About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2222 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

DEVELOPING AN ONLINE PORTAL FOR MATHEMATICS TEACHERS IN RESOURCE-CONSTRAINED SCHOOL SETTINGS

G. Stols1, R. Ferreira1, A. Van der Merwe1, W. Olivier2, A. Pelser3, C. De Villiers1

1University of Pretoria (SOUTH AFRICA)
2Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (SOUTH AFRICA)
3University of the Free State (SOUTH AFRICA)
In this paper we describe the development of a technology-driven platform in support of high school mathematics teachers. The research context is resource-constrained school settings in South Africa, where teachers are often challenged by environmental influences, personal factors and curriculum-related demands. Quality mathematics education is a current priority in South Africa, based on continued poor performance by school students. As such, continued research on support initiatives for both teachers and school students is at the core of addressing the current mathematics crisis in South Africa.

Against this background, we set out to investigate how an online support platform can support mathematics teachers. Even though resources are available to any teacher who accesses these via the Internet, teachers are often overwhelmed by the number of available resources. More often than not, they are uncertain about the quality of the various available resources, and the degree of alignment with the current school curriculum. In developing the MIDHub (Mathematics Information Delivery Hub) platform we set out to explore the way in which such a platform can (i) create an avenue whereby teachers’ professional and personal development can be promoted, and (ii) encourage mathematics teachers to enrich their teaching by integrating online resources. Two experienced teachers with Masters degrees and a lecturer took responsibility to identify suitable online resources for the MIDHub platform. The criteria used to identify these online resources include curriculum alignment, differentiation in terms of the unique South African context (e.g. units, language), levels of difficulty, and aesthetic quality.

Mathematics teachers from ten schools in South Africa participate in this pilot study. Following the collection of baseline data concerning the teachers’ (n=22) skills, perceptions and support needs we developed the MIDHub platform. After development of the content, 29 teachers were introduced to the platform and guided in using this potential resource. Based on initial feedback a few challenges were identified, namely limited Internet access, difficulty to access the MIDHub portal (it requires the opening of a browser and typing of an Internet address), scrolling down to content not visible on the page, and returning to the home page. In order to address these challenges we provided each participating teacher with a 3G modem and data, created an icon link on their desktops to the MIDHub platform, organized the webpages in such a way that all the content is available on one page, and created a home button on the website. We also expanded the portal to address the requests of the teachers. Currently, implementation of the platform by participating teachers is underway. Following this phase of the project, we will monitor and evaluate the use and potential value of the MIDHub platform at intervals 6, 12, 18 and 24 months.
@InProceedings{STOLS2015DEV,
author = {Stols, G. and Ferreira, R. and Van der Merwe, A. and Olivier, W. and Pelser, A. and De Villiers, C.},
title = {DEVELOPING AN ONLINE PORTAL FOR MATHEMATICS TEACHERS IN RESOURCE-CONSTRAINED SCHOOL SETTINGS},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {2222}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Stols AU - R. Ferreira AU - A. Van der Merwe AU - W. Olivier AU - A. Pelser AU - C. De Villiers
TI - DEVELOPING AN ONLINE PORTAL FOR MATHEMATICS TEACHERS IN RESOURCE-CONSTRAINED SCHOOL SETTINGS
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 2222
EP - 2222
ER -
G. Stols, R. Ferreira, A. Van der Merwe, W. Olivier, A. Pelser, C. De Villiers (2015) DEVELOPING AN ONLINE PORTAL FOR MATHEMATICS TEACHERS IN RESOURCE-CONSTRAINED SCHOOL SETTINGS, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, p. 2222.
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