The Use of Technology in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics
Any tool or technique implemented to achieve a specified outcome may be termed a technology. The word "technology" in this document will refer to a physical tool used as an aid in teaching and learning. Improvements in technology can lead to changes in what is taught in mathematics and how it is taught. Educators need to keep abreast of technological changes and to use technologies that enhance teaching,learning, and assessment of teaching and learning.
Technology has the potential to enhance the mathematical behavior of students in all types of learning environments and in society. Examples of desirable mathematical behaviors include:
- Interpreting problems using appropriate mathematical representations.
- Devising strategies to solve problems and to follow logical processes toward solutions.
- Communicating solution strategies effectively.
- Carrying out strategies in an accurate and complete manner.
- Understanding the deeper structure of problems and seeing how the processes used to solve problems relate to other contexts.
- Analyzing the appropriateness of solutions.
It is recognized that technology can be successfully utilized to assess the mathematical behavior of students.
Technologies are constantly evolving. Faculty need to examine how technology can help enhance the learning process instead of focusing on a particular type of technology. Almost any technology currently available in the mathematics classroom can arguably be said to enhance the mathematical behavior of students. Often such arguments are made based on human judgments and not on objective data. Scholarship on the effects of technology should drive the use of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics.
AMATYC makes the following recommendations to help faculty evaluate and adopt technologies that enhance and assess the mathematical behavior of students.
- Faculty should implement the results of academic research on the use of technology to enhance the mathematical behavior of students.
- Faculty should anticipate and evaluate the effects of the use of technology on mathematical behavior.
- Faculty should document how the use of technology affects the mathematical behavior of students and communicate these results to other faculty.
- Faculty and institutions should consider the constraints a technology imposes on the student and faculty before adopting it. These constraints may be ethical, economical, pedagogical,mental, or physical.
- Faculty should regularly review the feedback from stakeholders and revise the use of technology as appropriate.
- Institutions should provide professional development opportunities on the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, to support faculty in evaluating the effects of technology on students’ mathematical behavior, and to promote changes in technology use based on objective data.
Innovative Teaching and Learning Committee
Adopted November 2007