Teaching with Technology in an Honors College Algebra Course

Presented by Tim Redl

During the Fall 2015 semester, I had the privilege of teaching College Algebra to 17 students in the Honors Program at UH-Downtown. This was the first-ever offering of an Honors-designated section of College Algebra at UHD. As such, it focused more than a traditional College Algebra course on using algebra and functions to model and solve real-world problems within the context of natural science, advanced mathematics, social science, business, statistics and engineering. We used technology such as graphing calculators, Wolfram Alpha, and Excel to model, analyze, and predict solutions, and engaged in meaningful conversations and made decisions about appropriateness of different modeling strategies and solutions to these problems. In lieu of a final exam, students completed end-of-semester group projects to gain exposure to and acquire knowledge of mathematical topics that were beyond the scope of the traditional College Algebra course – topics usually encountered in pre-calculus or calculus. In this presentation, I will describe and demonstrate some of the technologies, class activities, and projects from the course.