Some undergraduate students' perceptions of using technology for mathematics: tales of resistance

  • Povey H
  • Ransom M
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Abstract

We describe and report some results from a project designed to evaluate the use of information technology (IT) for teaching and learning on a range of undergraduate mathematics courses at a U.K. university. The project involved qualitative methods of enquiry (diaries and seminars). We emphasise that many of the students were positive about much of their use of IT; however in this article we focus particularly on their tales of resistance. These tales were told both by students whose overall perspective about the use of IT in the learning of mathematics was very positive as well as by those who were reluctant users. We have organised this article around two themes: the desire for ‘understanding’and technology and power — who is in control? We suggest that these tales spring from non-trivial concerns and that we are likely to be better able to support the development of authoritative learners of mathematics if we heed them.

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Authors

  • Hilary Povey

  • Myka Ransom

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