About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5334-5339
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.0268

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain

FROM PENCIL TO COMPUTER IN MATH EDUCATION

J.J. Prieto-Valdes

Miami Dade College (UNITED STATES)
When calculators and computers initially became available in schools there was much optimism about their use in mathematics teaching. However, facilitating calculation became the Achilles heel in further understanding of mathematics, resulting that math education has slipped backward.
Currently, some authors consider that traditional pencil-paper method is the most appropriate method to learn mathematics, while others support the application of computers. A well-known expression “Correctly using computers is the silver bullet for making math education work” [Conrad Wolfram, TED Conference, 2010] inspired this work, where a suitable method is pursued to teach mathematics with computers without forgetting the traditional analysis that accompanies writing operations.

For testing purposes a mixed methodology was used: a Pencil–Computer system comprising:
(1) electronic pen,
(2) handwritten recognition program, and
(3) processing software capable to solve and graph equations among other applications and iterations with the user(s).

Final implementation of the method was done using a windows math panel and two different freely software variants: Microsoft Mathematics and Wolfram Alpha online engine. In both cases, the results were satisfactory receiving a positive feedback from the students as well as from the class-instructor witnesses; but most importantly, was observed that some traditional exercises serve to learn how to use calculators but not to deepen math understanding.

The need of improving instructing tactics is discussed, as well as the modern-day requirements to properly implement computers in math teaching, the need of upgrading Math book content from manually solvable exercises to more advanced requiring a graphical and numerical analysis aided by computers.

Following previous result, an experimental College Algebra notebook was created using advanced group of exercises for testing purposes. The notebook has an APP extension for computer and smart devices (smartphone, tablets, etc.). The utilization of this experimental notebook in six different classes yielded effective results in learning mathematics. Positive feedback from students, increment of the average grade and passing rate, and supporting opinion from peers during a math retreat presentation at Miami Dade College, confirm the suitability of proposed teaching philosophy to improve math teaching.
@InProceedings{PRIETOVALDES2016FRO,
author = {Prieto-Valdes, J.J.},
title = {FROM PENCIL TO COMPUTER IN MATH EDUCATION},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.0268},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.0268},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {5334-5339}}
TY - CONF
AU - J.J. Prieto-Valdes
TI - FROM PENCIL TO COMPUTER IN MATH EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.0268
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 5334
EP - 5339
ER -
J.J. Prieto-Valdes (2016) FROM PENCIL TO COMPUTER IN MATH EDUCATION, INTED2016 Proceedings, pp. 5334-5339.
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