Response to "The Role of Computers in Mathematics Teaching and Learning"

Technology in mathematics can be a very effective and beneficial tools for teaching.

However, like it said in the article there are things to consider in order for it to be a tool.

The keyword here is tool. It is important for students to learn how and when to use

technology. If not used appropriately, it could limit the student's learning. I agree that

technology should be used for "higher order" thinking. It can promote a higher, deeper

level of learning. Often it is used for basic skills which does not benefit the student.

Van de Walle (1998) discussed three changes that technology has made on mathematics.

The first of them was some mathematics skills have decreased in value. I am not sure I

agree with this statement. Even though, technology has eliminated the need for doing

certain skills, it is not something that no longer needs to be learned. This is a concern

about some of the basic skills that students are not learning because of the use of

calculators. Although I disagree with his first statement, I strongly agree with the next

two changes. Mathematics can be taught more effectively with the use of computers and

topics and skills are more accessible. By appropriate use of technology, so many of the

topics in mathematics can be explored at a deeper level making teaching more effective.

The use of computers would also allow for a more student-centered way of teaching.

This would also allow for interdisciplinary learning and group-work as well.

<>Like mentioned before and a strong emphasis in the article is that technology must be

used appropriately to be most effective. The skills and knowledge must be in place in

order for this learning to be most effective. If the use of technology is available before

the basic skills are taught it limits the amount of higher order thinking in which the

students can be engaged. Not to say that some use of drill and practice software can not

be beneficial, but it can definitely be overused. Technology can not be used to replace

the teacher. Technology should be a tool that accompanies "lower-level applications" or

else the use of technology "severely undercuts their [the teacher's] potential to expand

and challenge the student thinking and in fact limit it."