Loci (2008)
Mathematical Brooding over an Egg, André Heck

11. Bringing mathematics to life via digital images and vice versa

Finally I would like to discuss in more depth the potential value of digital images in mathematical investigations by students. What learning advantages does measurement and manipulation of images offer? When answering this question I do not think of egg investigations in particular, but in general of mathematical modeling of concrete objects taken from real world situations. Below I mention in random order some educational benefits found in my own classroom work with still images and video clips (Heck & Uylings, 2006; Heck, 2007), and mentioned in papers of other educational researchers and teachers ((Huylebrouck, 2007; Oldknow, 2003a; Oldknow, 2003b; Pierce et al., 2004; Schumann, 2004; Sharp et al., 2004):

The benefits mentioned above focus on increased engagement of students, appreciation of the usefulness of mathematics, training of their "mathematical eye", training of the use of information technology, and on experimental exploration and analysis of real world phenomena that can be modeled mathematically. The benefits in the process of acquiring procedural and conceptual knowledge in mathematics come less to the foreground. The main reason is that these benefits cannot really be clearly separated from advantages of using a dynamic mathematical software in education in terms of complexity, authenticity, versatility, ease of communcation, and so. It is true that a more traditional modeling approach in the mathematics classroom also has great potential to enhance the students' mathematical knowledge and enrich their knowledge and skills in applying mathematics, but information technology offers students a greater opportunity to work directly with high-quality real data in much the same way as practicing professionals would do, including the use of the same methods and techniques. In other words, information technology and real-life contexts can contribute to the realization of authentic tasks for students, in which they can practice and enhance their mathematics knowledge, understanding, skills, and attitudes.