Scaling Up Digital Mathematics | SRI International

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Scaling Up Digital Mathematics

To advance understanding of how to improve students’ learning of algebra and key science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics, SRI conducted rigorous large-scale research in schools in Texas, Florida, and the UK.

SRI researchers investigated innovative learning software using interactive dynamic representations. The visual representations connect mathematical expressions, graphs, tables, stories, and motions. SRI applied its unique Curricular Activity System approach to the use of dynamic representations to integrate all the features—technology, curriculum, professional development, and assessment—that students and teachers need for success. We call the integration of mathematical dynamic representations and the Curricular Activity Systems approach “Digital Mathematics”.

In a series of rigorous random-assignment experiments and quasi-experiments conducted with thousands of students in hundreds of Texas schools, SRI found that students in classrooms that implemented the digital mathematics approach learned significantly more advanced mathematics than students who continued with their usual school materials. Further, digital mathematics led to better learning results across the diversity of students, teachers, and schools found throughout Texas.

Subsequent to the Texas evaluation, SRI has further advanced the digital mathematics approach in Pinellas County Schools, which serve the St. Petersburg, Florida, region as "SunBay Mathematics." A further expansion and pilot test has occurred in nine schools in the UK, as "Cornerstone Mathematics."  Evaluation results from both SunBay Mathematics and Cornerstone Mathematics projects replicate the Texas results and extend them to an even greater diversity of students.

Ongoing efforts in Florida seek to broaden this powerful, engaging digital mathematics approach to cover more of the pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry curriculum and to scale up to more students, teachers, and schools. Ongoing efforts in the UK seek to create a successful technology, curriculum, and teacher professional development model that can be scaled up widely through the region.