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					                                                   The Impact of Technology   1




The Impact of Technology Integration on the Academic Progress of

              Middle School Mathematics Students

                      Kimberly P. Zurich

                 Fairleigh Dickinson University
                                                                      The Impact of Technology       2



                                              Abstract

This paper describes the impact of technology integration on middle school mathematics students.

The objective of this study was to find out if technology increases student motivation and student

academic achievement. Four of the researchers mathematics classes were used in this study, along

with nine mathematics teachers from William Annin Middle School, Somerset, New Jersey. Student

surveys, teacher interviews, and student academic assessments were all used in part of this study.
                                                                       The Impact of Technology          3



                                          CHAPTER ONE

                                             Introduction

    “Remarkable new technology is introduced into the classroom and experts predict education

will be revolutionized. The technology will, as never before, allow widespread dissemination of new

concepts and ideas that will stimulate young minds and free teachers for more creative pursuits

(Lewis, 1840).” This quote, remarkably, was excerpted from a New York Times article written by

Peter H. Lewis in the late 1840s, describing the introduction of the blackboard. Interestingly

enough, it still pertains to education in 2004. Even back in the 1840s, teachers were finding new

technologies to stimulate and motivate young minds, even if it was only the blackboard. Now, in

education today, technology has advanced so significantly, it’s hard not to incorporate some aspect

of it into the classroom. Yet there are still some teachers that continue to lecture and avoid use of

technology. This is unfortunate for the students of today. They are so technologically advanced for

their age, being able to talk on the phone, watch TV, and type a paper all at the same time and yet in

the classroom they’re stuck to using pencil and paper to take down notes. No wonder why students

aren’t motivated and are falling asleep in class. They are used to doing three to four things at once,

keeping them busy and when they get in the classroom and only have to do one thing to do, it seems

boring to them.

   The researcher has observed that most of the students in her seventh grade math class use

technology at home, at the mall, and with their friends. It seems to motivate them in different

situations, so the end result is, to use it to motivate them at school. The researcher seeks to

integrate technology into her seventh grade mathematics classroom to increase student motivation

and eventually increase student achievement.
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                                          Problem Statement

     Middle school students have demonstrated a lack of motivation during mathematics classes.

This researcher believes that the students’ lack of motivation is resulting in lower student

achievement. This issue impacts upon student class participation, student assignment completion,

student pride in their work, and student autonomy in the researcher’s mathematics classroom.

This researcher believes that this problem can be attributed to two causes: lecture based teaching

and lack of interactive engagement within the class. The students are often bored in a classroom

setting when the teacher is lecturing up at the board. Often times, students won’t pay attention and

occasionally dose off. Students have indicated to this researcher that they have completed

homework and doodled pictures while teachers were lecturing in mathematics classes. Through

experience, this researcher strongly feels that students view lecture based teachers as boring and dull.

Since students are hardly paying attention during these classes, the researcher believes that students

don’t get much out of the lesson and therefore, do poorer academically.

     This researcher believes that integrating technology into the middle school mathematics

classroom will motivate and aid in student achievement. Learning through use of technology will

change textbook problems into real world problems that can be solved by using real raw data, found

at the touch of their fingertips. Technology in the classroom also empowers students by improving

their skills and concepts through multiple representations (Brown, 1999).

       The goal of this research project is to increase motivation and student achievement by

integrating technology into the mathematics classroom. In order to reach this goal, the researcher

plans to utilize a descriptive model of research. The research will take place in a seventh and eighth

grade mathematics classroom.
                                                                     The Impact of Technology          5



   The descriptive model of research will allow for the internal collection of data in the classroom

in the form of teacher observation, student surveys and interviews with mathematics teachers.

External data will be collected in the form of literature to support the study. Recommendations will

be made at the conclusion of this research based on both internal and external research.

    During this study the researcher would like to consider the following research questions:

       1. Does integrating technology into the middle school mathematics classroom motivate

           students?

       2. Does integrating technology into the middle school mathematics classroom increase

           student achievement?
                                                                       The Impact of Technology        6



                                          CHAPTER TWO

                                     Review of Related Literature

    In reviewing the literature related to integrating technology into the mathematics classroom and

the effects on student motivation and achievement, the researcher found an abundance of

documentation supporting the researcher’s problem statement. A summary of the most pertinent

information follows.

                              Integrating Technology into Mathematics

    As new technology is improving and increasing every year, educators are trying more and more

to integrate it into their own classrooms. The students of today are already so technologically

advanced that when they go to school and all their teachers are still using only the blackboards and

lecturing from the podium, the students just aren’t interested anymore. As technology becomes a

more prevalent part of the education culture with each passing year, schools cannot ignore the

impact of technology and the changing face of curriculum (Alexiou-Ray, n.d., p. 1). Student’s need

to be engaged interactively in the classrooms to keep them interested. One way of doing this is to

integrate technology into the everyday classroom; in particular, the researcher would like to integrate

it into the mathematics classroom. The researcher hopes that with innovative and exciting

technology based lessons, she can engage, motivate, and encourage lifelong learning, which in turn,

will hopefully increase student achievement.

    Computers have grown and changed exponentially over the past twenty years. Schools went

from not using computers back in the early 1980's to using them for administration purposes in the

90's to using them throughout the school for administration, faculty, and student centered computer

labs in 2000. Now it's 2004 and hopefully by 2010, there will be computers in every classroom for
                                                                       The Impact of Technology          7



students to use everyday. Since this technology age is growing so quickly, teachers need to become

familiar with the new technology in order to maximize its effectiveness in the classroom.

