The Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (MSTE) is a division of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The MSTE lessons site contains a collection of high school lessons that use the Internet in significant ways.
The quoted goal of MSTE is to serve as a model-builder for innovative, standards-based, technology-intensive mathematics and science instruction at the K-16 levels. The materials are designed to integrate math and/or science and technology in the teaching/learning process.
Target Student Population:
K-16 students, but the emphasis is primarily on high school students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Appropriate arithmetic, geometry or algebra course. Some familiarity with applets ? interfaces can be somewhat obscure.
Type of Material:
Lessons with pertinent pedagogical descriptions and Interactive java applets; lessons that employ technology in various ways.
individual lessons on a specific topic, sometimes with applications to science.
Java enabled browser. The individual applets and authors seem to have differing requirements. Some applets ran on older MAC browsers and others did not.
Evaluation and Observation
While the lessons have been developed by various authors and at various times, the overall quality is excellent. In many instances the applet source codes are available. (See related reviews of: MSTE, MSTE Java Applets; and MSTE Curriculum Modules?Math, Science & Technology.)
The lessons are not identified with regard to grade level. Since this is a collection from different authors, content, style and technical requirements vary from lesson to lesson.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The materials on the whole are very well done. The lessons have been developed with descriptions of the problem, connections to standards, examples of use, references, and more. The lessons feature the use of technology and in some cases combine math and science; some lessons include notes to the teacher regarding how to best use the lesson.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The lessons often include instructions for the teacher. The applets are generally simple and uncluttered with a strong visual effect. The lessons open in new windows making site navigation efficient; there is also a site search engine.
The level of instructions or background explanations varies from lesson to lesson. Similarly variable are the technical requirements and corresponding ability to run the material on a variety of systems. The lessons are not labeled according to grade level. Some links are broken and need to be updated.