Initial question: How can technology be used in math classrooms to benefit student learning?
I started out with a simple Google search of “technology in math classroom”. Most of the results were school websites, textbook websites, or education development organizations. Below I have summarized some of the results I found.
E. Paul Goldenberg, Education Development Center, Inc.
“With technology, what changes is the pool of problems to choose among and the ways they can be presented. Some problems are too hard to be posed in a pencils only classroom. Some lessons require students to experiment with certain mathematical objects and see how they respond. Some require visual representations—graphs, diagrams, geometric figures, moving images—that respond to students’ questions, answers, or commands.”
“Computers can provide interactive “virtual manipulatives” where physical [manipulatives] do not exist. As always, the value of a tool depends on how it is used. If physical or electronic manipulatives are well designed and well used, they can increase the variety of problems that students can think about and solve.”
This article focuses on the when it is appropriate to implement technology in the classroom and the benefit they can serve. As quoted above, technology can be used to widen the scope of questions and topics learned in a lesson. Goldenberg explains that certain tools can be useless if they are not used correctly. For example, an interactive white board that display what is drawn on it onto a larger projector screen is useless if the teacher is sitting in the front of the classroom using it for him/herself. The value of such tools come in when it is used for multiple students to share drawings at their own seats. This can create more learning for students because they are able to see other students’ processes, rather than a teacher’s one explanation.
Teri Willard, Mathematics specialist
Calculators- study aids, inverse function explorations, function families, compare values, program calculators
Computer software- geometry drawing programs, spreadsheets, word processing, presentation programs
Interactive white boards
Digital video cameras
While Goldenberg’s article focused on why technology should be used, this article focuses on some of the different uses of common technologies. Most classrooms have calculators, computers, white boards, and cameras. But the question is, how are they being used? Are calculators used to add, subtracts multiply and divide? Or are the full functions being used to study inverse trigonometric and liner functions along with visualizing function families on a graph? The internet is full of free geometric drawing programs than can show relationships between polygons such as interior angle size and number of sides. Students can use the computer to make presentations for test reviews rather than working a bunch of book problems.
- Using Technology to Instruct
“When it comes to hooking students and grabbing their attention at the beginning of a lesson, video tutorials can be powerful. Instead of giving a lecture to teach new material, the instructor can field questions and facilitate a discussion after students watch a concise tutorial on a particular topic.”
Resource- Khan Academy: free, high quality video tutorials on variety of subjects
- Using Technology to Explore
Use interactive whiteboards to allow student to show what they are doing during a lesson or project. They can be used to model drawing of different shapes and when using an iPad, it is very easy to move around the classroom for multiple students to use.
App- Geometry Pad: provides a coordinate plane for polygons and graphing and allows for writing space for explanations or answers to questions
- Using Technology to Assess
An important part of Common Core Math Standards is solving real-world problems and applying lesson to real-life tasks. So, have students show this using technology! Have students create a “lesson” teaching you want they are to have learned. Record them working through a problem and explain as they go. Use this as assessments rather than a multiple choice test where they could guess and get answers right. Using technology to asses allows you to actually see what each student has learned
Shared by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Monica Burns wrote about a specific Common Core skill and how to integrate technology into the classroom while teaching the specific geometry standard. She focused on three main parts of a lesson- instructing, exploring, and assessing. Each step has different ways to use technology, each of which stresses the content of the specific common core standard.