    “In a relatively short period of time, computer technology has increasingly changed the ways we

teach and learn. Because of the technological advancements, the instructional software developed

and used in computer-assisted learning has become more sophisticated. Newly developed

instructional software that integrates text, sound and computer animation now can present material

to students in a multimedia form that may maximize its effectiveness (Chuang, n.d., p. 1).”

                            Use of Graphing Calculators and Motivation

    “The important work of several decades ago, as well as much of what has since been in the

forefront of educational thought, stresses the importance of teachers finding ways to make subject

matter relevant to students, to involve students in setting their own goals, to vary the ways of

learning to use approaches that employ all of the senses, and to be sure that there are opportunities

for relating the knowledge to experiences or actually using it (Goodland, 1984).” This quote from

Goodland talks about enhancing students’ motivation to learn. The researcher felt the use of

graphing calculators would be relevant to students by involving them and varying a way of learning

that employs all of their senses and relates the knowledge to their experiences.

     Graphing calculators aren’t merely just ways of calculating (2 + 2) or (5 * 4) anymore; they now

have many different functions and uses. The Texas Instrument Eighty Three graphing calculator

can not only add, subtract, multiply and divide, but it can be used in Algebra to graph precise

functions and locate the x and y intercepts. In Geometry, the calculators can reflect an image over

the x-axis and see where it lands. In Statistics, a graphing calculator can calculate the mean, median

and mode of a set of numbers and in Trigonometry, it can calculate and graph the sine, cosine, and

tangent functions. Students can do all of these problems by pencil and paper in math class, but the
                                                                      The Impact of Technology         8



drawings are imperfect pictures of shapes and functions. Now with the use of these graphing

calculators, the students can compare what they have done with their pencil and paper to the exact

images on the calculator. This technology allows students to tackle problems that could not be done

otherwise (Spicer, n.d., pp. 1-2).

        One teacher, Tara Windle, uses a classroom activity with the graphing calculator called

Match It, Graph IT. Her algebra students experiment with a motion detector to match their walking

motion to reproduce a piecewise function of time and distance displayed on the calculator screen.

Windle observes that this lesson helps students begin to develop a conceptual understanding of what

a graph represents, the meaning of slope and how a function can be used to describe a relationship.

Windle found that the technology helps students who struggle with computation move onto

mathematical concepts and applications. The use of the graphing calculators, she says, reaches a

variety of learning styles. These tools reach out to more students than those in the usual chalk and

talk mathematics class (Spicer, n.d., pp. 1-2).

        Instead of students taking notes and solving problems by hand, now students can be

engaged everyday with the use of these graphing calculators. Teachers can use the calculators to

motivate their students by having them display their work to the class, by means of a display

projector. This can help foster discussion and engagement with the class as a whole. The teacher

can also get answers from every student, not just the few who always raise their hands. The

graphing calculator gives a voice to the shy student (Texas Instrument, 2004, pp. 8-9).

        Another way that graphing calculators can motivate students is to infuse real world concepts,

so that the students can relate to the problem at hand. For example, students can explore the effects

on investing $1,000 over the next 20 years in a money market, bond or stock mutual find, by using

exponential functions. Such simulations on the graphing calculator allow students to visualize and
                                                                         The Impact of Technology       9



explore important mathematical concepts as well as real world and interdisciplinary connections. By

doing this type of activity, students are motivated because it allows them to watch their “money”

grow as the number of years increase, a real world connection for them (Drier, n.d., pp. 3-4).

        “If you use graphing calculators, you arouse their interest. Students do not open a math

book and say, “Let me show you what I know on this page,” but they will show you what they know

about a single button on a graphing calculator (Moses, 2001, pp. 66-67).” The researcher believes

this to be true. From experience, students have told her many times what they can do on the

calculator, but never has one showed her a page in the textbook and said, “Let me show you what I

know on this page.”

                        Use of Graphing Calculators and Student Achievement

      “Calculator technology can be used in various ways in mathematics classrooms beyond

replacing paper-and-pencil computation. Potential uses include developing number sense, exploring

mathematical concepts such as geometry, representing and graphing data, and solving complex

problems. Resistance to the use of calculators in the teaching and learning of mathematics has been

voiced. However, the calculator-use research concludes that when calculators were used in a variety

of ways, students performed as well as, or better than, those who used paper-and-pencil methods.

Internationally, as students’ in-class calculator use increased, so did their level of performance on

mathematical assessments (Demana, 1990, p. 64-65).”

     Students using calculators are more interested in what they’re doing since it's using something

they don’t often get to use. It also piques their senses and relates to their interests. Since the

students are paying attention, they are more motivated to learn and when students are motivated,

they retain the knowledge and most times do better academically. A teacher, John Hanna, from

Teaneck High School, says that “Students seem to pay attention more when they have the devices in
                                                                      The Impact of Technology       10



hand, they are willing to explore more; thus the technology is good for helping students acquire

knowledge and understanding at a deeper level (Texas Instrument, 2004, p. 14).”

        Four students researching “Changing Instructional Practice: The Impact of Technology

Integration on Students, Parents, and School Personnel,” came up with a similar conclusion as John

Hanna from Teaneck High School. Most students indicated that after experimenting with new

technology based lessons, they enjoyed the hands-on learning offered by technology integration and

felt that they retained more of the information provided in class (Alexiou-Ray, n.d., p. 9).

