple T.A., in addition to using questions that exist within the product. Since it is designed especially for mathematics, the range of dynamic questions that can be created in Maple T.A. is plentiful - graph sketching, free body diagrams, multiple choice, clickable images, and numeric responses are just a few of the many types of questions that can be created. Maple T.A. also helps students visualize complex math concepts.
Since the integration of Maple T.A. in this grade nine classroom, Collège Fontreyne - Académie d’Aix-Marseille has been closely observed by a global research initiative called FaSMEd (Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education). Through innovative digital tools, the FaSMEd project aims to explore the effects of modern technology in courseware on low performing students. Research for this project focuses on increasing student motivation for those struggling in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. The interactive technology that Maple T.A. provides, partnered with a step-by-step question breakdown on the interactive whiteboard, provides an ideal experiment for the FaSMEd initiative, and they are monitoring Mr. Garcia's experiment closely.
Mr. Garcia is now introducing tablets in his grade seven class to expand the use of Maple T.A. at Collège Fontreyne - Académie d’Aix-Marseille. "Not only is Maple T.A. a very helpful teaching tool, but the team at Maplesoft is a pleasure to work with as well," he said. "If, at any time, I have a question, they respond efficiently and promptly."
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