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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. The Impact of Technology 4 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 References Abrams, G., & Haefner, J. (2002, October). Blending online and traditional Instruction in the mathematics classroom. The Technology Source. [On-line]. http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=970 Alexiou-Ray, J. A., Wilson, E., Wright, V. H., & Peirano, A. (n.d.). Changing instructional practice: The impact of technology integration on students, parents, and school personnel. Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education (EJITE). Vol. 2, No2. [On-line]. http://ejite.isu.edu/Volume2No2/AlexRay.htm Brown, J., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. EdThoughts. Chuang, Yea-Ru. (n.d.). Teaching in a multimedia computer environment: A study of the effects of learning style, gender, and math achievement. Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer-Enhanced Learning (IMEJ). [On-line] http://imej.wfu.edu/articles/1999/1/10/index.asp Demana, F., & Waits, B. (1990). Enhancing mathematics teaching and learning through technology. EdThoughts. Drier, H. S., Dawson, K. M., & Garofalo, J. (n.d.). Using technology and real world connections to teach secondary mathematics concepts. Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education (ENC). Vol. 6, No 3. [On-line] http://www.enc.org/features/focus/archive/edtech/document.shtm?input=FOC- 000706-index D'Souza, S. M. (2003, October). Secondary students' resistance toward incorporating computer technology into mathematics learning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education. Vol. 37, Iss. 3. [On-line] http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=0&did=000000482787591&SrchMode=1&sid =4&Fmt=4&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=10821290 51&clientId=10302 Erbas, A. K., Ledford, S., Polly, D., & Orrill, C. H. (2004, February) Engaging students through technology. Teaching Mathematics in the Middle School. Vol. 9, No. 6. Hazzan, O. (2003, December). Prospective high school mathematics teachers' attitudes toward integrating computers in their future teaching. Journal of Research on Technology in Education. Vol. 35, Iss. 2. [On-line]. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=1&did=000000284036691&SrchMode=1&sid =3&Fmt=4&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=10821289 94&clientId=10302 The Impact of Technology 40 Hendricks, J. A. (2004, January 20). The Netgeneration: The Internet as classroom and community. Current Issues in Education (CIE). Vol. 7, No. 1. [On-line] http://cie.asu.edu/volume7/number1/ Jones, V. F., & Jones, L. S. (2001). Comprehensive Classroom Management. Allyn & Bacon. Kelley, M. (1985). The effect of the use of the hand-held calculator on the development of problem-solving strategies. EdThoughts. Lewis, P. H. (1840's). New York Times. McREL. (2002). EdThoughts. What we know about mathematics teaching and learning. http://www.mcrel.org Middleton, J. A. (2000, February 1). From manuscript to multimedia: How technologies transform education research. Current Issues in Education (CIE). Vol. 3, No 2. [On-line] http://cie.asu.edu/volume3/number2/ Moses, R. P., & Cobb, C. E., Jr. (2001). Radical equations: math literacy and civil rights. EdThoughts. Rosempler, K. S. (1999). Using the internet in the classroom: Becoming a critical consumer of the web. EdThoughts. Sinex, S. (2004, January 1). An interactive higher-order thinking tool. Tech Learning. [On-line] http://techlearning.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=17000130 Spicer, J. (n.d.). Why use calculators (and other technologies) in the high school math classroom?. Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education (ENC). Vol. 6, No 3. [On-line]. http://www.enc.org/features/focus/archive/edtech/document.shtm?input=FOC- 000702-index Texas Instrument. Ti-Cares. (2004). Educational support programs and resources - tools, training, and curricular materials. http://www.education.ti.com/84 Wenglinsky, H. (1998). Does it compute? The relationship between educational technology and student achievement in mathematics. EdThoughts. Wheeler, J. L., Miller, T. M., Halff, H. M., Fernandez, R., Halff, L. A., Gibson, E. G., & Meyer, T. N. (1999, November 1). Web places: Project-based activities for at-risk, youth. Current Issues in Education (CIE). Vol. 2, No 6. [On-line] http://cie.asu.edu/volume2/number6/ The Impact of Technology 41 Quote Slip In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master’s degree at FDU, I agree that the library shall make its copies freely available for inspection. I further agree that extensive copying of this thesis is allowable only for scholarly purposes, consistent with “fair use” as prescribed in the U.S. Copyright Law. Any other reproduction for any purposes or by any means shall not be allowed without my permission. Signature: Kim Zurich Date: 6/24/04

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