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Re: Speak errors (was Re: audio)

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  • Subject: [mg130569] Re: Speak errors (was Re: audio)
  • From: Richard Fateman <fateman at>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 03:10:48 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <17744967.14121.1366277874273.JavaMail.root@m06> <kl0arj$l43$>

On 4/21/2013 2:17 AM, Clif McInnis wrote:
> "On the larger issue, of getting kindergarten children to pronounce the numbers from 1 to 10.
Uh, do you really need to use a computer? Running Mathematica?"
> Not meaning to disregard the top part of your post, however the last two questions are important to me.
I would like to get your opinion as I see that you are a well cited 
author of over 1100 documents on the Mathematica site.
> I hope that I am interpreting your question correctly. I would say I hope a student would not need a
computer to run the manipulate, and if I am under standing the way 
CDF's, such as those on the demonstrations project,
  work it could be run on a smart phone, a pad, or other such device, 
(w/o the player) that the student may be
  using while riding in the back seat of the car, or at other 
non-productive times.
> Now if the question addresses the only necessity of the pronunciation of numerals, then I would say that
it would be a good addition to a demonstration that targets an age group 
that are multi-sensory, but I guess not
  a bsolutely essential. I would also hope that such an instructional 
method would only be supplemental
to more personal , probably tactile-engaging, methods of presenting the 
> Reality, of 35 years teaching, says that there will be many students that will for whatever
reason miss the point that numerals represent numbers, and come away 
with the idea that 3,
whether written or spoken is two backwards c's stacked on top of each 
other.  Given that as
  foundation on which we would like to build the rest of their 
mathematical understanding is
it any wonder that by the time that they are ready to do more complex 
mathematics many become
> I think that if this app can include audio, without disrupting the learning flow by showing x
  number of objects on the screen while speaking the number y, it would 
be more worthwhile to
students in this age range.

Historically, experiments at higher educational levels to introduce a 
computer algebra system into a math course have resulted in consequences 
like this:
1. Students, on average, resented having to learn "something else" (i.e. 
using computer program) that wasn't "on the final".
2. On average they learned "no less" than students in the control group 
not using computers.  But "no more" either.

We are now wondering whether introducing computers will work for 
kindergarten students (in 2013) learning number shapes.  Two significant 
changes.  (a) much younger students  (b) a different attitude toward 
computers/smart phones -- these having been ubiquitous.

Now I am hardly an expert in very early childhood education, but I have 
seen some games aimed at children. Your game sounds pretty boring, but I 
have seen something like it.  Showing 4 ducks. Click on each one. Game 
says "4 ducks" and shows a "4".  Another requires tracing out of the 
digits in the right directions of the strokes.

These are probably directed to children of age 3 with access to iPad or 
similar. Children of age 5 in the US who cannot count to 10 and/or think
that 3 is two backwards C's stacked, are probably rare.

However, I am not actually >> objecting << to the educational 
experiment. At worst you will be exposing children to a boring game that 
they will simply not play.

What I am pointing out is that better software technology for all the 
parts needed is so readily available and cheap.  Using Mathematica seems 
totally ill-advised.  Possibly depriving kids of human contact -- 
Johnny, you have to learn your 3's.  Sit in the back of the car and use 
the computer..

Just because something Could Be Done with Mathematica does not mean
(a) it should be done with Mathematica.  (b) should be done at all.


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