In this article, I am going to be highlighting some of the things that you will learn in my online pd for teachers in Primary education titled "How to integrate ICT in Teaching Maths?" This course is part of my ICT in Education Teacher Academy you can join for just $50 per month (cancel anytime) other wise you can enrol in this course as a standalone for $360 AUD.
Hi and welcome to this preview of my online pd for teachers that will give you ground work and fundamental practices and strategies to integrate technology in primary mathematics lessons.
ICT provides teachers with opportunities to capitalise on the idea that it can help students visualise mathematical ideas and concepts.
It can provide teachers and students with resources to help them concentrate on the learning objectives within the National Curriculum and not get bogged down with other issues. Finally, even though there are technology in maths education that enables students to review and consolidate mathematical skills such as ‘drill and practice’ programs, these are not the focus of this course as they do not fully develop ICT capability.
The Relationship between Numeracy and ICT Capability
What is the connection between ICT capability and numeracy? To answer this question we need to examine it from two points of interest.
The Australian Curriculum as an example encourages the use of ICT in the mathematics learning area and states that ICT capability is developed when students “investigate, create and communicate mathematical ideas and concepts using fast, automated, interactive and multimodal technologies” (Australian Curriculum, 2021).
It highlights specific software such as spreadsheets where ICT capability can be used for calculations, collecting data, drawing graphs, analysing and interpreting data.
We must also understand that ICT capability in the field of numbers involves much more than merely using ICT techniques and skills that students need to perform number operations and produce graphs. Developing student ICT capability in primary maths involves the higher order thinking skills needed to when ICT is the most effective way of achieving a goal and which ICT tools are appropriate to the task.
It would be significant for you to remember that this decision involves more than just ICT knowledge. What it does involve is the knowledge of mathematical concepts and processes, and metacognitive knowledge (knowing that you know) of one’s own speed and accuracy with numeric techniques and routines.
How to develop an integrated approach to teaching with ICT in the Maths Curriculum?
If you are to develop an integrated approach teaching with ICT effectively in the mathematics key learning area rather than add it on as an extra activity, then it is important that you have a good understanding of the ICT concepts and their relation to the maths curriculum.
For each classroom activity, clear objectives need to be present and if you plan to develop student ICT capability prior to using ICT in maths learning, then the students can focus on the specific maths objectives. It would be difficult for you to introduce spreadsheets without involving number activity.
You also need to keep in mind that there is a close relationship between ICT capability and the knowledge, skills and understanding in the maths subject area in addition to others in the curriculum. So it would not be helpful to develop ICT capability and maths learning in isolation.
What technology can you use?
In terms of information and communication technology in the mathematics classroom, it is important to consider how you can use resources to enhance children’s understanding of the mathematics objectives for a lesson.
The use of ICT in mathematics teaching and learning should never replace you as a teacher.
Technology in the maths classroom can be categorised basically into two areas – hardware and software. Hardware, is typically more expensive and include:
- Computers: this may be desktop computers and laptops.
- Digital still and video cameras: these can be used for recording practical investigations. Images can be used in word documents or a presentation software.
- Scanners: these act in a similar way to colour photocopiers. However, now they are not used that much as you can transfer digital images.
While hardware is the most recognisable technology in the classroom it is really the software that makes an impact on maths learning. It is arguably the most important resource in any lesson. This is because tool software is a means by which students can harness the power of the hardware e.g. computer.
Tool software allows students to have complete control over the computer and therefore, also facilitates the development of ICT capability albeit technology integration in the curriculum. As a further result of ICT capability being developed, creativity and original thought in the learning situation is also being achieved.
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