Leveraging Handhelds To Increase Student Learning: Engaging Middle School Students With The Mathematics Of Change


Vahey, P., Tatar, D., & Roschelle, J. (2004). Leveraging handhelds to increase student learning: Engaging middle school students with the mathematics of change. Proceedings of The Sixth International Conference of the Learning Sciences (pp. 553-560). NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


Handheld computers are poised to build upon the success of graphing calculators in mathematics classrooms, as they share important characteristics such as small size and low cost, while increasing representational richness. However, few studies provide evidence that these devices can help students learn complex mathematics. In this paper we provide such evidence. We show that the communication capabilities and representational infrastructure of handheld computers can support a variety of effective learning activities, ranging from activities that are collaborative to activities that are practice-oriented. Furthermore, we show that eighth grade students who participated in a month-long curriculum using our handheld technologies outperformed high school students on AP Calculus Exam items.

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