Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Revolutionizing Mathematics with Technology Integration

By Dawn Woods, RME Elementary Mathematics Coordinator 

Photo from appadvice.com
Computers possess the potential for revolutionizing and individualizing mathematics instruction. The NCTM News Bulletin, October 2007, suggests that technology can support students in learning and knowing mathematics through individualized instruction while assisting teachers in gathering assessment data, and planning instruction that focuses on learners. As information technology evolves, teaching mathematics with a focus on learners in a multimedia rich enviorment enables students to ready themselves for cometitiion in the global marketplace (Wolf et al., 2011). Tools such as computers, iPads, document cameras, and interactive white boards can help reach different learning styles while holding students’ interest and attention while preparing them for the world in which they live.

Integrating technology can be overwhelming so I decided I would start with a project that my students and I could do together. I looked for a project that was pre-planned with all the “kinks” worked out. So in revolutionizing my mathematics classroom, I decided that I would start integrating technology with a lesson designed by Atomic Learning. Atomic Learning is an education solutions site that enables learners (of all ages) to embrace technology. This is a subscription site, but many districts have licenses since it is a great way to streamline online technology PD for their teachers.

As I browsed through the website, I discovered a Tech Integration Project Lesson Accelerator: How Big is a Foot? Tech Integration Projects, according to Atomic Learning’s website, assist teachers in teaching essential software skills while using tutorial movies to demonstrate, step-by-step, how to create curriculum-based technology projects with assessment rubrics. The How Big is a Foot Lesson Accelerator pulled in the children’s story, of the same title, by Rolf Myller (1991) as a way to engage the students with the project. This lesson introduced the need for standardized measurement, challenged students with a math problem, all the while teaching the students how to use an EXCEL spreadsheet.

Through out the course of the lesson, my students and I worked together to learn the ins and outs of EXCEL while learning about the importance of standardized measurement. We watched short tutorials, interacted with the software, and became very engaged in this multimedia way of instruction. The great thing about this project was that students could work at their own pace to learn the math and technology content, collaborate with others, receive individualized instruction, all the while learning a valuable software skill that could be used in other projects across the curriculum!

Summing it All Up
As my students and I collaborated on this project, we discovered how amazing a math project that integrates multimedia could be. The students embraced the opportunity to learn in an environment that took into account their learning style while giving them the freedom to solve a math problem in their own way and time. In reality, the How Big is a Foot project revolutionized my mathematics instruction by giving me the foundation to build other multimedia projects that would transform and modernize my classroom.

How do you use technology to revolutionize and individualize instruction in your teaching?

Myller, R. (1991). How big is the foot? New York: Dell Pub.

Wolf, D., Lindeman, P., Wolf, T., Dunnerstick, R. (2011). Integrate technology with student success. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 16(9), 556-560.


  1. This is interesting research, I agree that we can use technology to improve student's understanting about math. But I'm a teacher in indonesia have difficulties when I was applying this method, because my student have problem i.e. lack of tools like computer, ipad and so on, How I can overcome this prolem?

  2. I'm sorry that my response is delayed but I've been on holiday.
    However, I'm so glad that you asked that question since many educators have the same difficulty.  
    If you have access to just one computer, there are many technology-based activities that you and your student could participate in.  
    For example, the computer can be used as part of a station where a student or group of students use the computer to enter data to create a graph, or a student could use the computer to research or play a math-based game.  
    A link that is helpful for how to manage limited technology is: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech_tech092.shtml .  

    Also, have you thought about applying for teacher grants for technology integration?  
    You may find http://www.eastwestcenter.org/news-center/news-releases/ewc-awarded-300000-grant-for-us-indonesian-muslim-teacher-exchange-program and http://teachersnetwork.org/grants/grants_technology.htm interesting.  


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