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Blog > Professional Development > Adapting to technology – in relation to mathematics teaching and learning

Adapting to technology – in relation to mathematics teaching and learning

Is technology there to help students get ‘the answer’ more quickly and accurately, or to improve the way they learn mathematics?

The way people answer this question is illuminating and can reveal deeply held beliefs about the nature of mathematics and how it is best taught and learned. If one considers mathematics to be a fixed body of knowledge to be learned, then the role of technology in this process would be primarily that of an efficiency tool, i.e. helping the learner to do the mathematics more efficiently. However, if we consider the technological tools as providing access to new understandings of relations, processes, and purposes, then the role of technology relates to a conceptual construction kit.

Technology is a prominent feature of mathematics classrooms, and we need to adapt to a growing need for technological literacy. Misuses of technology are discussed and discouraged, such as using calculators as a way to avoid learning multiplication skills, and using computers to practice procedural drills, rather than to address conceptual understanding.

Many teachers are already using technology effectively to enhance students’ understanding and enjoyment of mathematics. In their hands lies the task of enacting a truly future-oriented curriculum that will prepare students for intelligent, adaptive and critical citizenship in a technology-rich world. Softwares like ‘Autograph’  support students in exploring, understanding and identifying mathematical concepts and relationships.

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