Frequently asked questions: Mathematics
The DER NSW program website on the DET intranet has a list of FAQs that relate to the
laptop, leaders, parents, security, software, students, teachers, technical support officers
and wireless connectivity. These can be accessed through the DET portal.
The FAQs listed below relate specifically to mathematics classrooms, teachers and students.
What are some of the benefits of using laptops in Mathematics lessons?
The visual, dynamic geometry and graphing capability of GeoGebra and Google SketchUp
can enhance students’ engagement and deep understanding of geometry, algebra and
measurement in comparison to the static page of a worksheet or text book. The laptop also
offers the opportunity to speed up repetitive tasks, particularly graphing of equations;
collaborate and investigate dynamic visual mathematics; and make higher order tasks more
accessible for all students. Access to the World Wide Web will make answering the age old
question students ask, Why do I have to learn this?, easier by showing how mathematics
connects to the real world.
Are the students expected to use the laptops all lesson, every lesson in
No, the laptops are another resource for teaching mathematics. Technology should be used
to enhance the mathematics learning taking place in the classroom. However, students in
the trial schools were very enthusiastic about using their laptops and were keen to engage in
learning mathematics using this new resource. Teachers need to capitalise on this
What can we do with the laptops in maths if students can’t connect to the
All the software available on the laptops may be used without connectivity. Mathematics
resources are being developed which offer suggestions for activities and lessons that require
little or no connectivity.
What software programs will be on the laptops that can be used in
GeoGebra, Google SketchUp 7, Excel, Access, Word, Smart Notebook, MS Excel, MS
OneNote, MS PowerPoint, the whole Adobe suite, Student Response Network, Microsoft
Math 3.0 are only the beginning.
Mathematics FAQs Page 1 of 3
What are some short laptop activities that I can use with my students
The following activities could also be used as mathematics faculty professional learning
Strand Key idea Activity
Working Communicating Mathematics glossary (Microsoft Access database)
Students can keep a personal mathematics glossary of
key mathematical terms and definitions by using the
database file available on the Curriculum Support
Working Communicating eMaths book (Microsoft OneNote)
A formatted MS OneNote file is available for students to
manage and record their mathematics laptop learning.
Instructions on how to use the OneNote file as an
eMaths book are included.
Patterns and Locate ordered Point on a line – lesson plan (GeoGebra)
algebra pairs and graph
Students plot a point on the number plane using
GeoGebra and use guess, check and refine strategies
to discover equations of lines which pass through the
point. Students explain why certain equations pass
through a common point.
Patterns and Graphing simple Characteristics of straight lines (Smart Notebook)
algebra linear equations
This sorting activity encourages students to observe
characteristics and make links between the equation of
a line and the graph of the equation.
Measurement Find the area of The tiler (Learning object, NSW DET CK-12, Internet,
rectangles needs connectivity)
A learning object that develops students understanding
of the area concept. Available at
Measurement Find the area of Area of triangles series (learning object, The Learning
Students explore the relationship between the area of a
rectangle and the area of a triangle. Available for
download from the TaLe website.
Data Draw, read and Greedy pig (Smart Notebook)
Students play the Greedy pig game, record their scores
and construct a stem-and-leaf plot from the class data.
Mathematics FAQs Page 2 of 3
Space and Determine Prisms – lesson plan (Google SketchUp)
geometry properties of three-
Students create three-dimensional prisms using Google
SketchUp and investigate faces, vertices and edges.
Number Determine Probability (learning object, The Learning Federation)
Students use the Spinners series learning objects to
create, test and use spinners to model probability
experiments. Available for download from the TaLe
Number Solve simple Clever shopping (Internet website, needs connectivity)
This series of activities investigates best buy problems
and is available from the Curriculum Support website.
Mathematics FAQs Page 3 of 3