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Use of Computers to Engage Students in Mathematics Learning

The following review of the literature pertains to the topic of computer use to engage students in mathematics learning. The research question used to guide this review is as follows: How does the use of computers engage students to learn mathematics? The following topics are included in the discussion: introduction to the importance of computer use, student variables such as student computer time and tasks, student attitudes and interest in computer use, student computer time and tasks, and student skills acquired from computer use.

The importance of computer use has been recognized, as was evidenced by President Clinton's vow to connect every American student to the Internet by 2000 (Skinner (1997). Yet research regarding the effectiveness of computers in the classroom is insufficient. The ways that computers are being used in schools varies, making the systematic testing of effects difficult. A review of 500 studies showed that students usually learn more in classes that use computer-based instruction and lessons are learned in less time. Students with average and below-average ability have demonstrated increased abilities due to computer use. This is concluded to be due to the fact that computers are able to repeat information over and over and do not require patience that may be needed for this group of learners (Skinner (1997).

Skinner (1997) also reported that while computer use is prevalent, according to a 1992 report by the International Educational Association, computers are found to be more widely used in elementary schools compared to middle and high schools. In fact the use of these computers for academic subjects tends to decrease from elementary school on. However Internet connections have assisted in the growth of the use of computers in the classroom. Mathematics and English classes are the most likely to use computers and this is followed by science and social-studies classes where computers ar...

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Use of Computers to Engage Students in Mathematics Learning. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:13, May 28, 2020, from