When it comes to teaching mathematics, Dr. Sharilyn Owens is at no loss for words. In fact, the mathematics department chair, who is also Associate in Engineering Program Coordinator and Faculty Learning Communities Facilitator, is a co-contributor to the upcoming Handbook of Research on Transforming Mathematics Teacher Education in the Digital Age. She contributed an entire chapter on the professional development of mathematics teachers.
Sharilyn joined three professors from Ohio State University and Johns Hopkins University on a project, Classroom Connectivity for Mathematics and Science (CCMS), focusing on professional development of high school Algebra 1 teachers in using classroom connectivity technology (CCT).
Sharilyn’s work on the project included professional development for teacher participants, data collection, and video analysis of classroom instruction and professional development. The high school teacher participants learned to employ Texas Instruments’ Navigator communications software to wirelessly access students’ calculators. They posted all the students’ answers on a screen in front of the class to generate class discussion and encourage students to arrive at accurate conclusions based on combined student answers.
“Think how students would experience mathematics if we gave teachers the tools and methodology to create learning environments where innovative, interactive, fertile classrooms were the norm,” Sharilyn says.