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Forces Affecting University Mathematics
Professors' Use of Technology in Their
Geometry Classrooms
Aaron Brakoniecki
Mathe...
Itinerary

 Background
 Literature Review/
 Framework
 Methods
 Results
 Discussion
Background
College Mathematics & Technology
Narrowing my Focus
Good vs. Bad, Geometry, Technology, Question
Creating a Framework
Related Research
  Teacher’s Use of Technology in K-12 Schools
  (Becker, 2000), (Russell, Bebell, O'...
Initial framework of forces affecting university mathematics professors’
      decisions about using technology in their g...
Research Question
What is a framework that can help describe the
forces affecting college professors’ decisions to
use (or...
Methods

Interviews
Geometry professors
who had taught their
class more than once
Vary institution type
from within Michig...
Constant Comparison
(Glaser & Strauss, 1967)
 1.	 Comparing and contrasting incidents to create
 categories into which the...
Interview Protocol

I. Asks professors about the course as a whole, structure
   of individual lessons, and class preparat...
Participants
Dr. Herb Williams – Small private liberal arts college. He has
previously taught an axiomatic geometry course...
Results
Internal Forces
Goals for the Course
Each professors’ personal goals for the course
  Dr. Williams - students to walk away with an
  appre...
Perceived Establishment of
Course Content
Two themes emerged, either solidifying course content,
or intentionally changing...
Beliefs About What
 Technology can do

What was technology’s role within the classroom?
  Dr. Williams - geometry is about...
Beliefs about Technology in
Geometry
 Beliefs about using technology within the geometry
 classroom
   Dr. Nichols - techn...
Beliefs about Student
Interactions with Technology
 Beliefs about how they wanted students to interact with
 technology in...
How Students will Learn in
this Course
 Different learning methods to utilized in this course
   Dr. Williams & Dr. Goodin...
Professor’s Preparation to
Use Technology
 All professors expressed confidence in their and their
 colleagues ability to us...
Findings
External Forces
Goals for the Course

Institution-level goals for the course. Course description
  These goals ranged from proof writing (...
Population of the Course


Professors were conscience of the different populations
within their courses, and that they had...
Position of Course within the
Curriculum

 All these geometry courses were terminal courses, they
 were not prerequisites ...
Access to Technology
The physical location of technology and access to software
differed among classes.
  Dr. Lauer and Dr...
Department/Institution
Support for Technology
Resources for professors who wanted to use
technology to be successful
  Dr....
Department/Institution
Philosophy About
Technology Use
 Dr. Gooding - institution had formed a working group
 with the goa...
“Final” framework of forces affecting university mathematics professors’
     decisions about using technology in their ge...
Discussion
Framework Structure
  External Forces - Course Level and Institution Level
  Interactions Among Forces
Framewor...
Limitations


 Only 5 professors interviewed, all of who used
 technology for one of their geometry courses
 One analyzer ...
Acknoweldgements
Practicum Committee - Mike Steele, Raven
McCrory, Amanda Hawkins
Writing Group - Lorraine Males, Aaron Mo...
Thank You!
Questions, comments, thoughts?
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Practicum MLRG