These graphing calculators allow students to solve multiple and more difficult problems in the same

amount of time as was spent using pencil and paper. Given this time gain, students are able to try

different approaches to problem solving. It also allows students to move at their own pace and

concentrate on what they’re capable of doing in a heterogeneously mixed math class. The teacher

can become the facilitator in the classroom while the students investigate the mathematical concepts,

challenging themselves, and allowing for more student discussion. Studies show that students using

calculators:

    1     Have higher math achievement than non-calculator users

    2     Do better on mental computation than non-calculator users

    3     Experience more varied concepts and computations

    4     Have improved attitudes toward mathematics

    5     Do not become overly reliant on calculators

(Kelley, 1985, pp. 64-65)

    From these studies, graphing calculators seem to really engage and motivate students in the

mathematics classroom. The researcher believes that this motivation on the students’ part will result
                                                                       The Impact of Technology          11



in a deeper understanding and retaining knowledge of the material, which will result in higher

student achievement.

                                  Use of Computers and Motivation

     “Using current real-world data provides mathematics teachers and students with an enriching

resource that cannot be duplicated in a textbook (Wenglinsky, 1998, pp. 66-67).” Students live in

the information age. They read and hear about many things around the world that interest them.

Teachers can take advantage of this interest by using the data from the Internet to create projects

and assignments for the students that are real world related for mathematics lessons in the classroom

(Rosempler, 1999, pp. 68-69).

      Engaging students in assignments where they can use the Internet, real world data, and

computer programs in a mathematics class, is what students need for the 21st century. The students

won’t need to compute long division problems on pencil and paper anymore but they will need to

be able to use computers, research properly on the Internet and apply prior knowledge to new

information.

       In a study at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, two students researched

“Secondary students’ resistance toward incorporating computer technology into mathematics

learning.” The study examined the concerns of incorporating spreadsheets into mathematics

learning in secondary schools. From their literature review, they concluded that since technology

has become such an integral part of society, that it is necessary to integrate its use into education,

especially into the mathematics classroom. They decided to survey ten secondary general

mathematics classes across six schools in Sydney, where some have used spreadsheets in

mathematics and some have not. What they found from the study was that a group of the students

identified that both pen-and-paper methods and using spreadsheets are useful tools depending on
                                                                      The Impact of Technology          12



the given task. In the researchers opinion, they thought that this demonstrated sophistication on the

students’ part in deciding which tool to use in a particular situation (D’Souza, 2003, p. 284).

    Scott A. Sinex, in his article, thinks of computer technology as an interactive higher-order

thinking tool. He constructs a simple interactive excel spreadsheet to offer students a dynamic,

graphical visualization of variables, equations, and formulas. He says that for beginning students,

presenting equations on excel, in a visual sense, may be a better starting point. By doing this, he says

that you can pose questions and ask what is going to happen, when you wouldn’t normally be able

to do this on the chalkboard. An active learning environment has just been created to enhance

learner-centered instruction and student motivation (Sinex, 2004, pp. 1-3).

     In another study, two researchers, Gene Abrams and Jeremy Haefner, describe a Math Online

system. This system is a learning delivery method that combines traditional mathematics instruction

with distance learning. The only difference to the in-class students is that the instructor writes on a

graphics tablet instead of using a chalkboard. These students then see images that the teacher

creates projected onto a screen. While the in-class students experience a relatively traditional

classroom presentation, the course’s distance students also see the images from the graphics tablet

via the Internet and hear the teachers voice streamed via the Internet simultaneously. Both the

tablet images and the audio enter an archive for future playback. The feedback from the in-class

students was that they expressed enthusiasm about the Math Online delivery system because of the

use of the computerized graphics tablet and the availability of the archived notes for later use. The

same responses came from the distance students. They were enthusiastic about the use of

computerized graphics tablet, the use of the archived notes and the availability to take a class from

home (Abrams, 2002, pp. 1-2).
                                                                       The Impact of Technology        13



    From a Middle School Mathematics Journal, A. Kursat Erbas and Sarah Ledford, indicate that

the use of technology provides an effective way for promoting multiple representations in problem

solving and mathematics. Multiple representations allow students to experience different ways of

thinking, develop better insights and understandings of problem situations, and increase

comprehension about mathematical concepts (Erbas, 2004, p. 100).

      Providing multiple representations in the mathematics classroom provides for different

learning styles, which in turn, keeps all students engaged and motivated in learning. The researcher

believes that use of technology in the mathematics classroom allows for independent thinking on the

part of the student, in deciding if technology is needed or not in certain situations. It also creates an

active learning environment, in which more extensive questions can be posed, allows for

information to be saved and archived for later use, and allows for multiple representations for all

students to get engaged and motivated in the mathematics classroom.

                             Use of Computers and Student Achievement

    In the ever-changing world of educational technology, the posing question is, does it really

effect student achievement? If used properly in classroom, the researcher believes that it does. The

more motivated the students are in learning, the more likely they will be to retain the information

they have learned.

