Hand-held Technology in Secondary Mathematics Education

Barry Kissane
School of Education
Murdoch University
Murdoch WA Australia

Abstract. While extraordinary gains have been made in the capabilities of and access to symbolic computation in many educational settings, there are still many secondary school mathematics classrooms in many countries in which student access to such facilities is either very limited or non-existent, either at home or at school. This presentation will focus on secondary mathematics education for students and teachers without reliable and regular access to computers or to the Internet. The place of hand-held technologies will be considered, including scientific calculators, graphics calculators and integrated devices such as the ClassPad 300. The computational support offered to students by such devices will be described and evaluated. Opportunities presented by hand-held technologies for students to learn mathematics in different ways than in the past and for teachers to teach differently will be described. The significance of hand-held technologies for the mathematics curriculum, its evolution and its assessment will be outlined and some issues associated with effective integration of symbolic computation into the secondary school curriculum will be explored.