I wanted to talk today about math education and then specifically reforming math education in a rather dramatic fashion, so if you’ve got eggs to throw, this is the time to prepare them!
I think we’ve got a real problem with math education, particularly in schools right now. Basically, no one’s very happy. Most of those trying to learn it think it’s boring and irrelevant. Employers think that people don’t know enough. Governments realize it’s critical for economic development, but don’t know what to do about fixing it, and many teachers are frustrated, too. And yet, without question, math is more important to the world than it ever has been in human history. So at one end we’ve got falling interest in education in math and at the other, a world that’s ever more quantitative, ever more mathematical than it has been. So what’s gone wrong and how do we bridge this chasm? Well, actually I think the answer’s really very simple: use computers. I want to talk through and explain why I think computers really are the silver bullet to making math education work but used dramatically.