  In a study, researcher, Orit Hazzan, presents findings on the attitudes of prospective high school

mathematics teachers who weigh the pros and cons of integrating technology into their future

classroom teaching. The author conducted a study in a computer lab with 94 prospective high

school mathematics teachers on their reflections and opinions on activities in a course he was

teaching on integrating technology into the mathematics classroom. The results of the study are as

follows: Some pros of integrating technology were that learners can conjecture, check their
                                                                     The Impact of Technology       14



conjectures and improve their solution without being embarrassed by a mistake; computers enabled

each pupil to progress individually without being dependent on other classmates. The mathematic

activities were solved better by computers, the computers provided a world of mathematical

experience that relate to students, and the computers enabled communication with pupils around

the world which provides an opportunity for teamwork between classmates. Some of the cons were

that pupils that miss classes in which computers were used may encounter difficulty catching up

with the class, the computer may be conceived as smarter than the teacher because of its numerous

abilities and the fact that it doesn’t make mistakes, and technical problems with operation of

computers (Hazzan, 2003, p. 213). Overall, these teachers captured the essence of the pros and

cons of integrating technology into mathematics classroom. The end result is how it ends up with

the students actually using the technology in the classroom, which has not been studied here. The

researcher believes that the pros outweigh the cons and the students would be interested and

motivated in the lessons provided the technology was functioning properly. Additionally, if the

students were interested they would retain the knowledge for a longer period of time, increasing

their academic achievement.

     Instructional technology, such as graphing calculators, dynamic software, and computer

simulations, allows investigation of the relationship between mathematical topics. Students can

make connections among various mathematical ideas, while exploring relationships by using

graphical displays and computer simulations (Brown, 1999, pp. 70-71).

     “Achievement in higher-order thinking skills is positively related to the use of technology.

Problem-solving techniques are strengthened, and deductive reasoning is enhanced because student

can seek answers to their own “what-if” questions (Brown, 1999, pp. 70-71).”
                                                                    The Impact of Technology          15



                                             Summary

    In conclusion, technology is not the focus of learning; rather it empowers teachers and students

to explore mathematical concepts through the use of real world data and simulations of real world

events. When technology is used this way it captures students interest and motivates them to learn

(Drier, 1999, p.1). Student motivation is a huge part of education today. Back in the 1950's, student

motivation wasn't as much of a concern because parents respected the teacher as almost a parent

themselves and whatever they taught their children and how they taught it was the teachers’

prerogative. Today it's much different; parents are weary of how and what teachers are teaching and

not as trustworthy as they once were. If their child came home saying class was boring, along with a

failing grade on a test in the 1950's, the parent would immediately blame the child and they would be

punished. If the same scenario happened now, the parent would be much more likely to blame the

teacher for not doing a good enough job. Since times have changed, teachers need to be thinking of

more ways to motivate the students, especially in a class like mathematics, where most students don't

understand the material. The use of graphing calculators and computers are a wonderful way to

engage and motivate the students so that they think that learning mathematics is fun. This

motivation and excitement of the use of technology will lead students to want to show their parents

what they did in school and retain what they learned. In the end, students will remember activities

they liked doing instead of activities they did that bored them. Student achievement should then

increase because of students retaining knowledge they enjoyed learning in the classroom!
                                                                     The Impact of Technology         16



                                         CHAPTER THREE

                                            Methodology

    The research for this action research project was conducted at William Annin Middle School in

Basking Ridge, New Jersey. This suburban school is located in a primarily Caucasian, upper class

community. William Annin Middle School is comprised of grades six through eight and has a total

of 1200 students. The average class size is twenty-two with one hundred full time teachers and ten

part-time teachers.

          William Annin began as a Junior High School and was dedicated on September 28, 1969. In

September of 1982, William Annin became the Bernards Township Middle School. The purpose of

William Annin Middle School is to assist each student in developing abilities in the arts, humanities,

and sciences while providing guidance through the early years of adolescence. The aim is to

challenge the creative and critical faculties of each student and to encourage observation,

organization, and evaluation.

          There were three groups included in this research study. Group A – Twenty-four students

in the researchers grade eight algebra class, Group B – Twenty-five students in the researchers grade

seven mathematics class, and Group C – Nine mathematics teachers at William Annin Middle

School.

          Group A consisted of twenty-three Caucasian, one Indian, and one Asian student.     There

were fourteen female and eleven male students in this class, heterogeneously mixed in ability levels.

All students were from the researchers Period Three, seventh grade mathematics class. This group

was asked to complete a student survey (Appendix A) about use of technology in their mathematics

classrooms.
                                                                      The Impact of Technology        17



        Group B consisted of twenty-two Caucasian, one Indian, and one Asian student. There were

thirteen female and twelve male students in this class, all heterogeneously mixed in ability levels. All

students were from the researchers Period Six, Eigth grade Algebra class. This group was also asked

to complete a student survey (Appendix B) about use of technology in their mathematics

classrooms.

        Group C consisted of nine Caucasian teachers. Three teach sixth grade math, three teach

seventh grade math, two teach eighth grade algebra and one teaches eighth grade algebra and eighth

grade geometry. The group consisted of eight women teachers and one male teacher. This group

was asked to complete an interview sheet (Appendix C) regarding use of technology in their

mathematics classes.

        The student surveys were anonymous. The survey consisted of twenty closed-ended and

open-ended questions, which gathered information on how often technology was used in their

mathematics classroom, opinions on what they like and dislike about technology in their

mathematics classroom, and general information on their knowledge and use of technology outside

of the classroom.

        In each class, the researcher handed out surveys to every student and explained the purpose

of the surveys. The students were then given several minutes to individually complete the

instrument. The researcher remained available to students if questions arose.

