Use of ICT in Mathematics Education in Singapore: Review of Research
August 23, 2010
Posted by on
Information and communications technology, or ICT, has influenced almost every facet of our lives, especially in educational institute. How ICT tools could change the function of textbooks and chalkboards as aids for the teacher and effectiveness of these tools. In Singapore, research efforts on the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. It has tangible steps, such as master plan 1 (MP1) and master plan 2 (MP2). The focus, however, seems to have shifted from “integration” in MP1 to “effective use” in MP2.
ICT-use as a “better” way for teaching mathematics tends to focus on how teachers can harness certain features of ICT. It is emphasis in the aspects of ICT that a teacher can use to improve the teaching of certain ideas in mathematics.
ICT-use as a “better” way for learning mathematics is suitable for learning by exploration and experimentation. Nevertheless, while positive effects cannot be guaranteed, a common finding seems to be that thoughtful ICT does not adversely affect students’ learning, at least not in achievement scores and interest in mathematics. Therefore, ICT tools together with other important components of successful teaching practice are important to understand the role of ICT influencing teaching and learning.
ICT-use in relation to other factors in the instructional environment could explain why, despite strong moral and actual support through MP1, there is yet little evidence to suggest a widespread integration of information technology to enhance the mathematical experience in Singapore classroom. Another instructional element is the attitude of teachers towards ICT, as teachers’ beliefs about educational change directly affect implementation of new initiatives.
Many aspects of the use of ICT in mathematics education have yet to be explored. Most completed studies have focused on the specific use of tools in a predefined context and produced a different result. There is also great potential for research in ICT implementation in actual classroom when ICT use examined together with other classroom demands. Although further study of the impact of different ICT tools and approaches on teaching and learning are virtually impossible to cover every part of the field exhaustively. Therefore, the goal is not to provide students with “technological toy”, but rather to create opportunities for active learning that enable the development of content knowledge, skills, processes, and attitudes in the real world.