Using Multimedia for the Teaching of Decimal Notation

Abstract: In this article, we will describe how we are using multimedia to integrate practical experience of children in schools and findings from current research into the university-based component of the teacher education program at the University of Melbourne . In order to teach a mathematics topic in a manner that is likely to result in the successful learning of the topic by children, the teacher must have a thorough knowledge of its mathematical features and of the ways in which children approach it. Fortunately, recent research in mathematics education has focussed on children's thinking and on the way in which they understand key concepts in important topics of mathematics. Not only has this research produced a valuable and growing body of knowledge concerning children's thinking about mathematics topics, it has also confirmed how important it is that teachers have an excellent understanding of this knowledge to successfully teach these topics. It is vital that students in teacher education courses acquire this knowledge. Multimedia provides us with new opportunities to include the study of children's thinking and practical experiences with children in schools in university-based components of our teacher education program. Multimedia also gives us new opportunities for making a very wide range of teaching materials and ideas for lessons accessible to our student teachers. In this article, we will outline the components of a resource on the teaching and learning of decimals that we are currently constructing for use in our teacher education program at the University of Melbourne, and suggest some possible ways it might be used with teacher education students. The resource is being developed for use on the World Wide Web using a Web browser such as Netscape Navigator. Our long term aim is to extend the use of the resource to teachers working in schools.

Asp, G., Chambers, D., Scott, N., Stacey, K., & Steinle, V. (1997). Using Multimedia for the Teaching of Decimal Notation. In Clarke, D., Clarkson, P., Gronn, D., Horne, M. MacKinlay, M. & McDonough, A. (Eds) Mathematics - Imagine the Possibilities. Proceedings of the Thirty-fourth Annual Conference of the Mathematical Association of Victoria. (pp 60 - 67) Melbourne: Mathematical Association of Victoria.