Palacky University in Olomouc (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 11-16
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1003
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
The paper deals with the manner how the use of ICT tools may help to support a transition from an operational to a structural understanding of function. These tools can flexibly and dynamically deal with various functions representations such as graphs, formulas and tables and this fact may help to exceed the hardness of integrating the operational and structural aspects of the function concept and its different representations.
The ICT tool in our study is the dynamic mathematics software GeoGebra. In GeoGebra, different representations of the same function (graphs, tables) are connected dynamically, allowing users to go back and forth between them thereby making relationships among those representations more easily comprehendible for students. Whenever one of the representations is modified, all others adapt automatically in order to maintain the relations between the different objects. New objects can be created either by using dynamic geometry tools or algebraic keyboard input.
The activity of investigating this tool is expected to foster a learning process of ‘trial-and-improve’ and ‘negotiation-of-meaning’. During these investigations, students can find patterns and develop functional thinking while dealing with dynamic input–output dependencies. All these possibilities serve to get students better understanding of the concept of function.
For the quantitative analyses of our research project we used data from 150 students of grade 7 from the Elementary Schools of three region of the Czech Republic. In summary, we conclude that the dynamic mathematics software GeoGebra helped students to overcome the difficulty of integrating operational and structural aspects of the concept function. On the other hand, we have to say there are some limitations of our conclusions and that additional information is needed for a full understanding of students’ conceptual development in relation to their tool techniques.
ICT tools, GeoGebra, concept of function.