The scope of the paper is animation facilities of computer algebra systems (CAS). Animation offers opportunities for visualization of complex mathematical concepts, provides convincing demonstration of ideas and influence of quantities or parameters, helps to generate hypothesis, encourages exploration. Animation can be used to demonstrate many mathematical concepts that are difficult to explain verbally or to show with static pictures. Using animation allows students to explore, experiment and visualize mathematics as a dynamic process. But CAS creates only opportunities. The problem remains for users to realize this potential. So features of CAS such as ease of use, convenience of procedures are important for teaching and learning. The paper deals with animation features of the three most popular CAS - Maple, Matlab, Mathcad and their usefulness in education. The results of practical use of the three CAS in teaching animation procedures are discussed and students' opinion about animation tools of CAS is presented.
Many factors influence teaching nowadays. Numbers of students are increasing, some students pay for studies and require more flexible teaching, more students have access to Internet, the learning material is changing rapidly (especially of subjects, related to information technologies), publishing industry is slow and expensive. All that stimulates usage of modern technologies in education. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) is one of the forms of e-learning. They open new ways of teaching and communication such as management of online learning, course delivery mechanism, communication and assessment tools, student tracking, access to electronic resources, etc. All these means correspond to the needs of contemporary teachers and students. VLEs have primarily been used for distance education but they are being used increasingly as supplement of traditional classroom based education. The author is interested in this latter aspect of VLEs.
The paper briefly reviews main types of Virtual Learning Environments and analyses the use of VLEs in Lithuania. The results of the investigation of two different learning environments - traditional (Web CT) and collaborative (FLE3) at the Vilnius Pedagogical University are also discussed in the article.