Can Technology-Based Representations Deepen Math Learning And Close The Gap? Research Findings From A Large Scientific Study


Roschelle, J. (2007). Can Technology-Based Representations Deepen Math Learning and Close the Gap? Research Findings from a Large Scientific Study. Featured speaker session presented at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Atlanta, GA.


FOR BETTER OR WORSE , the institutions of formal education are poised for a period of radical and rapid transformation, riding successive waves of Internet innovation. The first wave of the Internet focussed on static web pages, ideal for a campus brochure. In less time than it takes from matriculation to commencement, a second wave emerged, focussed on any place–any time access to databases. This was nice for publishing the course catalogue, but hardly an educational infrastructure. And even before that wave has crested, we are now seeing a larger wave focussed on intertwined tools of virtual community, commerce, and collaboration. Many universities are seeing this wave as their future, and are planning their transformation based on distance learning, online courses, and tools for discussions and chat. Unfortunately, given the rate of evolution we are witnessing, any strategy based on the waves we can see today are bound to be short-sighted. Simply moving courses to the Web won’t suffice.

In this paper, Byron Henderson looks behind the scenes at the component drivers creating the wave pattern: demographic, economic, and structural. He examines the rules of production, the kinds of leadership, and the nature of strategies that will condition success. The increasing capitalization of intellectual property, the decreasing need for physical co-presence, and the decoupling of the quality of work environment from the campus physical plant are changing all the rules. Understanding these driving forces, and not extrapolating merely from today’s waves, is the best way to guide the university’s future. […]

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