Middle School Students, Math and Technology How do they relate? Anthony Davis ETEC 542.
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Middle School Students, Math and Technology How do they relate? Anthony Davis ETEC 542
Middle School Issues Studies have shown that US eight graders scored below the international average in mathematics and science. Less than a quarter of US eighth graders performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics. There are enormous differences between the performance of white and middle class students and that of minority and disadvantaged students, and the gap is not diminishing.
US Eight Graders Scored Below the International Average 1995 TIMSS study showed US scored well below the international average. –28 th out of 40 1999 TIMSS-R (repeat) study showed similar results. 2003 TIMSS study showed some improvement. –14th out of 34
Domestic Proficiency Levels 1996 NAEP study shows < 25% of US 8th graders performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics. NAEP study showing steady progress by US 8 th graders. –Scoring at “basic” or better. From 51% in 1990 to 68% in 2005 –Scoring at “ proficient” or better. From 15% in 1990 to 28% in 2005
Performances of Whites, Middle Class and Minorities 2005 NAEP study: –39% of white students scored “proficient” or better. –9% of African-American –13% of Hispanic –14% of American Indian 39% of non-poor eighth graders scored at “proficient” or better, in comparison to 13% of students who qualify for free lunch
Can Technology Solve the Problem? “Technology is not the solution for everything wrong with education, but neither is it a waste of time. When carefully planned, technology can be an asset to the classroom. It can definitely make learning fun and engaging.” (Barnes, 2007) “Computers are neither a cure-all for problems facing the schools nor mere fads without impact on student learning. When used properly, computers may serve as important tools for improving student proficiency in mathematics and the overall learning environment of the school.” (Wenglinsky, 1998)
Possible Solutions Utilizing Technology Cognitive Tutor – “A cognitive tutor is an intelligent tutor that compares student action during problem-solving to a model of correct action, and provides context-sensitive hints, error feedback, and problem selection. These tutors are effective at increasing student learning; use of the Cognitive Tutor: Algebra-1 (CT) has been shown to improve algebra understanding by about one standard deviation over traditional classroom instruction “ (Walker, 2006, p. 1). BrainPop –“ A collection of more than 300 short, concept-based, animated movies intended primarily for supplemental classroom instruction. Initially, the clips were limited to health, science, and technology for middle level students, but by 2002 math and English animations were added, with the latest addition being social studies animations. New movies are added weekly. The homepage list six categories of movies and provides links for teachers with lesson plans, standards connection and assessment.” (Safford, 2005, p. 1).
More Possible Solutions First in Math –“ Students play a math problem-solving game called 24 at school or on their home computer. The game is sponsored by McDonalds and students earn points that are redeemable for food and beverage. Parents have reported that their kids will often skip playing video games so that they can earn points on First In Math.” (Barnes, 2007)
Presentation Summary Although US 8 th grade students showed low mathematical proficiency initially, recent studies shows some improvement. Technology can help alleviate the problem. A variety of programs, software and tools are presently working.
References Barnes, P. (2007). Your Middle School Classroom: Is Technology the Solution? www. Teaching an K– 8.com. Coulter, B. (2006). Technology for Learning: Sketching a Path to Algebra, Synergy Learning. Koedinger, K. R., Anderson, J.R., Hadley, W, H, & Mark, M. A. (1997) Intelligent tutoring goes to school in the big city, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 8, 30-43. Papanastasio, E. (2003), Math Club and Their Potential: making mathematics fun and exciting. A case study of a Math Club. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology (2004). Vol. 35, no. 2, 159 – 171. Staffod, B. R. (2005) Reach For Reference BrainPop – A Teaching Tool Library Media Specialists Should Know. Walker, E. (2006). Mutual Peer Tutoring: A Collaborative Addition to the Cognitive Tutoring: Algebra– 1 Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Wenglinsky, H. (1998). Does it Compute? The Relationship between Educational, Technology and Student Achievement in Mathematics. Education Testing Services, Princeton
Table of Abbreviations CT – Cognitive Tutor NAEP – National Assessment of Educational Progress NCTM – National Council of Teachers of Mathematics TIMSS – Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study