As I conclude this research project, I want to revisit my initial question that I stated on day one.
How can technology be used in math classrooms to benefit student learning?
Breaking down this question, there are two main parts…1) uses for technology in the classroom and 2) benefits to student leaning.
1) Uses for technology in the classroom
Technology can be used for so many different aspects of the classroom. First, a very key part of any classroom is communication. Teacher need to communicate with students, students with other students, teachers with parents. There are so many apps out there that allow file sharing and messaging abilities to allow for this part of effective learning. If a child only learns at school, he or she will not develop much. Learning has to take place in a variety of places such home, school, church and sports.
Technology must also be used to transform active learning into interactive learning. This includes the creativity and innovation aspects of a classroom. There are hundreds of thousands of online interactive manipulative for math teacher to use in their classroom. These are especially helpful when the teacher does not have the specific manipulative to represent the problem accurately. I found quite a few resources for teachers to use that help make student be interactive in their learning. A classroom that uses only lectures and worksheets to learn, is not actually learning. The student have to comprehend and apply the lesson in order to retain it.
Another aspect of learning that we discusses was creative thinking and problem solving. The internet is a slew of apps and websites that make any problem easier. Whether it be organizing a project or drawing out each step, there is something that can help. In the classroom, teacher can use Bubbl.us to make mind map with the classroom, share that map with every student using Dropbox, then leave each student to create their own notes from it using Penultimate, without ever printing a piece of paper and taking a chance of losing said paper on the bus ride home.
2) Benefit student learning
Much of this was covered in the previous section, partly because it overlaps so much. There is a right and a wrong way to use technology in a classroom. The right way facilitates student learning, deeper thinking, and longer retention. The wrong way hinders learning, plain and simple. Technology should be used to make student think deeper into a question, explain more above and beyond the question asked, and communicate with self-confidence. Interactive learning forces students to actually become a part of the lesson. Strong student learning occurs when students are engaged and see the potential in lessons and activities. With so many student having personal technology on them 24/7, using technology in the classroom is one of the only ways to reach them. Student will learn better when they can connect school work with real life.
Research projects like this is exactly what interactive learning is. I was in charge of the lesson that I was to teach myself. Like the “Mathmaticious” music video, I had to take an idea and run with it. A project of this sort would have been very difficult without technology. Learners can take simple, broad topics and expand on so many different aspects of them. Spending a little time each week made it not to overwhelming. I would have never thought to have compiled so much information about such a topic.