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From Calculators to iPads, Dr. Don Muench has Seen Major Changes in Math Education

March 18, 2022

St. John Fisher College faculty and students have been integrating iPads into their work thanks to the iFisher: Next Generation Learning Initiative. Over the next few weeks, College News Highlights will focus on professors, coaches, and staff going above and beyond to bring this technology into their teaching or learning environment.

Don Muench as a young student (left) and now as a faculty member (right).

Dr. Donald Muench, who graduated from Fisher’s Pioneer Class in 1955, has been working in the College since 1966. In his many years working in mathematics, Muench has seen two major shifts: the introduction of calculators and the move to online teaching due to the pandemic. 

Like many teachers and professors, Muench had to adjust his teaching methods to work amid the COVID-19 shutdown. However, Fisher’s ability to give hand-held technology to its students and faculty made this transition easier. 

Since the iFisher initiative introduced iPads, Muench has completely eradicated the need for any paper in his classroom. The sophomore level course he is currently teaching, linear algebra, utilizes the iPads as much as possible. Exams, notes, and homework are all done on screen. “The nice thing about this is that it’s all very low tech in a way, the notes that I’m writing are all projected on the screen for the students to see,” Muench said.

As in many other classes, iPads are most used for Zoom and Notability, a note taking software used by many Fisher students. Zoom is not just useful for students who may have contracted COVID-19. Muench says that he records all his meetings for whatever may happen. “If students are working full-time, they get the recording of the Zoom meeting. Any student could review the lesson using the recording,” he said. 

Muench encourages his students to take advantage of the technology given to them whenever possible, commenting on the time cut out by both calculators and iPads. His students will continue to see the benefits of new technology as they hone their mathematical skills.

This article was written by Marcus Lindenburg ‘23, an English major, who is a PR writing intern with the Office of Marketing and Communications.