Thursday, September 15, 2011


This is the second part of technology supported Math Instruction. If you want to read the first part, check it out at Part 1: TECHNOLOGY-SUPPORTED MATH INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

4. Making Calculations and Creating Mathematical Representations

Calculators used in Math Instruction
Technologies of this type often adaptive calculators that “serve as an equalizer in mathematics education” and “help students to more quickly and readily develop number sense, gain mathematical insight, and reasoning skills” (Pomerantz, 1997, p.2).

Handheld computers such as Palm devices and Pocket PCs offer an advantage of flexibility over traditional calculators. These handheld devices offer a great deal of computing power in a small package and a wide variety of software applications that can be used in a mathematics curriculum—database, spreadsheet, scientific probes/sensors, etc.

5. Organizing Ideas

GO Solve Word Problems has been created to help students organize math problems and discover their underlying structure. The software’s interface allows students to organize the component parts of a math problem and then helps student to identify the relationships between the values and component parts of the problem.

Software for Math Instruction
TinkerPlots, developed with funding from a National Science Foundation grant is another piece of inquiry-based software that allows student-driven data organization and analysis (Steinke, 2005). Using TinkerPlots, students can graphically organize and construct data graphs by “stacking” iconic representations of numerical data. Although students can use their own data, TinkerPlots has several integrated rich datasets that may also be used.

6. Building Problem Solving and Reasoning

Anchored instruction environments combine video and audio technologies in a story format. Because students identify with the characters in the story, they are situated in the problem and motivated to find a solution.

It is important to note that not all students may relate to the same story, or anchor, so it is important for educators using this technique to tailor anchoring content to meet the needs of their specific group of students.
Anchored Instruction - Movies that relate to Life Experience

One strategy that needs additional attention involves the use of technology designed to teach mathematical concepts in non-traditional ways. At present, the sheer quantity of educational software and other tools that are available for teachers to use in the classroom is significant. Additionally, the cost of much of this hardware and software is relatively low. Nevertheless, while the commitment to improving the math performance of students with math difficulty is strong and the technology to help educators accomplish this goal is readily available, there is a paucity of research related to the effectiveness of these approaches. Further, there is a dearth of research related to the identification of best practices necessary to effectively implement math instruction with the help of technology.

One major goal of educators of students with math difficulty should be to conduct ongoing research to determine the best use of existing technology for enhancing mathematical learning. Further, educators and researchers should work closely with developers and publishers of new hardware and software and conduct high-quality research targeted at identifying effective practices that accompany the use of new products.

Source: This is a written summary of the paper entitled TECHNOLOGY-SUPPORTED MATH INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: TWO DECADES OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT written by Ted S. Hasselbring, Alan C. Lott and Janet M. Zydney in 2006 for Center for Implementing Technology in Education. 

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