“Non-metropolitan students had restricted access to Internet at school and very little access at home. This restricted the bridge between home and school experiences for country kids.”
Putting technology into mathematics
1 JANUARY 2003
Charles Sturt University research has shown that computers can considerably improve the quality of school students’ learning experiences in mathematics.
Charles Sturt University (CSU) research has shown that computers can considerably improve the quality of school students’ learning experiences in mathematics.
Mathematics education academic Professor Robyn Zevenbergen and fellow researchers found that students could understand complex mathematical ideas and carry out more complex calculations if computers were used in their education.
“Teaching in ‘high technology’ schools was more interesting and used more novel approaches that engaged the students in rich educational experiences,” Professor Zevenbergen said.
“I believe our schools need to catch up with the use of technology in maths education so we can address the low numbers of students taking up this much needed discipline.”
The three year project studied how teachers use computers to support and enhance students learning of mathematics, identifying teaching strategies that can help learning. It involved ten schools and 30 teachers from Queensland and Victoria from a range of schools: rural and urban, private and public, schools with high levels of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and schools that were high and low computers users.
“We found there really was a ‘digital divide’ between metropolitan and non-metropolitan schools. This could be due to many reasons, including the inexperience of non-metropolitan teachers, regardless of age, in using computer technology in the classroom.”
The research team led by Professor Zevenbergen and funded by the Australian Research Council also studied how students used computers and mathematics at home to study links between home and school environments.