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Teaching and learning mathematical modelling with technology
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Paper presented at the 15th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics(2010), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 17 – 21 December 2010
In the last few decades, there have been abundant discussions among mathematicians and mathematics educators on promoting mathematical modelling (a process of using mathematics to tackle real world problems) as a classroom practice. Mathematics educators and curriculum planners have been advocating the teaching of mathematical modelling in schools for some time now. Despite the consensus on its importance and relevance, mathematical modelling remains a difficult activity for both teachers and learners to fully engage in. In this paper, we examine some of these difficulties and discuss how technology can play a pivotal role in providing the essential support to make mathematical modelling a more accessible mathematical activity amongst students. Through a series of examples drawn from different fields and topics, we illustrate how a range of technological tools may be successfully and efficiently utilized in modelling tasks. In addition, we discuss the need for an optimal use of technology to balance between achieving the objectives of the tasks and attaining the goals of learning mathematics.
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