In the current standards-driven academic environment, success is most often measured by student achievement on state and national assessments with the end goal of preparing our students to be able to communicate effectively and to be critical thinkers. Technology is not addressed in many state standards (including Pennsylvania’s), but as our society continues to develop and place more emphasis on the uses of technology, schools must learn how to incorporate technology into the classroom. Hundreds of software applications exist for use in the mathematics classroom. Many of these packages were developed with academic standards in mind, but several other applications exist that are useful in both academic and non-academic settings. Considerable research has been conducted examining not only the effectiveness of technology as an instructional tool but also regarding the various learning styles of our students. I feel that it is imperative for all educators to explore the possibilities presented through the use of technology because, if implemented properly, technology can be a powerful aid in not only meeting academic standards but also in helping to prepare students for the technical climate of the “real world”.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Spreadsheet: Software for entering, editing, manipulating, and printing structured, tabular information.
Rubric: A set of criteria specifying the characteristics of a learning outcome and the levels of achievement in each characteristic.
Calculator: Device for performing numerical computations.
Multimedia: A combination of various types of media, including sound, animation, video, and graphics.
Integrated Learning Systems: Packages of networked hardware and software used for education that provide instructional content as well as assessment and management tools.
Simulation: A program that imitates a physical process or object by causing a computer to respond mathematically to data and changing conditions as though it were the process or object itself.
Best Practice: A technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has proven to reliably lead to a desired result.