Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Adding Technology to Geometry Class Improves Opportunities to Learn

Science News ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2009)
Summary: This study by two professors, Gloriana Gonzales from the University of Illinois and Patricio Herbst of the University of Michigan, suggests that the use of technology in high school level geometry classes increases student success. Reasons for the increase success were greater motivation and "thinking about mathematical ideas in a new light" compared to lessons taught with just paper based diagrams. This coupled with hands on lessons (using protractors and compasses) helped students understand what happens during the computer generated diagrams. They found there was "some transerence between the two." The benefit for teachers was that they were freed from duplicating hand drawn diagrams during lessons.

Classroom Strategy: The use of software to simplify geometry lessons delivery makes sense to me. Diagraming figures or transformation of figures is time consuming and students tend to lose interest or get lost in the process. Increasing student engagement and time on task with use of computers in a geometry lesson would have to be coupled with good questioning techniques and dialogue of findings so that students ultimately understand the math in the lesson and not finish with just being wowed by visuals of the software.

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