NEEDED RESEARCH ON TECHNOLOGY AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION
The University of Georgia (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:We now live in the 21st century, although you might not realize that fact if you were a student sitting in a “typical” mathematics class in most rural or urban school districts in the USA. Outside of school, technology tools and their applications are an integral part of modern life. We use and depend on them for entertainment, information, communication, transportation, commerce, research, comfort, shelter, safety, food production, medical treatment, as well as creative, self-expression and social networking.
The available technologies for teaching and learning, both in and out of school have expanded tremendously. Alongside computers and calculators we have iPods, iPhones, and now iPads; hand-held computing devices such as the TI-nSpire (which operates more like a computer than a calculator); networked calculators; wireless response systems; scientific probes that can be connected to hand-held devices or computers for generating real data in real time (CBL’s and CBR’s); Interactive SMART Boards and now, interactive SMART Tables for collaborative problem solving activities. The explosion in web-based resources for finding information, for social networking, for entertainment and for collaborative problem solving in on-line communities has changed the way we live our lives – outside of school. Perhaps one powerful reason for why almost a third of the students entering high schools in the USA “drop out” before completing their high school diploma is that education in many schools is presented in the same way as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries. The educational process in school bares little resemblance to how people learn outside of school.
As educators, we need to investigate how children and young adults are making use of the technological environment in which they live and what they are learning from that use. As mathematics educators, we need to understand how we might harness this technological environment to enhance the learning and teaching of mathematics – both in-school and out-of-school.
Research on Technology and Mathematics Education needs to encompass many dimensions and address important questions related to human development in our technological world. The following list is one possible starting point. I shall elaborate on each of these points throughout the paper and demonstrate examples during my presentation:
• Learning: How and what do students learn through use of technology?
• Teaching: How and what do teachers teach using technology?
• Curriculum: What mathematics can and should be accessible through the use of technology?
• Design of Technology: How does the specific interface design of a technology impact its use?
• Use of technology: Actual use may differ from the designed use – how do the different uses affect learning and teaching outcomes?
• New Media for teaching & learning: New networking and social interaction technologies offer new media for teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom. How and what kind of teaching may take place in these new media?
Keywords: Technology, Mathematics Education, Research, New Media.