Using computer technology in teaching and learning mathematics in an Albanian upper secondary school : the implementation of Simreal in trigonometry lessons
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This study presents an investigation on the use of computer technology in mathematics teaching and learning, focusing on the students’ mathematical understanding, their attitudes and opinions in relation to such experience. It provides empirical evidence for the use of the program called SimReal in supporting exploratory and learning related activities of one important part of mathematics, trigonometry. The participants in this study were students from the second grade of an Albanian private upper secondary school (16 – 17 years old students). This is a new experience in Albanian education. The use of technology and computer programs in the teaching process has recently been recommended and it is one of the standards of the mathematics curriculum in secondary school level (Institute of Education Development, 2010). But for many reasons, such as financial constraints or beliefs related to the effects of technology in the educational process, no steps have been taken to put these standards into practice. Therefore, the results of this study are important for creating an idea on how the teaching and learning of mathematics can benefit from the use of computer programs, and it can be an inspiration for many teachers to think about the implementation of such tools in teaching mathematics. An important conclusion of this study is that SimReal can promote better results in students’ understanding of trigonometry, according to the comparison of performances in a mathematical test of the experimental and control group. The program can also help them to explore important mathematical features related to trigonometric functions, by interacting with the tool and making dynamic links between the numerical and visual representations. Students reacted positively to the use of the program during mathematics lessons, by expressing appreciation for this way of teaching and learning mathematics. However, despite these good results, the experimental lessons and data analysis reveal some important issues and limitations related to the implementation of the program. These should be taken into consideration. This case study has two important implications: - The first one is related to the demostration of the role of technology, specifically of SimReal, in teaching and learning mathematics, so it can inspire mathematics teachers to consider this new practice in their teaching process. - The second implication is related to some limitations in the introduction of computer programs, which should be taken into consideration before planning to implement such tools in mathematics teaching and learning.
Masteroppgave i matematikkdidaktikk- Universitetet i Agder, 2012