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Journal Article  July 31, 2020

From the static to the dynamic: Teachers’ varying use of digital technology to support conceptual learning in a curricular activity system

SRI Authors Phil J. Vahey, Nicholas Jackiw

Citation

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Vahey, P., Kim, H.J., Sela, H., Jackiw, N., Knudsen, J. (in press). From the static to the dynamic: Teachers’ varying use of digital technology to support conceptual learning in a curricular activity system. ZDM mathematics education.

Abstract

Dynamic representational technologies (DRTs), influenced by the seminal work of James Kaput and colleagues, have been in use in mathematics classrooms for decades. In this paper, we analyze 24 classrooms in the United States where teachers support students’ conceptual learning with technologies that support explorations of dynamic connections both within and across mathematical representations. These DRTs, built in alignment with Kaput’s principles, form part of a curricular activity system that embeds a central pedagogical routine. Yet despite the use of common DRTs, lessons, and professional development, classroom teaching practices varied widely. We characterize and analyze levels of technology use, which vary from using the technology as a static resource to taking advantage of dynamism to support students’ emerging explanations of mathematical concepts. There are important implications for further research into classroom use of DRTs and, more broadly, for curriculum developers and teacher educators.

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