As I conducted my research for my TechQuest, I found that it could be put into two categories: professional research on the effects of using real-world, problem-based questions and technology integration, and technological resources that aid in the use of the technology.

First, I have compiled a list of the professional research that supports the use of problem-based (or real-world) questioning and technology integration for deeper understanding of the mathematical concepts.

·              Effectiveness of Using Computer-Assisted Supplementary Instruction for Teaching Selected Algebra Topics at a Laboratory High School Temba C. Bassoppo-Moyo, 2010.  The findings were such that computer-assisted instruction affected students’ understanding of algebra topics and improvement in attitude toward the subject.

·              Evaluating TI-Nspire in secondary mathematics classrooms Alison Clark-Wilson, 2008.  This study indicates and many students benefited from the use of TI-Nspire calculators that promoted their confidence as well as their understanding of mathematical concepts.

·              Examining Students' Perceptions to Two Graphing Technologies and Their Impact on Problem Solving J. Bostic & S. Pape, 2010.  This study provides preliminary evidence that TI-Nspire enhanced instruction may influence students’ use of multiple representations when solving mathematical word problems.

·              Faster Isn’t Smarter: Messages about Math, Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century Cathy L. Seeley, 2002. This study discusses the value of using technology tools and of students having authentic, multifaceted problems in other contexts.

·              Foundations for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel U.S. Department of Education, 2008.  This study summarizes research of many aspects of mathematics education including using “real-world” problems to teach mathematics and using calculators and computer-based instruction.  Their findings generally support the uses of both of these things in balance with other teaching strategies.

·              Researching principles of lesson design to realize the pedagogical opportunities of mathematics analysis software Robyn Pierce and Kaye Stacey, 2009.  This article provides insight of appropriate lesson design and integration of new technology aiming at multiple representations of algebraic functions.

·              A Visuo-spatial Learning Ecosystem Enhances Adaptive Expertise with Preparation for Future Learning Timothy O’Mahoney, 2008. This study used TI-Nspire handhelds with students in which they demonstrated deeper understanding of the concepts explored.  I’m very interested in this research as a basis for implementation in my own classroom.


Secondly, here is a list of technological resources that assist both instructors and students in the usage and implementation of the TI-Nspire calculator technology and web-based activities.

·              Atomic Learning TI-Nspire Provides students and teachers with tutorials and videos of how to best use the TI-Nspire calculator.

·              Math Nspired This website, provided by Texas Instruments to accompany the TI-Nspire calculators, will be my main source when implementing the Nspires.  Educators create the lessons and activities on this site and many of their objectives reach beyond understanding mathematical skills and into application.

·              Supply and Demand This interactive activity has students solving systems of linear equations in which they gain a greater, cross-curricular understanding of the principles of supply and demand.

·              Systems of Equations: An Aid to Decision Making This interactive lab from Glencoe features use algebra functions in order to choose the best cellular phone plan for you.  It used scaffolding to guide students through the algebraic steps in the decision making model.

·              Technology Tips: Simulation with the TI-Nspire Heidi J. Rudolph, 2009. This article provides teachers with tips on using the TI-Nspire for mathematical modeling in the classroom.


What I have learned from performing this search is that problem-based questioning, or real-world questioning is widely supported by mathematics educators and researchers, however, it must be balanced with conceptual understanding as well as learning skills, facts and procedures.  With these elements together, students can gain a deep, connected and comprehensive mathematical program.  The professional research also indicates that the emergence of TI-Nspire calculators and their use in the classroom offered students the means of obtaining a deeper understanding of the concepts explored.  Using the TI-Nspire handhelds will also boost confidence in mathematics and students are more willing to take risks and questions their mathematics when it is not in black and white on a piece of paper.  The technology allows the students to be mobile with their math and reach them on their own level as a part of the Internet Generation that has grown up with technology.

Through doing this search, I have once again had to hone my skills of doing academic research that I utilized so frequently in undergrad.  It was important for me to look at several research-based studies that used similar technology and strategies that I am interested in implementing.  After reading the Valenza article, I began my search like many of my students; I began with   However my searching turned up few results in the beginning and I found myself look through page after page of unusable websites.  Next, I tried Google Scholar for the first time and found more results that applied to my research but again many that did not.  It was once I began my search on the Michigan eLibrary that I found the most of the resources that I have listed above.  The flexibility that MeL offers was wonderful and the access to the full-text of books and articles was a great advantage over limited readings and previews using other search engines.  Lastly, as a student of Michigan State University, I used the resources of the University Library to round out my search.  Most of my professional sources would not have even begun to surface with a Google or other common search engine; I have found that for truly academic research, an academic search has yielded the best results.  In the past I have relied on these types of searches to assist me in academic research and I think that in the future, I will do the same.  Sometimes, Google isn’t everything.

9/19/2012 01:55:44 am

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