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Practicum MLRG

  1. 1. Forces Affecting University Mathematics Professors' Use of Technology in Their Geometry Classrooms Aaron Brakoniecki Mathematics Learning Research Group Michigan State University
  2. 2. Itinerary Background Literature Review/ Framework Methods Results Discussion
  3. 3. Background College Mathematics & Technology
  4. 4. Narrowing my Focus Good vs. Bad, Geometry, Technology, Question
  5. 5. Creating a Framework Related Research Teacher’s Use of Technology in K-12 Schools (Becker, 2000), (Russell, Bebell, O'Dwyer, & O'Connor, 2003), (Ravitz, Wong and Becker, 1999) Teacher Beliefs (Thompson, 1992), (Ernest, 1998), (Kuhs & Ball, 1986) Beliefs about Technology in Mathematics Classrooms (Dick, 2007), (Zbiek, Heid, Blume, & Dick, 2007)
  6. 6. Initial framework of forces affecting university mathematics professors’ decisions about using technology in their geometry classroom
  7. 7. Research Question What is a framework that can help describe the forces affecting college professors’ decisions to use (or not use) technology in their classroom?
  8. 8. Methods Interviews Geometry professors who had taught their class more than once Vary institution type from within Michigan No more than 8
  9. 9. Constant Comparison (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) 1. Comparing and contrasting incidents to create categories into which the data can fit 2. Integrating categories and their properties into larger bins 3. Delimiting the theory to focus it 4. Writing the theory that has emerged out of the data.
  10. 10. Interview Protocol I. Asks professors about the course as a whole, structure of individual lessons, and class preparation II. Asks professors about any technology use in their lessons, how they came to decide upon technology, and thoughts on technology and geometry III.Asks professors about training and support for technology at their institutions,
  11. 11. Participants Dr. Herb Williams – Small private liberal arts college. He has previously taught an axiomatic geometry course. Dr. Christine Lauer – Large public research university. She has previously taught a course in Euclidean geometry. Dr. Samantha Gooding – Private technical institute. She has previously taught a course focusing on the intersection of geometry and the arts. Dr. Karl Quinn – Small, private liberal arts college. He has previously taught a course axiomatic geometry course. Dr. Ursula Nichols – Medium-sized, public research institution. She has previously taught a course on axiomatic geometry.
  12. 12. Results Internal Forces
  13. 13. Goals for the Course Each professors’ personal goals for the course Dr. Williams - students to walk away with an appreciation of geometry and its importance in history, and not necessarily facts. Change the disposition of his students to one favorable towards geometry Dr. Lauer - “more experiential than content driven”, wanted students to have different experiences in mathematics Dr. Gooding - wanted her course to change her students’ perspectives on life, and so they would see geometry wherever they are.
  14. 14. Perceived Establishment of Course Content Two themes emerged, either solidifying course content, or intentionally changing content between years Dr. Quinn - “It’s been a long time since I’ve gone about…”. He added that he had been teaching this course since “water was invented”. Dr. Lauer - tried to change the course content every year, so that way, she wouldn’t have sat with an idea as long
  15. 15. Beliefs About What Technology can do What was technology’s role within the classroom? Dr. Williams - geometry is about unpacking and figuring out what causes, whereas the software package Geometer’s Sketchpad was a “little black box that won’t let you peer inside”. Dr. Lauer - technology produces an environment and then the question is, what do you get out of that environment
  16. 16. Beliefs about Technology in Geometry Beliefs about using technology within the geometry classroom Dr. Nichols - technology’s use in geometry should, “depend on the content; whether it let’s [students] look at a problem authentically and does it help them build their understanding Dr. Quinn - didn’t believe there was any content reason to be hesitant about using technology in geometry.
  17. 17. Beliefs about Student Interactions with Technology Beliefs about how they wanted students to interact with technology in their classroom Dr. Williams noted that in his opinion, technology should be used for discovery by the students, and not for demonstrations to the students. Dr. Gooding expressed a desire for students to experiment more in mathematics as they do in their arts classes. She described a frustration of students going right to technology for answers without playing around with ideas.
  18. 18. How Students will Learn in this Course Different learning methods to utilized in this course Dr. Williams & Dr. Gooding expressed the desire that students would learn by making discoveries Dr. Lauer & Dr. Nichols expressed the desire that students would learn by making connections and constructing their knowledge
  19. 19. Professor’s Preparation to Use Technology All professors expressed confidence in their and their colleagues ability to use technology, however, there were some on using the technology pedagogically Dr. Williams - didn’t believe it’s that hard to use technology, although it might be slightly more challenging to learn how to use it for teaching Dr. Nichols - believed that teachers should technology should be used in meaningful ways to enhance the learning of a topic.
  20. 20. Findings External Forces
  21. 21. Goals for the Course Institution-level goals for the course. Course description These goals ranged from proof writing (Dr. Williams, Dr. Lauer, Dr. Quinn, and Dr. Nichols), to better understanding of Euclidean and Non-Euclidean geometries (all interviewees), to examining mathematics in the arts and architecture (Dr. Gooding and Dr. Quinn).
  22. 22. Population of the Course Professors were conscience of the different populations within their courses, and that they had considered tailoring the content of their courses to fit the populations enrolled in their courses
  23. 23. Position of Course within the Curriculum All these geometry courses were terminal courses, they were not prerequisites for any other course in their departments All professors were aware of the different prerequisites required for their courses and that seemed to have effect on course content
  24. 24. Access to Technology The physical location of technology and access to software differed among classes. Dr. Lauer and Dr. Gooding noted that they would have students bring laptops to the classroom Dr. Lauer, Dr. Quinn, and Dr. Nichols all described efforts to utilize one of their institutions’ computer labs during their course Dr. Quinn also described a time his department purchased a large number of textbooks bundled with software. Went around to the different computer labs on campus and installed the software by hand.
  25. 25. Department/Institution Support for Technology Resources for professors who wanted to use technology to be successful Dr. Williams - existed funds for travel for professional development opportunities Dr. Nichols’ - institution equipping rooms with technology carts and built-in data projectors Dr. Lauer - department and institution’s support in providing laptop carts for classrooms, support with setup and storage of technology, and acquiring software licenses
  26. 26. Department/Institution Philosophy About Technology Use Dr. Gooding - institution had formed a working group with the goal of promoting active learning with technology Dr. Lauer - while her university had a position that was favorable to technology, her department had a position that was not Dr. Nichols -classes offered by computing services for faculty on topics such as podcasting, e-learning, and developing your website
  27. 27. “Final” framework of forces affecting university mathematics professors’ decisions about using technology in their geometry classroom
  28. 28. Discussion Framework Structure External Forces - Course Level and Institution Level Interactions Among Forces Framework Content No relation to their own experiences in geometry Time was not discussed as affecting decisions Complexifying College Instruction
  29. 29. Limitations Only 5 professors interviewed, all of who used technology for one of their geometry courses One analyzer of the data No discussion on the enactment of these forces
  30. 30. Acknoweldgements Practicum Committee - Mike Steele, Raven McCrory, Amanda Hawkins Writing Group - Lorraine Males, Aaron Mosier, Sam Otten
  31. 31. Thank You! Questions, comments, thoughts?

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