Obstacles to Integrating Technology in Mathematics
In the modern mathematics classroom technology is everywhere from graphing calculators to software programs. The field of mathematics has benefited from technology throughout its history. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has developed guidance in theirNCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000). One of the primary principles is the Technology Principle. The principle states, “Technology is essential in teaching and learning mathematics; it influences the mathematics that is taught and enhances students’ learning.” Technological tools can be used in the classroom to promote higher-level thinking and highlight the links between taught concepts and their real-world applications.
Technology, such as calculators, standard software programs, and the Internet, can enhance mathematical instruction in many ways. Technology allows students to perform tedious calculations more quickly, organize data for tables and graphs efficiently, and present and develop their computational processes and findings more effectively.
Despite the many benefits of technology in math instruction there are obstacles to integrating technology that must be addressed. According to Robyler and Doering, there are six principle fundamental to all school mathematics programs:
- Technology (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, p. 309).
Yet, one of the greatest set of obstacles to technology in any field of education is funding and access. Funding issues are ever present at every level of education but both students and teachers need access to the hardware and software before any useful application of the technology can occur. In addition, teachers require professional development in order to implement and utilize technology effectively. According to the CITEd research center, their team found the common challenges facing schools and districts with respect to providing technology-enhanced mathematics instructions is “funding, time issues and professional development that embeds technology in content area training.”
“Fortunately, the importance of technology as part of the classroom and beyond is increasingly recognized, and attention is being paid by school districts and educational organizations to the issues that stand in the way of technology in education.” If we want to be competitive in the future society needs math students that can utilize technology and be tasked with solving problems relevant to their school or community. Authors Robyler and Doering state,“technology can serve as a catalyst to move teachers to an instructional style that is more student-centered, active, and relevant to the world we live in (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, p. 310). Yet, in order for this to happen, there must be funding… this will be the key and most paramount solution!
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Roblyer, M.D. and Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology Into Teaching, (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.