        The teacher interviews were also anonymous by grade level. This survey consisted of seven

open ended questions, which gathered information on how often they use technology in their

classroom, opinions on whether or not they think using technology increases student motivation and

academic achievement, and information on whether or not they like using technology and why or

why not.
                                                                     The Impact of Technology       18



        For the teacher interviews, the researcher met in person with each teacher, and individually

asked them to take part in the study. The teachers took a couple days to complete the interview on

their own. The researcher, although not physically present, was available to the teachers if questions

arose when they were completing the interview.

       The last part of the study included two assessments (Appendix D and F) of the students

work in comparing the use of technology for review. Four classes were used in this part of the

study. Group A was brought to the computer lab to review online for a test the next day. The other

seventh grade class, Period Nine was given a review sheet in class to complete with pencil and paper

for a quiz the next day. Group B was also brought to the computer lab to review online for a test

the next day. The other eighth grade algebra class, Period Four was given a review sheet in class to

complete with pencil and paper for a quiz the next day.
                                                                     The Impact of Technology     19



                                         CHAPTER FOUR

                                        Analysis and Findings

       In the analysis and findings, the researcher surveyed her students, interviewed fellow

mathematics teachers, and did a study on her students comparing student test scores when students

reviewed for the test in the computer lab and in their regular classroom with a study guide.

                                           Student Survey

       The first analysis the researcher did was a survey, which included students who were

currently enrolled in the researchers Period Three, seventh grade mathematics class, Group A. The

purpose of the study was to examine the feelings of students regarding the integration of technology

in the classroom. All student surveys were completely confidential and names were never disclosed

at any point during or after the study. (Appendix A)

       First, the students were asked to answer questions on how often technology was used in the

mathematics classroom. From the study, the researcher found out that 79% of students said they

use graphing calculators very often. Only 18% said that they infrequently use the graphing

calculators in the classroom. When asked about how often student’s go to the computer lab, only

8% answered often. 92% answered that it was sometimes - rare that they went to the computer lab

for mathematics class. Next question asked about how often does your teacher use the computer to

teach math lessons. Again 8% answered that the teacher often used the computer to teach math

lessons, while the other 92% answered that the teacher only sometimes - rarely used the computer to

teach mathematics.

       The next set of questions asked students about how technology motivates them and helps

them to better understand the material being taught. One question asked if the students enjoyed

using technology in math class. 92% of the students answered yes to this question. Another
                                                                       The Impact of Technology   20



question asked if the students thought that using technology in mathematics class helps them

understand the concept better. 75% answered yes to this question. One other question asked

students if they thought using technology motivates them enough to want to learn math. 38%

answered yes, 54% answered no, while the other 4% weren’t sure.

       The final set of questions had to do with how often they use technology in class, how often

they would like to use technology in class, and what they like best and least about technology. When

asked about how often students would like to use technology in the mathematics classroom, 8%

answered once a month, 46% answered once a week, 42% answered two to three times a week, and

4% answered every day. Then they were asked what they liked best about technology. Their

responses were, 50% - interesting and fun to use and 50% - easy to use. The next question asked

what they liked least about technology. Their responses were, 54% - too complicated, 13% too

boring, 4% - they don’t always work properly, and 13% - didn’t have anything they didn’t like about

using computers.

       The second analysis the researcher did was the same survey as the seventh graders, but used

on the eighth grade, Period 6 algebra class, Group B. The purpose of the study was the same as the

seventh grade survey and again, all student surveys were completely confidential and names were

never disclosed at any point during or after the study. (Appendix B)

       The first thing the eighth grade students were asked, was to answer questions on how often

technology was used in the mathematics classroom. From the study, the researcher found out that

85% of students said they use graphing calculators very often. Only 14% said that they infrequently

use the graphing calculators in the classroom. When asked about how often student’s go to the

computer lab, only 5% answered often, and 95% answered that it was sometimes - rare that they

went to the computer lab for mathematics class. The next question asked about how often your
                                                                   The Impact of Technology       21



teacher uses the computer to teach math lessons. 14% answered that the teacher often used the

computer to teach math lessons, while the other 85% answered that the teacher only sometimes -

rarely used the computer to teach mathematics.

       The next set of questions asked students about how technology motivates them and helps

them to better understand the material being taught. One question asked if the students enjoyed

using technology in math class. 100% of the students answered yes to this question. Another

question asked if the students thought that using technology in mathematics class helps them

understand the concept better. 71% answered yes to this question. One other question asked

students if they thought using technology motivates them enough to want to learn math. 52%

answered yes, 29% answered no, while the other 10% weren’t sure.

       The final set of questions had to do with how often they use technology in class, how often

they would like to use technology in class, and what they like best and least about technology. When

asked about how often students would like to use technology in the mathematics classroom, 5%

answered once every couple of months, 0% answered once a month, 24% answered once a week,

10% answered two to three times a week, and 62% answered every day. Then they were asked what

they liked best about technology. Their responses were, 38% - interesting and fun to use, 38% -

easy to use, 10% - they liked getting a definite answer, and 14% were unanswered. The next

question asked what they liked least about technology. Their responses were, 28% - too

complicated, 15% too boring, 19% - they don’t always work properly, and 38% - didn’t have

anything they didn’t like about using computers.

