Examining the use of a representational toolkit in a U.S. reform-oriented textbook. (English)

Int. J. Technol. Math. Educ. 18, No. 3, 121-126 (2011).

Summary: This study examined the instances of a representational toolkit (RT) in one reform-oriented algebra textbook developed in the United States. The majority of RT uses were active (66\%) as opposed to passive and connected (63\%) in that the technology results were used in some other manner by either the textbook authors or students as they solved problems. Symbolic representations were most prevalent in the textbook while tabular representations appeared least frequently. Although the textbook involved a variety of different functions the parameter experimentation feature of the technology was rarely used. Comparisons were also made with a previous edition of the textbook to determine the impact of computer algebra systems (CAS) on the curriculum. These results suggest that CAS was used to make the textbook more investigatory, include new content to a limited extent, demonstrate solutions to example problems, verify mathematical theorems, and enable student work with more sophisticated problems.