Maths and Mobile Technologies: Student Attitudes and Perceptions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Approaches that advocate the contextualized teaching of mathematics have been around for years but the ubiquity of mobile devices together with the potential to bridge classroom learning to real-world has added a new angle to contextualizing mathematics learning. The goal of this research was to examine how the use of mobile technologies affected students’ attitudes towards mathematics as well as student perception about the use of mobile technologies. The study was a month long mixed methods design and utilized the Micro, Meso and Macro (M3) Level Evaluation Framework. Participants were Primary 6 and 7 students from two Scottish primary schools (N = 48). Students participated in four sessions of mobile-supported collaborative learning activities that covered topics on geometry and data handling. Students evaluated the end of each session using a semantic differential scale. Student evaluations of the activities were positive (M=3.96, SD=.26). On the sematic differential scale, they rated the activity useful, stimulating and innovative as opposed to irrelevant, distracting and dull. Students were asked to separately rate the activity and the use of the mobile device but no significant difference was found in the ratings. Gender differences in the rating of the activities was present in the first activity with higher ratings from male students compared to female students on questions relating to user satisfaction but did not re-occur in later activities. In the student interviews, students related that the activities were fun, helpful and in some ways, connected the maths topics with their everyday life. There was no significant difference between pre-test and post-test scores in mathematics attitudes but resulted in small effect size in the subscale factors of self-confidence (ES = .20) and mobile use (ES = .26). These results indicate that students have a positive perception on the use of mobile technologies. However, its’ effect on students attitudes towards mathematics needs further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th European Conference on Elearning
EditorsAmanda Jefferies, Marija Cubric
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Pages696
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-910810-71-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-910810-70-5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

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