This is important background information! For teachers, school leaders, students, parents and citizens.
To Teachers in Corona Time:
DigiMat is new mathematics education for the digital society as a synthesis of mathematics+programming. DigiMat is suited for distance learning in Corona time. DigMat activates the student land liberates the teacher from heavy routine instruction into a new role as coach for exploration of all the wonders offered by mathematics+programming. DigiMat can be started by students with a click on Get Started. What is required is that the teacher says: Try it! At home! Tell me!
Mathematics together with language is a core subject of school education, in Sweden allotted nearly 1 hour/day during 9 years of basic school, altogether 1230 hours, almost as much as Swedish with 1490 hours (English 480).
Nobody doubts the value of mastering mother language + getting by with some foreign language(s), while most adults say that concerning math they get by with a bit of basic arithmetics and that school math gave little but frustration and boredom.
The reason for this is that school math without the computer is symbolic math performed by writing symbols like 7/11 on a piece of paper. A typical purpose can be to solve an equation of the form 13*x + 7/11 = 17/31 in an unknown x by proper manipulation of symbols. This is tricky because the meaning of symbols are not obvious nor are the rules for their manipulation/computation. On the other spectrum, math books are filled with massive number of routine computation like computing 5% of 20. School math before the computer is thus perceived as being both difficult and boring trivial.
The main use of tricky school math is for selection to educational programs in demand.
DigMat as math for the digital age, or math with the computer, is constructive math or digital math performed by computers executing computer programs telling the computer what to do. This brings revolutionary changes to school math by charging symbols with meaning and giving them turbo power. See Digital vs Symbolic Calculus.
A comparison with music gives an illustration. A piece of sheet music is an example of symbolic music. Only symbols and no sound. Playing the notes on a real instrument like a Bösendorfer Grand Piano gives the symbols life as real music as constructive music. The sheet music is the computer program and the pianist with the Bösendorfer is the computer. We understand the big difference between the sheet music and the real performed/played music. We understand that symbolic music serves an important role, but that it needs an instrument to become real music.
The connection between DigiMat and music can be taken further. We know that knowledge of a few chords on a guitar allows a very rich output of music, and with some chords/scales the possibilities are unlimited. 12 notes and a universe of music. In the same way DigMat shows how a few basic templates of computer code expressing basic symbolic mathematics can give a very rich output, with the piano playing itself as a computer. DigiMat is a synthesis of symbolic and digital math releasing the power of the combination. Basic math is used to state principles which by coding play out in digital form, as in The World from +1.
This makes DigiMat understandable and useful and thus offers a new school math which is both meaningful to many and serves as a playground for math and computer freaks.
Remember the basic principle of DigiMat:
- Short simple code expressing basic math with rich output.
Try it and you will get hooked, just like with a few chords and the guitar. Here is a glimpse of the rich “music” you can play with basic DigiMat models of the World.
Listen to my friend Per Enflo pro mathematician and pro pianist showing endless possibilities of 12 notes (notice that Per carries the computer program/sheet music in his brain):