Integrating technology into mathematics teaching

Zsolt Lavicza has written an article entitled Integrating technology into mathematics teaching at the university level. This article was published online in ZDM on Friday. Here is the abstract of the article:

The emergence of new computing technologies in the second half of the twentieth century brought about new potentials and promised the rapid transformation of the teaching and learning of mathematics. However, despite the vast investments in technology resources for schools and universities, the realities of schooling and the complexities of technology-equipped environments resulted in a much slower integration process than was predicted in the 1980s. Hence researchers, together with teachers and mathematicians, began examining and reflecting on various aspects of technology-assisted teaching and learning and on the causes of slow technology integration. Studies highlighted that as technology becomes increasingly available in schools, teachers’ beliefs and conceptions about technology use in teaching are key factors for understanding the slowness of technology integration. In this paper, I outline the shift of research focus from learning and technology environment-related issues to teachers’ beliefs and conceptions. In addition, I highlight that over the past two decades a considerable imbalance has developed in favour of school-level research against university-level research. However, several changes in universities, such as students declining mathematical preparedness and demands from other sciences and employers, necessitate closer attention to university-level research. Thus, I outline some results of my study that aimed to reflect on the paucity of research and examined the current extend of technology use, particularly Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) at universities, mathematicians’ views about the role of CAS in tertiary mathematics teaching, and the factors influencing technology integration. I argue that due to mathematicians’ extensive use of CAS in their research and teaching, documenting their teaching practices and carrying out research at this level would not only be beneficial at the university level but also contribute to our understanding of technology integration at all levels.

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