CEP805 Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Technology

Thursday, 6:10 - 9 pm, 133 Erickson

Raven Wallace

342 Erickson Hall


Office Hours: In person: By appointment
    Online: By appointment (www.tappedin.org, room 2101)

Focus of the Course

This course is designed for practicing teachers of mathematics in grades K-12.[i] The work in the class will be organized around the middle grades (5-8) to insure that both the mathematics and the technology are accessible to all CEP805 students.[2]

The course develops around two fundamental problems we grapple with as mathematics teachers who use technology:

Why use technology for mathematics teaching and learning?

What technology is effective for mathematics teaching and learning, and for what mathematics?

Why use technology for mathematics teaching and learning?

Technology is good for some things, but not for others. We will explore the affordances of various technologies for learning mathematics.  This will entail considering both how students learn mathematics and what the mathematics is that we want them to learn.

What technology is effective for mathematics teaching and learning, and for what mathematics?

Although it would be impossible to "cover" the territory of technologies designed for learning and doing mathematics, we will use a variety of technologies in order to understand the range of possibilities they afford, and the kinds of mathematics they support. Interactive video, calculators, data representation, and simulation will be explored through one or more technologies.

The concepts underlying the course are illustrated in the map below. Although we will not have time to discuss each of these ideas in depth, they will surface and resurface as the class progresses.


Course Requirements

Reading, attendance, and participation

This course will be a combination of discussion and lab sessions.  The success of our discussions depends on your participation and preparation each week.  In the lab sessions, we will explore technologies available in the lab and work together to evaluate, analyze, and develop those technologies for classroom use. Attendance is required. Your participation in both discussions and lab work is an essential part of both your learning and the learning of others. Reading will be assigned each week; writing assignments will be frequent during the semester.

Course assignments

There are four main course assignments: a software review; a calculator teaching and "studenting" activity; a lesson plan and "scenario" for one of the primary technologies we use during class (Jasper, TI73 calculators, TableTop, SimCalc); and a unit plan and scenario for a technology of your choosing.  Each of these assignments will be explained in detail as the semester progresses. Participants are expected to complete all phases of all the assignments in a timely manner.  Our exam period, Thursday, December 13, 8-10pm, will be used for presentation of your final projects, the unit and scenario.

Software review: You will select a piece of software or a Web-based activity from a list provided by the instructor (with additions by class members.) Your review will include a description of the technology, what it offers for mathematics teaching and learning, and your analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.  The reviews should be written for an audience of teachers and should be aimed at publications such as the NCTM publications Teaching Children Mathematics, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle Grades, or The Mathematics Teacher. Due: September 27.

Calculator teaching and studenting activity: We will be using TI73 calculators during this class a calculator will be checked out to each of you at the appropriate time. Working in a small groups of teachers in similar grade levels, you will create (or find and adapt) a lesson plan for using the TI73. In our class on October 11, one member of each group will teach the lesson; others in the group and in the rest of the class will play the role of students. The lessons (one from each of approximately four groups) will be video-taped for later discussion.  Due: October 11. Modified Due Date: October 18

Lesson plan and scenario.  During the class, we will explore four different technologies together: Jasper, TI73 Calculators, TableTop, and SimCalc.  You will choose one of these technologies and develop a lesson plan for using it with your class. Once you have developed your plan, you will write an imaginary lesson a narrative about what you would expect to happen in one hour's teaching of that lesson.  More details will be provided about what to include in the plan and the scenario. Due: November 8. Modified Due Date November 15.

Unit and scenario for a technology of your choosing: For your final project you will choose a technology that you might actually use in your classroom, develop a plan for using it, and write a scenario about its imagined use with your students.  Due: December 13. Modified Assignment. Option 1 is the assignment described above -- a unit plan, lesson plan, and scenario. Option 2 is an annotated Web site with resources you can use in your classroom and a brief description of how you will use them. See the October 18 agenda for a complete description of these options.


