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Graphing technology as a tool for mathematics instruction. (English)
Dhompongsa, Gullaya (ed.) et al., Proceedings of the Thailand international conference on 21st century information technology in mathematics education, ICITM 2006, Chiang Mai, Thailand, September 17‒20, 2006. Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai Rajabhat University (CMRU) (ISBN 974-7793-29-6/pbk). 1-16 (2006).
Summary: The use of graphing technology like a graphics calculator (GC) as a cognitive tool has a huge potential on mathematics education. To gauge the impact of GC on the improvement of mathematics instruction and assessment, a number of studies were conducted at the School of Mathematical Sciences at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) since 2001. This paper briefly summarizes the nature and results of the studies that were carried out to examine the pedagogic use of the GC in teaching pre-service teachers and undergraduate mathematics students at USM. These studies focused on three important issues. First is on the effective use of the device as a cognitive tool to present complex mathematical concepts and to support students’ understanding. Second is on students’ reaction on the use of the GC and the association between students’ learning styles and confidence in operating the GC. Lastly, is on the proper assessment methodologies in a GC-assumed examination. Results from these studies suggested that access to GC did more than offer an alternative teaching strategy. It allowed student learning to occur at a higher cognitive level and served to facilitate explorations and foster problem solving activities that would not be feasible without the use of the technology. Also, students overall response towards the integration of the GC in the lab course were positive and favorable. However, several students still lacked some technical skills in operating the tool efficiently and effectively due to the sophistication of the device. In addition, our study on brain hemisphericity and learning styles indicated no significant differences in students’ GC confidence. Finally, test writers are challenged to develop fair test items in a GC-assumed examination.
Classification: U55 U59 R25 R29 C35 C39
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