Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blog Entry 5 - Technology

Should technology be inculcated into mathematics education and replace the use of activity sheets that children does?
Will the use of technology make children more reliant on external tools and forsake the use of their cognitive ability to solve problems?

According to the NCTM, technology is an essential tool for learning and teaching mathematics. Technology should not be seen as a substitute for the figure of a teacher, nor should it be seen as a substitute to replace any learning experiences. It should instead be utilized as an alternative approach to teaching mathematics, to enhance the quality of children's participation during the process of learning. As mentioned by Van De Walle, Karp & Bay-William (2009), technology enlarges the scope of the content students can learn and it can widen the range of problems that children are able to tackle.

Technology has become so readily available that I must honestly admit even as an adult, I portray an over-reliant attitude on technology to "perform" tasks for me. Instead of mentally calculating the costs of things I have bought (which is possible in some situations), I would rather use the calculator. Instead of manually recording my monthly expenses on pen and paper, I do mine using excel - I've succumb to the convenience of technology in today's world!

As I was reading Chapter 7 on technology, one thing that strike me the most is the use of computers in today's world, as with more and more children are gaining easy acess to the use of computers to access the virtual world. However, it is also the adults responsibility that when introducing the use of technology to children, they should be supervised so that they do not "abuse" the use of it. I particularly like the patterning activity as posted on the NLVM's website. The activity is very interactive and the way it lines up the pattern sequence in a curved line instead of straight suggests and show children that there are many ways of presenting knowledge. As Van De Walle, Karp & Bay-Williams (2009) suggests, "the user of a well-designed tool has an electronic 'thinker toy' with which to exlore mathematical ideas."

Website with interesting Maths activities:

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