Fall 2017 - Professor Kate Poirier

Author: Yasmine

Project #4 Research Article – Yasmine

Title: The Effects of Using Computer Technology with Lower-Performing Students: Technology and Student Mathematics Achievement

Author: Hosin Shirvani, University of Texas-Pan American, TX, USA

Source: International Journal of Learning Date: February 1, 2010


The article is about a study that examined whether lower-achieving Students benefit from using computers in classroom or not. According to the study, it shows that lower-performing students who use computer technology class learned more that those who have no access to computers in classroom. However, when the study examined all students (lower-performing and higher-performing students) it shows no significant difference.

How we can make computers more effective tools in the classroom?

According to the article it shows that some teachers are lack of experience using technology in classroom and that makes computers technology ineffective tools. So it is so important that teachers have to be expert in technology when they need to. Even with expert teachers in technology, I think it is so important to have effective strategies that make teachers deliver the lessons through the technology in effective ways. Teachers should know when and why they should use technology in classroom. Also, in some mathematical concepts, they are better to be taught in traditional ways, which means teachers do not have to use computers for every single lesson they teach.

Another factor that can be taken into account is students attitude toward technology. Nowadays, it appears that students are more comfortable using technology in classroom however there are still few students who need more time to adapt to technology. I think that it is easier for them to learn how to use technology than learning math itself so they need to be pushed by teachers. For lower-performance students, I think technology gives them more chance to express themselves and be more confident specially when they get direct feedback as the article mentions.

From personal experience during my field observation in middle school, middle grade students are more engaged to do math problems in computers than when they do in traditional way and that makes students less distracted to other students.

Finally, in general, students need technology with taking many factors into account to help them improve their knowledge.

Reviewing the Report and the Article

The report discusses the benefit of using calculators in classrooms. As the report states, calculators help students to do their computations quickly and more effectively. They make students more confident about their mathematical understanding and make mathematics more fun to work with. Because calculators help students to do their work faster, that means students can spend their time to develop their reasoning and mathematical skills. calculators help students to be more active learners and to spend more time to improve their solving problem skills. Also calculators are inexpensive so almost everyone can have them. Even though there are research which showed that calculators are effective in math education, there are still some people who believe that they are harmful and that is because of the circulation of misinformation regarding their use.

According to “Why Johnny Can’t Add Without a Calculator” article by Konstantin Kakaes, the article states that the calculators are harmful tools that discourage students’ mathematical understanding. It says that a study proved that technology do not show measurable effect on students’ test score which means, technology is not effective in teaching. The article also mentions that technology cost a lot money that better to be spend on teachers’ training specially in math and science.

I agree more with the report than the article even though I was not comfortable reading the repetitive phrase/word the report has, such as paper and pencil and tedious. Also I feel that the report is advertising calculators which make me a little skeptical about it. Even though I don’t totally agree with the article, there are some points that I agree with.

The report states “…the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and various other organizations and individuals recommend that appropriate calculators be made available for use by students at every grade level from kindergarten through college”, students should use calculators when they really need them, however, it is too early for lower grades to use them because they need to understand the basic arithmetic and computation without using calculators. When they understand how to deal with basic arithmetic then they can use calculators not to depend on them, but to save time and spend the other time to explore, sharp, and understand mathematical concepts.

The author in the article complains about the electric circuit situations where students were shown it technologically instead of making them manipulate the real batteries and wires to create the real electric circuit. In this point, I agree with him because if students manipulate real materials, they understand more and become creative. That reminds me with tangrams and pattern blocks that we are working with in my other education class where we explore many things that cannot be clear without manipulating these materials. Also, it reminds me with the physics class I took, where I feel more comfortable working in the lab because I can explore a given situation.

The article indicates that there is more money that spend on technology more than on programs to train teachers to be effective. I am not sure if there is an evidence in this point. However, I think there should be a balance between both because we need technology and we need to have well-trained teachers as well. Also, if we think about technology and kids these days, we better make our kids to use it as an educational tool instead of using it for playing games because they are using it anyway.

The second myth in the report says “Because calculators do all of the work for the student, he/she will not be stimulated or challenged enough”. Similar idea is addressed by the article where the author explains that if a student can multiply two numbers it does not mean they know how calculators work. He also explains that there cannot be a technological tool that substitute a teacher.



Review of Teaching Math Using Technology

According to an article “Teaching Math Using Technology” by David Moss, he explains how technology is useful for students, parents, and teachers to do math. In his article, he include many helpful websites that students and teachers can use in classroom or at home to enhance their understanding of mathematics. There are websites that offer teachers many lesson plans, however sometimes it is a kind of hard to determine the value of some lesson plans.

By reading this article, I found many websites that I think will be helpful for me and for my future students as well. I think it is a good idea to use some of these websites to help students understand mathematical concepts more because students currently engage better to the topic when they use technology. Also, students can have fun learning math by playing math game instead of playing any other game that is not useful.


Teaching Math Using Technology

Project #1 Inverse functions and their graphs


Inverse functions and their graphs

In this lesson, I want my students to explore the function and their inverse graphically. I am going to insert the function and its inverse in Desoms and I am going to insert x=y to help student to visualize the symmetry.

I will use 4 different pairs of functions and their inverse to make sure that students grasp the idea of function and their graphs.

then I will choose a random point from the function’s graph and show the student the inverse of that point and how that is connected to the inverse arithmetically.