USUAL OR VIRTUAL PROTRACTOR? A STUDY WITH 5TH GRADE STUDENTS
Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Mobile devices are widely used in everyday life by students in various contexts and the school and teachers cannot, and should not, remain indifferent to this new reality. In this context we consider it opportune to explore its potentialities in geometry learning. The applications (apps) are a type of software created specifically for mobile digital devices such as tablets and cell phones that can offer a wide range of features, with infinite possibilities of use. Specifically, the Protractor app contains an interactive angle that allows measuring angle amplitudes in images or objects by simply opening the application, placing the camera in front of the angle to be measured, adjusting it, and the measurement automatically appears digitally. One can also take a photograph of any object and measure the amplitude of one of its angles. In this perspective, in this paper a study has been carried out with main objective to identify the effects of the Protractor cell phone application on students' performance in learning the Measurement of the Amplitude of Angles. Forty students from two 5th grade classes of a public school in northern Portugal participated in the study in the 2021/2022 school year. Students had no experience in working with mobile phone applications for school purposes. The quasi-experimental methodology was adopted, with an experimental group that employed the usual protractor and the protractor app throughout the proposed tasks, and a control group that used only the usual protractor. The didactic sequence took place in mathematics lessons over a two-week period on the content of 'angles', with the focus on measuring their amplitude. Firstly, the students in the experimental group and the control group took a thirty-minute pre-test, in which they were asked to measure the amplitudes of 13 angles, using the usual protractor. Through the didactic sequence, the tasks were developed in the control group with the usual protractor, while in the experimental group the Protractor app was used in addition to this device. Finally, the students performed the same post-test as the pre-test with the usual protractor. After data analysis it was concluded that there was a 12% improvement in the post-test for the students who used the protractor and the Protractor app (experimental group) relative to the students who used only the usual protractor (control group). Also, the results obtained suggest that the use of the Protractor app, as a support resource, allows improving the students' learning in the subject of Angle Amplitude Measurement. The students' attitude towards the use of mobile phones with this app was very positive, because this allowed them to get immediate feedback of the correct answer, self-assess their learning and overcome the main mistakes made with the usual protractor manipulation.
Keywords: Geometry, angle amplitude measurement, usual protractor, mobile devices, Protractor application.