In this monthly column, we speak with a notable member of the mathematics education community about their work and their perspectives on the teaching and learning of mathematics. This month, we had the pleasure of speaking with Dan Meyer.
Dan Meyer taught high school math to students who didn’t like high school math. He has advocated for better math instruction on CNN, Good Morning America, Everyday With Rachel Ray, and TED.com. He earned his doctorate from Stanford University in math education and is the Chief Academic Officer at Desmos where he explores the future of math, technology, and learning. He has worked with teachers internationally and in all fifty United States. He was named one of Tech & Learning’s 30 Leaders of the Future. He lives in Oakland, CA.
First things first, thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule for this conversation!
As Chief Academic Officer at Desmos, you spend a great deal of time considering the affordances of digital technology for the teaching and learning of mathematics, and designing tools that tap into these affordances.
The phrase ‘online learning tools’ evokes a diversity of conceptions and misconceptions; I wonder if you could address some of the latter. First, you have written that “the online medium is fundamentally connective and yet students often report feelings of social isolation” (Meyer, 2015a, p. iv). However, you have also argued that well-designed online tools can promote dialogue and collaboration, rather than isolation and individualization. How so? Continue reading