Math Central is an Internet service for teachers and students of mathematics from kindergarten to grade twelve. It was initiated in September 1995 by Denis Hanson, Mhairi(Vi) Maeers and myself. Startup funding was obtained from the University of Regina, the Provincial Department of Education and SchoolNet, a federal government Internet initiative.
In the period 1994-1995 the Province of Saskatchewan was just beginning to implement a new mathematics curriculum which uses a problem solving, resource based approach. This new approach which was based on problem solving and with a variety of resources rather than standard textbooks, put a additional burden on the teachers. It was our intention that Math Central be and aid to teachers in the implementation of the new curriculum.
Although the impetus for the creation of Math Central came from Saskatchewan it has become truly international in scope. At present approximately 2% of the hits come from Saskatchewan, 13% from the rest of Canada, 80% from the USA and the remaining 5% from other countries, mainly Singapore, France and Australia.
There are four main services at Math Central. The Resource Room is a facility where mathematics educators can store and retrieve resources on mathematics and the teaching of mathematics. In the beginning it was seeded with items written by those of us who started the project but now approximately 80% of the resources have been written by teachers or student teachers. Quandaries and Queries is a question and answer service. Mathematics questions sent to Quandaries and Queries are automatically forwarded to a group of teachers and university faculty called the Quandaries and Queries consultants. As in the Resource Room the questions and answers are stored in a searchable database that can be accessed by anyone with a connection to the world wide web. Teacher Talk is an electronic mailing list for mathematics teachers. It provides a facility for an open discussion on mathematics education, with the topics as varied as the participants wish. Finally the Bulletin Board is Math Central's information board. The intention here is to provide a link to mathematics teachers organizations in the various provinces and territories in Canada and to online newsletters and periodicals of interest to mathematics teachers and students.
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