Here’s a promotional video for a new math curriculum from Pearson called enVisionMATH. (It must be a sign of the times that grade school math curricula have promotional videos.) Watch carefully.

Four questions about this:

  1. Should it be a requirement of parenthood that you must remember enough 5th grade math to teach it halfway decently to your kids?
  2. Does the smartboard come included with the textbooks?
  3. Did anybody else have the overwhelming urge to yell “Bingo!” after about 2 minutes in?
  4. When will textbook companies stop drawing the conclusion that because kids today like to play video games, talk on cell phones, and listen to MP3 players, that they are therefore learning in a fundamentally different way than anybody else in history?

The last question is all about the research-free digital nativist assumption that is the source of many lucrative curriculum deals these days. Data, please?

[ht Teaching College Math Technology Blog]



Filed under Early education, High school, Math, Teaching, Technology, Textbooks

9 responses to “enVisionMATH

  1. virusdoc

    I’m waiting for the version that plays on the Wii…

  2. Wow, that was bad. Actually, a lot of the math curricula for K-12 are bad. Nobody needs Smartboards and manipulatives and computers in order to learn arithmetic.

  3. j edward ladenburger

    another implicit assumption IMHO is that boring, incompetent teachers need to be replaced with technology… technology should not be expected to replace a caring, engaging, competent instructor and curriculum specialists in local school districts should not be persuaded by slick ( or in this case –sick? ) marketing

  4. Oh my. I guess they are really going to understand adding fractions with unlike denominators now. It must be true, the video said so.

    I too would like to see the data.

  5. Eric

    Interesting. That promotional video invoked within me the same sort of response I had when I watched The Da Vinci Code. It had it all; flashy graphics, vague assertions built off of unproven theories, and an intelligent sounding narrator very seriously trying to pass off wild conjecture as established truth. The only thing missing was an albino (the political correctness coordinator must have missed casting one). Fortunately, I only lost 5 minutes of my life on the promotional video as opposed to 2+ hours.

  6. Just another liberal professor

    It’s strange that you mentioned “about 2 minutes in” on the video. That’s when the claim is made that envisionMATH “offers more students more access to math content.”

    Oh really?? So, before computers, did students have access to fewer integers? Fewer fractions? Fewer algebraic operations?

    Data please, indeed…

  7. Fewer integers. Now that we have the web, there’s more of everything.

    Except elementary teachers who are good at math. So instead of investing there, we’ll give publishers money to animate some lessons.

  8. SteveC

    And the take home lesson — without computers and giant touch screen displays, students will not be able to subtract 8 from 10. Did they even notice that manipulating all those tiles is not digital and much more slow than, say writing the numbers down on paper.

    I’m waiting for the longitudinal data showing that kids who learn with the stuff actually do better in middle and high school.

  9. @SteveC: You want DATA? Don’t you realize that these kids today are DIGITAL LEARNERS? We don’t need stinkin’ DATA!