Response to Technology in Support of Middle Grades Mathematics: What have we learned?

My initial thought was to limit the use of technology in middle grade mathematics. I

became really frustrated while teaching, when students could not even add to single

digit numbers together without grabbing a calculator. How will they even function

without this basic knowledge? They discuss this in the article. In the 1980’s NCTM

stated that “Appropriate calculators should be made available at all times”, but when

they are not allowed to use them on statewide standardized tests problems may surface.

The more technology courses that I take, the more relaxed I am getting about the use of

calculators and other technology. However, as it was mentioned we must be cautious

about how early we allow the use of calculators.

Other problems with the use of technology in the classroom are the lack of availability,

teacher preparation or experience. In some schools the resources are not available. In

other schools the technology is available for use in the classroom, but no one has a clue

how to use it. Some evidence shows that the teachers are willing to use the technology,

if the instruction of how to use it was available.

Teaching with technology is very time consuming. It is easier to just teach traditionally

and eliminate altering the current style of teaching. Some teachers are set in the style

they use to teach and feel that it is effective. They are not necessarily willing to fix

something that they don’t think is broken. So changing the attitudes of teachers are more

difficult than some may think.

Many agree that technology is useful in providing an effective teaching strategy, but not

near as many are willing to make the changes necessary to incorporate technology

effectively into the classroom.