Origami in Education Enhanced by Computer Technology: A Case Study of Teaching Hexaflexagon in Math Class

• Wenwu Chang
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 73)

Abstract

This paper reports an experience of the author teaching high school 3D geometry with origami. In this case, students were originally expected to construct a 3D-hexaflexagon by imitating video tape so that they can understand some related math concepts better. However students demonstrated strong willing of exploring the concerned enchanting paper craft. They did not want to just memorize the folding procedures or be limited within verifying some math concepts. The teacher had then to extend the class time to 2 class periods, so that a series of creative activities are invited in. After the primary goals have been reached, two extra activities were launched. First, by exploring a torus forming animation, they explored a different algorithm of forming a hexaflexagon. Secondly, when another animation of Hexaflexagon made by the teacher was presented, the students can then explore the function of the slope of the creases. Some smart students found hexaflexagons with different shape or even different type. So the thinking level of the students reached the highest creating level by curriculum re-design. This case study comes to the conclusions that origami as well as good questions motivate students’ higher level thinking. As students’ scaffolds, video and animation technology are essential in helping the learners understanding origami in right perspectives.

Keywords

Hexaflexagon origami technology enhanced learning project study

References

1. 1.
Gardner, M.: Flexagons. Scientific American, 162–166 (December 1956)
2. 2.
ThinkQuest, History of Origami, http://library.thinkquest.org/5402/history.html
3. 3.
4. 4.
Hargittai, I.: A Great Communicator of Mathematics and Other Games: a Conversation with martin Gardner. Mathematical intelligencer, 36–40 (1997)
5. 5.
Engel, D.A.: Hexaflexagons + HFG = slipagon. Journal of Recreational Mathematic 25(3), 161–166 (1993)Google Scholar
6. 6.
Cox, D.: Galois Theory. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2004)
7. 7.
Gardner, M.: Hexaflexagons, Probability Paradoxes, and the Tower of Hanoi. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2008)
8. 8.
Hull, T.: Project Origami-Activities for Exploring Mathematics. A K Peters, Ltd., Wellesley (2006)
9. 9.
Highland Games (2008), http://www.halfpast.demon.co.uk (accessed December 10, 2008)
10. 10.
Kosters, M.: A theory of hexaflexagons. Nieuw Archief Wisk 17, 349–362 (1999)
11. 11.
McLean, B.: Dodecaflexagon videos. Flexagon Lovers Group posting 497 (2008), http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Flexagon_Lovers/ (Accessed October 30, 2008)
12. 12.
McLean, T.B.: V-flexing the hexahexaflexagon. American Mathematical Monthly 86, 457–466 (1979)