The effectiveness of technology integration in mathematics on the achievement and attitudes of fifth and sixth grade limited English proficient students
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The main purpose of the research was to evaluate the effectiveness of integrating technology in the teaching of mathematics and the effect on students’ attitudes towards learning mathematics and achievement in mathematics in an elementary school. The students were engaged in activities using the computer program SuccessMaker Math Skills and Concepts for 15 minutes each day of the week over nine weeks either in the classroom or the laboratory.Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to provide responses to the research questions. The quantitative portion part of the study involved students’ achievement as well as students’ attitudes towards mathematics within the classroom and laboratory. A pretest and posttest design was used with student attitudes and student achievement outcomes. The sample size was 300 students who were divided into two groups of 150. Fifty students – 25 students in each group - were interviewed for the qualitative part of the study. Data generated from the interviews were used to balance information provided by the survey.There was range of internal consistency reliability measures for the classroom and laboratory attitude scales of attitude to mathematics and enjoyment of mathematics. After nine weeks of instruction there were attitude differences in favour of the laboratory-based students. After nine weeks of implementation of the SuccessMaker mathematics program there were statistically significant differences using paired sample t-tests between the pretest and posttest FCAT scores for both groups. However, the differences in improvement in FCAT scores for students in both instructional programs were not statistically significantly different. However, the classroom-based students outperformed the laboratory-based students on the mathematics class test.The findings from the qualitative data from interviews with 50 students (25 from the classroom group and 25 from the laboratory group) was consistent with patterns emerging from the quantitative data which involved 300 students. Overall, the SuccessMaker Math Concept and Skills program was effective in enhancing attitudes to mathematics for both classroom and laboratory groups. However, for the students in both the classroom instruction and the laboratory instruction, there were no statistically significant correlations between Interest in Mathematics lessons and Enjoyment of Mathematics lessons and the FCAT posttest score. Neither classroom nor laboratory instruction differentially contributed towards students’ FCAT scores.The study revealed that computer assisted instruction has alleviated Limited English Proficient Students’ fear in doing mathematics and that has proven beneficial to their success in mathematics in the classroom and in the laboratory. Students’ interview responses revealed that they enjoyed working on the computer but that additional time should be attributed to using the technology in mathematics.
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