Students' grades will be based on class participation and successful completion of the class assignments. The approximate breakdown of the grade will be as follows:

Participation across the semester: 50%

Software Review: 10%

Calculator Teaching and Studenting: 10%

Lesson Plan and Scenario: 15%

Final Assignment: 15%

Additional details about each assignment will be available as the semester progresses.


Look at the week by week schedule for details about weekly reading and other assignments


Required Texts:

Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt CTGV. (1997). The Jasper project: Lessons in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

International Society for Technology in Education. (1999). National educational technology standards for students: Connecting curriculum and technology. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) NETS Project.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Other Reading: These documents will be available to for you to copy during the semester.

            Ball, D. L. (1992). Magical hopes: Manipulatives and the reform of mathematics education. American Educator, 16(2), 14-18, 46-47.

            Becker, H. J., & Anderson, R. E. (1999). Internet use by teachers: Conditions of professional use and teacher-directed student use (Report #1). Irvine, CA: Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations (CRITO), University of California, Irvine. Available online at http://www.crito.uci.edu/toc/html/findings.html (report #1)

            Erlwanger, S. H. (1973). Benny's conception of rules and answers in IPI mathematics. Journal of Children's Mathematical Behavior, 1(2), 7-26.

            Fey, J. T., & Hirsch, C. R. (Eds.). (1992). Calculators in mathematics education: NCTM 1992 Yearbook.: National Council of Teaches of Mathematics.

            Hembree, R., & Dessart, D. J. (1992). Research on calculators in mathematics education. In J. T. Fey & C. R. Hirsch (Eds.), Calculators in mathematics education: NCTM 1992 Yearbook (pp. 23-32): National Council of Teaches of Mathematics.

            Lampert, M. (1995). Managing the tensions in connecting students' inquiry with learning mathematics in school. In D. N. Perkins & J. L. Schwartz & M. M. West & M. S. Wiske (Eds.), Software Goes to School (pp. 213-232). New York: Oxford University press.

            Roschelle, J., Kaput, J. J., & Stroup, W. (2000). SIMCALC: Accelerating students' engagement with the mathematics of change. In M. J. Jacobson & R. B. Kozma (Eds.), Innovations in science and mathematics education: Advanced designs for technologies of learning (pp. 47-75). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

            Waits, B. K., & Demana, F. (2000). Calculators in mathematics teaching and learning: past, present, and future. In M. J. Burke & F. R. Curcio (Eds.), Learning Mathematics for a New Century: NCTM 2000 Yearbook (pp. 51-66). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

            Wenglinsky, H. (1998). Does it compute? The relationship between educational technology and student achievement in mathematics. Princeton, N. J.: Educational Testing Service. Available online at http://www.ets.org/research/pic/pir.html

Other Materials

Links to Web sites about mathematics: http://www.msu.edu/course/cep/805/mathlinks.htm

Seven questions for evaluating technology: http://www.msu.edu/course/cep/805/sevenques.htm

Look at examples of answers to the seven questions here: http://www.msu.edu/course/cep/805/questionexamp.htm


[i] Most of the students taking this class are current, practicing teachers. Many are students in the Master's in Educational Technology program in the department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education (CEPSE) at the College of Education. This course is designed for teachers in that program, and assumes that students in the class have a classroom in which they can use technology. If you are registered for this course, and you do not currently have a classroom, you will need to make arrangements to have access to an environment in which you can teach with technology. Several of the assignments call for you to have a particular setting and particular students in mind when you design a lesson, and in some cases, to actually teach the lesson you design.

[2] Expertise in and experience with technology are prerequisites for this class. This is a MASTER's class in the third year of an educational technology degree you need to start the class with technology skills, not expect this class to teach the basics!  The MINIMUM level of competency required to successfully complete this course is outlined on the Tech Competency Requirements document  found here and online at our Blackboard Web site (http://blackboard.msu.edu). Please review this document and make your plans accordingly

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Created: August 20, 2001

Last Modified: October 18, 2001