Thursday, January 17, 2013

Request for Resources on Benefits of Technology

Hi everyone,

I am searching currently for any resources (printed or web) that you can point me at, that discuss the benefits of graphing calculator-based learning of mathematics. Within our department there are some differing opinions about this (since some teachers are still quite traditional), and so a colleague has asked me for more resources so that they can further analyze this issue. I thought I'd ask you guys, who are the experts, to see if you had such resources handy. Personally, I feel that technological approaches in general can help students visualize math in a way that helps them to understand connections between graphs and algebra, which was not possible a generation ago for the kids who lacked fluent graphing skills. It also serves as a motivation, as you can already see the desired end result and you're just working towards understanding the process to getting that end value. It also helps with problem-solving, in bypassing the hump of algebra, since in the "real world" they may not remember how to crank through every problem manually but they'll still need the analytical skills to be able to evaluate a graph and what it means. BUT, that's all just what I think. What "official" resources or studies do you have that can corroborate this?

THANK YOU!

1 comment:

1. I just googled "research supporting graphing calculators in the math classroom" and the very first results was an amazing study. Here's a quote from it "Results showed that students with the longest access to calculators used a wider range of problem-solving approaches and “tended to attempt more problems and obtain higher test scores than the students who had not” (Harskamp et al., 2000, p. 37). In addition, students referred to as “below average” by the researchers made more frequent use of graphical strategies and “achieved a significantly higher mean posttest score (p < 0.05) than students in the control group” (pp. 47 -48). Students using the calculators for one unit also used more graphical strategies than they had on the pretest (van Streun et al.,2000). These students tended to replace heuristic and algorithmic strategies with graphical approaches."