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Formerly, technology had limited capabilities in its use regardless of many people acknowledging it. Technology is increasingly becoming an integral part of education. Presently many teachers and students have an access to the internet, and many higher learning institutions have gone ahead to provide free internet to students to facilitate research. The revolution in the education curriculum transformed the teaching of various disciplines. Elementary teachers have been advantaged in the sense that they can assess, send and receive students’ homework via online means such as internet. On the other hand, students benefit from the computer technology that has made the computer to assume the role of a tutor. More importantly, the basic mathematical concepts that seemed insolvable have become easy to tackle. With respect to this, the research explains the ways technology has affected the mathematics curriculum and how it is taught.
Change in mathematics’ teacher roles is among the effects of technology in the teaching of the discipline (Van de Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams, 2010). Elementary mathematics students deploying technology as means for communicating with each other indicates that they are in an active role instead of passive role, which involved receiving mathematical knowledge from the teacher, broadcast or textbooks. The active role assumed by the students is beneficial because it prompts students to make decisions on how to obtain, produce and manipulate mathematical concept to solve modern life problems. Mathematics’ teachers are assuming the role of facilitators since they are no longer more essential as perceived formerly (Van de Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams, 2010). The facilitator roles of these teachers have become providing guidelines and resources, reshuffling students in mathematics groups and offering mathematical suggestions in an extreme situation of difficulty in understanding.
Increased motivation and self-esteem among elementary mathematics students is another effect of technology on mathematics curriculum (Van de Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams, 2010). Many teachers have affirmed that technology is a source of motivation. Students and teachers get surprised at the level technology achieves mathematical basic goals by students who have engaged relatively less use of facilities and initiative. Some teachers view motivation in a different form by mentioning it with respect to specific mathematical topic. Other teachers also affirmed that technology came with general motivational impacts. An example is the instant feedback provided by basic mathematical calculators and sense of solving mathematical problems, which provide general motivation to mathematics students. Students’ pride in using computer-based tools used in high professions is a portrayal of self-esteem (Van de Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams, 2010). Pride in using computer in solving elementary mathematical problems and associating its use to the real world shows a sense of empowerment from learning.
According to Van de Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams (2010), increased collaboration between elementary students to solve mathematical problems is another vital effect of technology on mathematical teaching. Many elementary mathematics teachers cite an increased interdependency among students to work cooperatively and providing peer education in solving mathematical problems. Formerly, collaboration was encouraged to enable sharing of computer resources in mathematical lectures, but this changed because nearly all students have a computer. A research noted that regardless of the adequacy of computers and calculators, students continue to assist frequently each other. Computer use might require technical knowledge and students who have mastered such knowledge are convenient in helping those lacking computer knowledge, which still requires collaboration (Van de Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams, 2010).
In conclusion, technology plays a critical role in mathematics curriculum and the way it is taught. The various indicators of the effects include change in mathematics’ teacher roles, increased motivation and self-esteem among mathematical students and increased collaboration between students to solve mathematical problems. Students are actively participating in education by involving each other and performing mathematical research. . Essentially, the basic mathematical concepts that seemed insolvable have become easy to tackle.