In this course design, we add to the standard math curriculum a focus on the tools needed, both conceptually and technically, to teach math in a new and powerful way. If we expect students to arrive at the powerful concepts that will help them navigate, categorize, and make sense of the information-rich world, we need to embed that journey within an information-rich environment. How else will students recognize a useful concept when they find one, if they have not first simulated the conditions in which that concept will be useful? In order to learn the solutions offered by basic math, students need to identify and immerse themselves in real problems where they need math.
Tools are the vehicles through which we act on the world. They facilitate our creativity and leverage our abilities. Learning to work with the tools of today needs to be seen as a fundamental part of education. Well designed technology can be incredibly useful and open up new avenues of exploration, work, and learning.
At the same time, we recognize that many new technologies are designed to seduce the user and to pull them deeper and deeper into the orbit of their product world. As a teacher guiding students on a journey of learning, one must help students become educated and critical consumers. We envision the classroom as a human-centred space where students and a teacher communicate with each other, and where they make intentional use of technology when appropriate and advantageous.