                                            Teacher Interviews

       The third analysis the researcher did was teacher interviews, which included nine

mathematics teachers from William Annin Middle School. They consisted of three eighth grade,
                                                                     The Impact of Technology     22



three seventh grade and three sixth grade mathematics teachers. The purpose of the study was to

examine the feelings of teachers regarding the integration of technology in the classroom. All

teacher interviews were conducted confidentially. (Appendix C)

       The first question asked if they’ve used technology in their mathematics classroom this year,

how often and what kind of technology. 100% answered yes, they’ve used technology this year in

their mathematics classroom. Excluding calculator use, 38% used it once every couple of months,

25% used it once a month, 25% used it once a week, 13% used it 2-3 times a week, and 0% used it

every day. The kinds of technology they used were, graphing calculators, the computer labs, and

laptop computers in their classroom. Those who didn’t use technology often or at all explained that

they had a lack of training in computer technology and didn’t feel comfortable using it in the

classroom.

       The next question asked if they felt using technology in the middle school mathematics

classroom increases student motivation. 88% answered yes, 0% answered no, and 11% were unsure.

The reasons they gave were:

      Students are excited to use the computer and get involved

      Students make real world connections

      More activities are possible

      Students can see problems visually

      Students are comfortable with technology

       After that, they were asked if they thought using technology in the middle school

mathematics classroom aides in student achievement. 88% answered yes and 11% answered no.

The reasons they gave were:

      It might be helpful for a student to use when revisiting a topic they haven’t mastered
                                                                     The Impact of Technology      23



      Involves students with hands on learning

      Students may work at an individual pace

      Students seem to enjoy using the computers

      Helps with students accuracy and increase their involvement

      Students are able to reach higher levels of mathematics at an earlier age

      It makes a boring lesson fun

When asked what they like best about using technology, they answered:

      It’s dynamic

      Student’s enjoy using it, it’s fun

      Aides as a visual

      It gives you different options

      Real world connections outside of textbook

When asked what they like least about using technology, they answered:

      Difficulty in setting it up

      Computers are too slow

      Availability of computers

      Computer breakdowns/problems

      Teacher training

Finally they were asked where they see the future of technology in the everyday classroom going.

To this question, they responded:

      Computers in every classroom

      Regular use of computers
                                                                      The Impact of Technology       24



      Lessons more specific to individual needs

      Laptops used daily

      Used for real world use

                                         Student Assessment

       The fourth analysis the researcher did was a student assessment, which included two seventh

grade classes. Group A, seventh grade, Period Three was taken to the computer lab the day before

their test, to review using the computers, while the other seventh grade class, Period Nine was given

a review worksheet to accomplish in their classrooms without the use of computers. The purpose of

this study was to see if the integration of technology in the classroom affected students’ grades.

(Appendix D)

       When the results of the test came back, it was hard to tell which class performed better.

Period Three’s average was an 85; while Period Nine’s average was an 88. The median of Period

Three was 85, while Period Nine’s median was 90. Both Period Three and Nine’s maximum score

was 103. Period Three did worse on the minimum score though, receiving a 45 - F, when Period

Nine received a 68 – D+. The range of scores for Period Three was higher 58, while the range for

Period Nine was lower 35, getting a sense that Period Nine was more consistent in their grades.

       The final analysis the researcher did was another student assessment which included two

eighth grade classes. Group B, eighth grade, Period Six was taken to the computer lab the day

before their test, to review using the computers, while the other eighth grade class, Period Four was

given a review worksheet to accomplish in their classrooms without the use of computers. The

purpose of this study was again, to see if the integration of technology in the classroom affected

students’ grades. (Appendix F)
                                                                     The Impact of Technology          25



       When the results of the test came back for this assessment, it was a lot easier to tell which

class performed better. Period Six’s average was an 87, while Period Four’s average was an 66.

Period Six’s median was 91, while Period Four’s median was 67. Period Six did much better on the

maximum score, with a 107, compared to Period Four’s 98. Period Six did much better on the

minimum score as well, receiving a 60 D-, compared to Period Four’s 20 – F. The range of scores

for Period Six was lower 47, while the range for Period Four was much higher 78, getting a sense

that Period Six was much more consistent in their grades.
                                                                      The Impact of Technology          26



                                          CHAPTER FIVE

                                 Conclusions and Recommendations

                                           Student Surveys

    The research gained from the student surveys that the majority of students enjoyed using

technology in their mathematics classes. They think using technology in math helps them

understand the concepts better and it also makes the lessons more interesting and fun for them.

Students also said that they enjoyed using the graphing calculators, the computer lab, and the

laptops. They often spend over 35% of their time during the week on computers, but only about

three hours or less of that time is school-related work. This leads the researcher to the conclusion

that students believe they are motivated when technology is used in the mathematics classroom, in

the form of graphing calculators, computer labs, or laptops, but this doesn’t answer the question of

technology improving student achievement.

                                         Teacher Interviews

    From the teacher interviews, the researcher gathered that all the mathematics teachers use some

sort of technology in their mathematics classrooms. The amount of time spent using technology in

their classroom was limited though to around once every month, to two times per week. Most

teachers did feel that technology in the middle school mathematics classroom did increase student

motivation for several reasons; students are excited to use the computer and get involved, students

like seeing real world connections, many more activities are possible on the computer, and students

can see the problems visually. 88% of the teachers also felt that using technology in the middle

school mathematics classroom aides in student achievement. They felt this way because, it could be

helpful for a student to use when revisiting a topic they haven’t mastered, it involves students with

hands on learning, students can work at an individual pace, it helps with students accuracy, and
                                                                       The Impact of Technology        27



students are able to reach higher levels of mathematics at an earlier age. All these reasons are why

the teachers like using technology. Some of the reasons for their dislike of technology were, not

enough teacher training, problems with the computers, and availability of the computers. If they

had more teacher training and more available computers, they said they would more than likely use

computers often in their mathematics classroom. They all seemed to say that the future of

technology in the everyday classroom was going to regular usage of the computer or laptops in the

classroom, so it is important to get the training and the available resources to be able to use the

computers more frequently. This leads the researcher to the conclusion that teachers as well as

students believe that the use of technology in the mathematics classroom improves student

motivation. But this still doesn’t answer the question of technology improving student achievement.

