Strategic use of technology strengthens mathematics teaching and learning. Strategic use does not imply continuous use of technology. Rather, it refers to teacher and student use of technology tools as determined through decision making that keeps mathematics, and not technology, as the focus of instruction. (NCTM, 2015)
Technology tools contribute to student achievement of a wide range of mathematical outcomes, and enable students to explore and create patterns, examine relationships, test conjectures, and solve problems. Calculators, computers, and other forms of technology can be used to:
- Explorations of patterns and relationships.
- organize and display data;
- extrapolate and interpolate;
- assist with calculation procedures as part of solving problems;
- decrease the time spent on computations when other mathematical learning is the focus;
- develop personal procedures for mathematical operations;
- create geometric displays;
- simulate situations;
- develop number sense;
- develop spatial sense; and
- develop and test conjectures.
Technology contributes to a learning environment in which the growing curiosity of students can lead to rich mathematical discoveries at all grade levels.
Technology should not be used as a replacement for basic understandings and intuition. (NCTM, 2000, p. 25)
It is important for students to understand and appreciate the appropriate use of technology in a mathematics classroom. It is also important that students learn to distinguish between when technology is being used appropriately and when it is being used inappropriately. Technology should never replace understanding, but should be used to enhance it.
Questions for reflection
- Am I using this technology to enhance the learning of specific curricular outcomes?
- Will this technology make it possible to do more than I was able to do before?
- Can this technology make my work more efficient, and improve student achievement?
SaskMATH will not be able to maintain an up-to-date curated list of tools. The suggestions given are available at this time and search words are given to enable you to find similar tools in the future. There are a few cautions we would give you, with regards to the use of technology:
- Be sure to follow directions provided by your school division technology division with regards to acceptable apps, programs and web resources.
- Be careful to follow your school division guidelines regarding installation and use of apps to ensure the privacy of your students.
Technology must always be tied directly to learnings that support specific outcomes. (Eg: a daily routine of 15 minutes on Mathletics would not be supported.) Click titles below for more information.