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Mathematica as a Communication-Enhancement Tool in the Classroom

Hiroshi Kimura
Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan

Chikara Miyaji
Tsukuba University, Japan

Shinya Ohashi
Kashiwa High School, Japan

Kenji Yoshida
Konan Boys' High School, Japan

To use computers in math classes, it is required that the computers can do math well and are easy to use. Moreover, if they help communication among students and between students and teachers, they enlarge the possibilities of interactions in the classroom. However, network software technology for education has not yet matured. Existing network software is sometimes powerless, being generally difficult to modify and hard to integrate with other educational software. In this presentation, we demonstrate the network tools that were built on Mathematica. Our goals are to provide tools that:
1) help various types of communications such as one-to-all, one-to-several, and one-to-one
2) help communications using not only text, but also various formats: structured text, mathematical formula, and pictures
3) can be used easily by the student
4) can be easily customized by teachers for their special needs
We report the effectiveness of the tools from our experiences.

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