Table of Contents

Unit 4: Modeling and Using Tools (MP4 and MP5)

4.3.2 Differentiating Instruction Through the Use of Technology and Tools

The NCTM encourages the use of technology as a tool to support and extend mathematical reasoning and sense making, gain access to mathematical content and problem-solving contexts, and enhance computational fluency (NCTM, 2000). Technology tools have the potential to provide multiple opportunities for differentiated instruction to support all students, especially those who struggle with mathematics.

For example, when looking for geometric or algebraic structures, it is useful to be able to check and examine many cases and examples. When cases are done by hand, students who struggle with procedural speed and accuracy may be excluded from engaging in the SMP. However, carefully selected activities using technology can support and enable students of all levels of procedural fluency to engage in higher cognitive activities such as modeling, conjecturing, looking for structure, and repeated reasoning.

Time to View

Below are some video examples of a wide range of students using technology as a tool to engage in cognitively demanding mathematics.

Elementary Example
If selected carefully and focused on specific mathematical objectives, online tools offer an engaging option for differentiated learning. View the video below for an example of how computer games can help young learners master key mathematical concepts.

Differentiating in Math Using Computer Games External Link

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Secondary Example
View the video below for an example of how the effective use of technology can benefit high school students, especially those with gaps in their mathematical skills. Notice how technology allows students to explore, make conjectures, and see structure. There are two clips in the video that are relevant to this unit:

First Clip: 05:30-7:30 - Students use dynamic geometry software to explore conjectures in geometry.

Second Clip: 18:35-26:50 - Students use handheld technology to facilitate their understanding of quadratic functions.

Using Technology for Hard-to-Teach Concepts External Link

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