Technology is useful for the differentiated learning process because it provides and meets a variety of learning styles. Laptops, tablets, calculators, and cell phones are amongst the technological devices that are now being used in the classroom. These tools are great for creating new lessons and completing activities. Reyes, Lapan, and Hirsch (2012) reflected that, “If students have this kind of [power] at their fingertips, they could conceivably do mathematics that is far beyond what they are asked to do at this point.
” Their observations concluded that the usage of technology activated student interests which inspired students to activate their higher order thinking skills and strategies to complete problem solving equations. “IWBs are a large interactive display that combines an electronic touchable whiteboard connected to a network computer and a data projector, which projects the computer’s desktop onto the board’s surface where users control the computer using a pen, finger, stylus, or other device (Torff & Tirotta, 2010).” Interactive whiteboards (IWB), or Promethean boards, increases students – teacher involvement and allows educators to show graphics, use virtual manipulatives, and provide interactive methods to introduce and/or review material during whole group learning time. The Interactive whiteboard is also a convenient and flexible way to simulate learning experiences and increase performance achievement.Many educators use technology such as interactive games and web based applications to assist students in exploring mathematical skills such as counting and problem solving. Educators also use tools such as videos and songs that use engaging visuals and rhythms as a more appealing approach to introducing a new lesson.
Research has also shown that active technology has contributed to younger student’s knowledge retention rates.Elementary teachers use technology to reinforce previous taught lessons. Interactive activities allow an innovative approach for mathematical problems to be brought into real life, which allows students to make connections with real world experiences. The connections made will create patterns of application that can be applied in the classroom or real world. Students are also given a broad range of resources where they will be able to find real life data, comprehensive tools, and skill builders to help enhance their math skills. There are also a variety of Web 2.0.
tools that can used in math class that allow students to take formative assessments, complete constructed responses to open ended questions, and give teachers the opportunity to provide immediate feedback to students as needed.Teachers are also able to provide independent differentiated instruction in the classroom. Technology provides individualized learning opportunities and flexibility that adhere to each student’s individual learning style. Students are able to learn at their own speed, review, or move ahead if they need to. Resources and basic skills practice activities can be provided to students who have not mastered necessary skills while also giving challenging activities to those students who have mastered the required skills. While students are completing their activities, teachers are given valuable time that can be used to work in one on one conferences or in small groups with students who may be struggling in mathematics.
Technology has created many advancements towards student beliefs and interests in the mathematics classroom. Technology provides an innovative and active classroom environment that enhances student teacher involvements and also increases student performance. Technology allows students to think outside of the traditional methods of solving mathematical problems and creates a more interactive environment that will encourage student’s abilities to find and/or search for real world connections.