ICT Management - Mathematics Teaching in Universities
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INTRODUCTION According to Batanero and Godino, “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become one of the basic building blocks of modern society. Mastering basic skills and concepts of ICT is becoming part of the core of education, together with reading, writing and numeracy” (1994).
Teaching is a complex activity since it involves lot of research and study. A deep insight into the subject, understanding of the attitude and thinking of the students, knowledge of modern tools and pedagogical approaches towards curriculum are essential for teachers to effectively perform their duty. Introduction of computers and tools has greatly enhanced the teaching process for teachers. Use of digital calculators, simulations and excel sheets not only make the process easy for teachers but also interactive for students. Since the scope of this study is related to mathematics teaching, we limit our research to this subject only and highlight some of the key researches and progress made in this sphere with the introduction of ICT.
ICT AND TEACHING Shulman (1986) coined the term “pedagogical content knowledge” to illustrate the fact that teaching approach for a particular subject and pedagogy could not be treated as separate. He emphasized the reason by saying that it makes the subject easy for the students helping them in understanding common errors and aiding them in developing approaches towards different ideas.
The term introduced by Shulman was further extended by Mishra and Koehler (2006) by including the term „technology‟ in the „teacher knowledge model‟ thus making it „technology
pedagogical content knowledgeâ€&#x; emphasizing the need of technology in the development of knowledge for teaching purposes. The same is illustrated in the following figure:
Figure 1: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Source: http://tpack.org)
Coming back to our area of study i.e. mathematics, development and use of technology pedagogical content knowledge for mathematics is necessary for the understanding of mathematical concepts and processes and their subsequent modeling in software since it will make the subject easy to comprehend by the students. Moreover, a deep insight and knowledge of the working of the software is also required in solving mathematical problems.
MODELS OF ICT DEVELOPMENT Two UNESCO models of ICT development with emphasis on mathematics teaching will be discussed here vis-Ă -vis Continuum of Approaches to ICT development and Stages of Teaching and Learning with and through ICT. Details are discussed in the following paragraphs.
Continuum of Approaches to ICT Development Continuum of Approaches model is based on four approaches namely emerging, applying, infusing and transforming which lead to the development of ICT in educational institutions. These are discussed in the succeeding paragraphs as illustrated in the following figure:
Figure 2: Continuum of Approaches to ICT development in educational institutions Source: (UNESCO, 2002, p.15).
Emerging: This is the first approach of ICT development in which computer equipments and software are purchased by the educational institutions. Moreover, their usage in the management and devising curriculum is also planned at this stage.
Applying: This stage implies the use of computers and ICT in educational institutions. ICT is applied by teachers in their daily routines.
Infusing: This is an advanced stage where use of ICT is extended to a higher level. Technology is applied to almost all spheres of the educational institution including classrooms, laboratories etc. Moreover, use of multimedia and software by teachers in problem solving is also attained at this stage.
Transforming: This is the final stage of ICT development where it becomes an integral part of the educational institution ranging from curriculum designing to imparting teaching to the students.
Stages of Teaching and Learning According to UNESCO (2002), there are four stages namely „discovering ICT tools, learning how to use ICT tools, understanding how and when to use ICT tools, and specializing in the use of ICT tools‟ through which teachers and students make use of ICT in their day to day routines. The same is illustrated in the following figure:
Figure 3: Stages of Teaching and Learning with ICT
Source: (UNESCO, 2002, p.17).
Discovering ICT Tools: In the first stage, teachers and students discover and explore different ICT tools and software. Basic ICT skills by both teachers and students are developed at this stage.
Learning how to use ICT tools: This stage exemplifies the use of ICT tools in different day to day routines of teachers and students.
Understanding how and when to use ICT tools: At this stage, teachers and students apply specific ICT tools for specific purposes for example use of Excel Spreadsheets by teachers to evaluate marks/grades of a class or by students in using statistical data for plotting graphs.
Specializing in the use of ICT tools: Teachers and students become specialists in the use of ICT in their particular fields at this stage.