Bayburt University (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 483-487
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
This proposal briefly reflects on the learning trajectory of a group of pre-service teachers while working with 3D material and some technological tools as well as how technology helps them improve their Spatial Operational Capacity (SOC) [1], [2]. By the sense of we have used in this trajectory, the Spatial Operational Capacity (SOC) is a framework guiding participants (learners) to explore the spatial alignment of 3D objects as well as to construct the digital counterparts. A brief description of project is as follows:

Pre-service teachers, taking a method course to teach mathematics at elementary classroom, were exposed to explore various 3D constructions created by using soma cubes. Following exploration, they were supposed to use those constructions in some activities. The activities included describing the construction to a peer, who could not able to see it, to draw on board and to construct by using StarBoard and/or Google SketchUp, and drawing side, top, and front views of the construction. Moreover, they were supposed to infer possible constructions from anyone of these views and place cubes on a grid or to construct possible digital constructions in StarBoard and/or Google SketchUp. This last group of activities demanded an ability of probabilistic thinking, which had been another challenge for the participants.

The research explores the participants’ evolving ability of spatial visualization, which was very low at the beginning. They were struggling while drawing or constructing even very basic constructions. However, the improvements were accelerated as they integrated technological tools, StarBoard and SketchUp because of the flexibility and usability provided by these tools. The main corpus of data consists of participant own reflections on the pros and cons of integrating technology and how technology affected their visualization and spatial reasoning.

The final paper will illustrate findings on how their spatial thinking evolved during the project. In addition, I will include one specific example illustrating all the stages of the project for one participant. Finally, I will discuss possible implications of the project both in teacher training and student educating perspectives as well as further research opportunities on the topic.

At the conference, I suggest presenting orally such that I can share some of my data with the audience and discuss the ways how I interpreted participants’ evolving spatial thinking.

[1] Van Niekerk, (Retha) H. M. (1997). A subject didactical analysis of the development of the spatial knowledge of young children through a problem-centered approach to mathematics teaching and learning. Ph.D. diss., Potchefstroom University for CHE, South Africa.
[2] Sack, J., & Vazquez, I. (2013). Geocadabra construction box: A dynamic geometry interface within a 3D visualization teaching-learning trajectory for elementary learners. In Z. Karadag & M. Aktumen (Eds.) Dynamic and Interactive Mathematics Learning Environments, special issue on Mevlana International Journal of Education.
Spatial thinking, technology in mathematics education, 3D visualization.