                                          Student Assessment

      From the seventh grade student assessment, the researcher gathered that both classes scored

around the same. There didn’t seem to be much difference in the students that used the computer

lab to review online to those who used the worksheets in their mathematics classroom. Period

Nine’s class averaged three points higher, their median was five points higher, their minimum score

was 23 points higher, and their range showed that their scores were more consistent that Period

Three. Period Nine was the class that didn’t use the computer lab. So in this assessment, the results

showed that using the worksheet seemed to improve these students academic achievement.

        From the eighth grade student assessment, the researcher gathered that Period Six, the class

that used the computer lab to review scored much higher than Period Four, which used the

worksheet to review. Period Six’s average was 21 points higher than Period Four’s average. Period

Six’s median was 24 points higher than Period Four’s median. Also their maximum and minimum

scores were much higher than Period Four’s. Lastly, their range was much lower, showing that their
                                                                     The Impact of Technology          28



grades were much more consistent than Period Four’s grades. So in this assessment, the results

showed that using the computer lab seemed to improve these students academic achievement.

These conclusions lead the researcher to believe that the use of technology doesn’t always improve

academic achievement.

    Gathering from the student surveys, the teacher interviews, and the student assessments, the

researcher concludes that the use of technology in the mathematics classroom does improve student

motivation, but doesn’t necessarily improve academic achievement. The researcher does

recommend, that because of the limited amount of time, further research be done on this topic. If

there were more time to study this topic in the classroom, the researcher believes the results could

paint a clearer picture of how technology can improve student motivation and academic

achievement in the seventh and eighth grade mathematics classroom.
                                                                 The Impact of Technology   29



                                         Appendix A

                     7th Grade Student Survey
          How does Technology play a role in your classroom?
Please check one box for each answer.


                                            Never   Rarely   Sometimes   Often   Always
1. How often do you use graphing

calculators in your math classroom?
                                            0%      8%       13%         54% 25%

2. How often do you go to the computer

lab for math lessons?
                                            0%      13% 79%              8%      0%

3. How often does your teacher use the

computer to teach math lessons?             0%      42% 50%              8%      0%


4. How often do you use the laptops or
                                            38% 33% 29%                  0%      0%
any other use of technology in your

math classroom?
                                                    The Impact of Technology   30




                                                  Yes   No   N/A
5. Do you enjoy using technology in your math

lessons? (graphing calculators and computers)
                                                  92%   4%   4%

6. Do you think using technology in math

helps you understand the concept better?          75%   25% 0%



7. Does using technology in math class            63%   33% 4%

motivate you?



8. Do math-based computer games help you
                                                  75%   17% 8%
learn and understand math concepts?



9. Have you visited www.classzone.com?
                                                  100% 0%    0%

10. a) If yes, do you like it?

    b) If no, skip 11 and 12.                     83%   17% 0%



11. Does it motivate you to want to learn math?   38%   54% 4%



12. Do you use classzone.com to help you study    63%   33% 0%
at home for math quizzes and tests?
                                                                             The Impact of Technology    31



13. About how often would you like to use technology in your classroom? Circle one:

Once every couple months?        Once a month?       Once a week?     2-3 times a week?     Every day?

         0%                           8%                   46%               42%                 4%




14. What kind of technology do you enjoy most in class? Circle one?

Graphing Calculators? – 88% Computer lab? - 17% Laptops? – 0% Internet? – 0% PowerPoint? – 8%

15. Which forms of technology do you enjoy using the most in class?

Graphing Calculators? – 33% Computer lab? – 38% Laptops? – 16% Internet? – 17% PowerPoint? – 0%

16. What do you like best about using technology?

Interesting and fun – 50%    Easy – 12%

17. What do you like least about using technology?

Complicated – 54%       Boring – 13%          Doesn’t work properly – 4%         Nothing – 13%

18. Please circle one of the following to describe your knowledge of computer use.

Beginner - 4%           Intermediate – 67%                Advanced – 30%

19. Approximately how many hours a week do you spend on the computer?

Less than 1 – 4%    2-3 – 21% 4-5 - 21%       6-7 - 4%   8-9 – 13% 10-12 - 13%    More than 12 – 25%

20. Of the time you spend on the computer, approximately how much is for school-related

work?

Less than 1 – 50%    2-3 – 29%     4-5 – 0%      6-7 – 17% 8-9 – 4%   10-12 – 0% More than 12 – 0%
                                                                   The Impact of Technology   32



                                         Appendix B

                     8th Grade Student Survey
          How does Technology play a role in your classroom?
Please check one box for each answer.


                                             Never    Rarely   Sometimes   Often   Always
1. How often do you use graphing

calculators in your math classroom?
                                             0%       0%       14%         14% 71%

2. How often do you go to the computer

lab for math lessons?
                                             0%       19% 76%              5%      0%

3. How often does your teacher use the

computer to teach math lessons?              0%       33% 52%              14% 0%


4. How often do you use the laptops or
                                             14% 29% 24%                   14% 19%
any other use of technology in your

math classroom?
                                                    The Impact of Technology   33




                                                  Yes   No    N/A
5. Do you enjoy using technology in your math

lessons? (graphing calculators and computers)
                                                  100% 0%     0%

6. Do you think using technology in math

helps you understand the concept better?          76%   10% 14%



7. Does using technology in math class            90%   0%    10%

motivate you?



8. Do math-based computer games help you
                                                  76%   19% 5%
learn and understand math concepts?



9. Have you visited www.classzone.com?
                                                  100% 0%     0%

10. a) If yes, do you like it?

    b) If no, skip 11 and 12.                     81%   10% 5%



11. Does it motivate you to want to learn math?   52%   29% 10%



12. Do you use classzone.com to help you study    43%   383   10%
at home for math quizzes and tests?
                                                                              The Impact of Technology   34



13. About how often would you like to use technology in your classroom? Circle one:

Once every couple months?        Once a month?      Once a week?     2-3 times a week?   Every day?

         5%                           0%                  24%                 10%              62%

14. What kind of technology do you enjoy most in class? Circle one?

Graphing Calculators? – 100% Computer lab? - 0% Laptops? – 0% Internet? – 0% PowerPoint? – 0%

15. Which forms of technology do you enjoy using the most in class?

Graphing Calculators? – 53% Computer lab? – 38% Laptops? – 10% Internet? – 14% PowerPoint? – 5%

16. What do you like best about using technology?

Interesting and fun – 38%    Easy – 38%          Sure Answer – 10%   Unanswered – 14%

17. What do you like least about using technology?

Complicated – 28%       Boring – 15%        Doesn’t work properly – 19%        Nothing – 38%

18. Please circle one of the following to describe your knowledge of computer use.

Beginner - 0%           Intermediate – 47%              Advanced – 53%

19. Approximately how many hours a week do you spend on the computer?

Less than 1 – 0%    2-3 – 5% 4-5 - 24%     6-7 - 19%   8-9 – 0% 10-12 - 19%    More than 12 – 33%

20. Of the time you spend on the computer, approximately how much is for school-related

work?

Less than 1 – 33%    2-3 – 43%     4-5 – 19%     6-7 – 0% 8-9 – 0%   10-12 – 5% More than 12 – 0%
                                                                     The Impact of Technology       35



                                               Appendix C

                        Teacher Interview
          How does Technology play a role in your classroom?
1. a) Have you used technology in your math classroom this year? 100% Yes

  b) If yes, how often this year? Excluding calculator use.

Once every couple months?       Once a month?       Once a week?   2-3 times a week?   Every day?

            38%                     25%                25%             13%               0%

  c) If yes, what kinds of technology? Graphing calculators? Computer lab? Laptops?

Graphing Calculators? – 100% Computer lab? - 78% Laptops? – 34% Internet? – 0% PowerPoint? – 0%

  d) If no, why not?     Lack of training in computer technology

2. Do you feel using technology in the middle school math classroom increases student motivation?

Why or why not? Yes – 88% No – 0% Unsure – 11%

      Students are excited to use the computer and get involved

      Students make real world connections

      More activities are possible

      Students can see problems visually

      Students are comfortable with technology

3. Do you think using technology in the middle school math classroom aides in student

achievement? Why or why not?        Yes – 88% No – 11% Unsure – 0%

      It might be helpful for a student to use when revisiting a topic they haven’t mastered

      Involves students with hands on learning

      Students may work at an individual pace

      Students seem to enjoy using the computers
                                                                     The Impact of Technology   36



      Helps with students accuracy and increase their involvement

      Students are able to reach higher levels of mathematics at an earlier age

      It makes a boring lesson fun

4. What do you like best about using technology?

      Dynamic

      Student’s enjoy using it, it’s fun

      Aides as a visual

      Different options it give you

      Connections outside of textbook

5. What do you like least about using technology?

      Difficulty in setting it up

      Computers are too slow

      Availability of computers

      Computer breakdowns/problems

      Teacher training

6. Where do you see the future of technology in the everyday classroom going?

      Computers in every classroom

      Regular use of computers

      Lessons more specific to individual needs

      Laptops used daily

      Used for real world use
                                                                  The Impact of Technology   37



                                              Appendix D

              7th Grade Comparison of Computer Review to Study Guide Review

                                 Average   Median Maximum Minimum Range

                      Period 3     85       85         103       45      58



                      Period 9     88       90         103       68      35




                    7th Grade Comparison of Computer Review to Study Guide Review


              120

              100
Grade Value




               80

               60

               40

               20

                0
                                                 Student's Test Scores

                     Computer Lab Review - Period 3          Study Guide Reveiw - Period 9
                                                                The Impact of Technology      38



                                            Appendix F

Algebra Grade Comparison of Computer Review to Study Guide Review

                               Average   Median Maximum Minimum Range

                    Period 4     66       67         98        20      78



                    Period 6     87       91         107       60      47




                    Algebra Comparison of Computer Review to Study Guide
                                           Review

              120
              100
Grade Value




              80
              60
              40
              20
               0
                                               Student's Test Scores

                          Computer Lab Revew - Period 6       Study Guide Review - Period 4
                                                                 The Impact of Technology       39



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                                                                    The Impact of Technology         41



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