LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

Introduction of technology has a very large impact on the educational environments, and has made many changes in the way students learn and the way they are being taught by their teachers. This has finally caused the teachers’ roles to slightly change. Students are responsible for learning by being active in increasing their thinking capabilities rather than being just listeners and the teachers’ responsibilities is to ensure that students are getting what they are supposed to get by being their leaders to give guidance to appropriate information and how to accumulate that information and use it appropriately. Katie et al (2012).

Technology can be used in different ways in an educational environment. These ways include; word processing, presentation, spreadsheets, databases, internet search, distance education, virtual schools, interactions with simulations and models, and collaboration over local and global networks. Technology can also be used as an important tool to assist students who are disabled, in learning, to do some things that it would be difficult for them to know without the help of technology. Mark et al (2007: xiv).

Consequently, the interest for the companies developing software have quickly increased in the education market and making many vital improvements in this area. Perhaps most importantly, many improvements and forwards movements in hardware and the software of the computers have made practical solutions to data using fewer costs. Jeffrey (2004:11)

Using software to assist in doing mathematics is widespread throughout the entire world. According to Anderson and Ronnkvist (1999:45), there has been the report showing that about 56 percent of elementary schools in America use software products made to help in teaching English and language arts skills. In the same way, there has been a report that 62 percent of teachers for these schools, 39 teachers of the schools ranging at middle level, and 22 percent of high school teachers are using software products designed to teach mathematics skills. These reports show how much are schools eager to use technology in their environments to do their work more effectively and efficiently. Waxman, et al (2003:34)

Murphy et al. (2001) examined a wide range of research studies from the published literature and from software vendors. Of the 195 experimental or quasi-experimental studies conducted between 1993 and 2000 that met the criteria for inclusion, 31 studies met minimum methodological requirements for inclusion in the synthesis. For these studies, researchers estimated an average effect size of 35 for reading and 45 for mathematics. Pearson, et al. (2005)

The student failing rate in Mathematics seemed to be consistently high year after year. This is caused by lack of tools to help students to study on their own in this subject. Lack of time for students to consult their teachers also has much contribution on this problem. Sometimes teachers are not able to get much deeper in to how the solutions came-up in some Mathematical problems hence students can only know the solutions but not how to get into that solution. It is common also for the teachers to leave some students who are ‘slow-learners’ behind because of time. This leaves those who are slow to learn with the problem of not understanding what has been taught.

While other subjects might require reading, math requires practice. But practice in a way that reinforces the skill, so it needs a lot time. Foundation of students in Mathematics is very vital, that is, the stronger the foundation, the stronger the building is. Unfortunately, teachers do not have the same teaching capabilities, that is, some of teachers are inexperienced, and therefore it makes difficult for the student who was badly founded by inexperienced teacher to catch-up the mathematical concept. Sandholtz, et al. (1997:71)

Importance of Technology in Mathematics education

Over the last few decades, technology has become a very significant factor in everyday life. Nowadays, the use of computers is essential for business and economy and many people are learning how to use computers because of essentiality of computer usage. Mostly, young people who have access on computer technology are using computers as important tools for passing messages from one person to another, data processing and mostly, for having fun like playing games. Multimedia has also been a common activity for these young people. Multimedia includes; photography, animation, video and audio. Easy access variety of information from different places around the world over the internet is everyone’s interest. Judith (2008:13).

Judith continues to show that the effectiveness of technology in the mathematics classroom depends on the teacher uses it. Like any other tool, technology can be used in a correct way or otherwise. Teachers can improve technology usage by choosing right techniques to be used by students to learn, these techniques should help students to understand the mathematical concepts. The use of graphics, visualization or computing can be one of these techniques. Kulik, J.A. (2003)

Students, even at the elementary school level, are able to acquire an impressive level of skill with a broad range of computer software. Although the specific software tools in use will likely change before these students enter the world of work, the students obtain a basic understanding of how various classes of computer tools work and a confidence about being able to learn to use new tools that will assist in their learning of new software applications. Kulik, J.A. (2003)

Softwares have a very good impact on many of the subjects that are done at schools and mostly mathematics which is failed by many students. Of cause technology is essential in teaching and learning mathematics; it motivates students to learn and teachers to teach more effectively and efficiently. There are different learning techniques that provided by the technology which are being so much useful for learning. In addition to that, the idea of mathematical concepts and exploring mathematics in multimedia environments can assist students understanding in a new ways. Judith (2008:15)

Another effect of technology showed by many teachers is an increased inclination on the part of students to work cooperatively and to provide peer tutoring. Cooperation is forced for understandable reasons; it allows groups or pairs of students to work on the single device in order to save resources especially where resources are limited. Souhrada, T. (2001:81)

According to Michael and Waverly, (2006:23) the importance of technology does not only affect students, but also teachers who adapt more teaching techniques which help them to teach more effectively. By integrating educational tools into their everyday teaching practice, they can provide creative opportunities for supporting students’ learning and fostering the acquisition of mathematical knowledge and skills. On the one hand, gifted students can be supported more effectively than ever by promoting their individual interests and mathematical skills. On the other hand, weaker students can be provided with activities that meet their special needs and help them to overcome their individual difficulties. Additionally, students can develop and demonstrate deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and are able to deal with more advanced mathematical contents than in ‘traditional’ teaching environments. Monaghan, (2001)

New mathematical software technologies

There has been some softwares developed in order to assist students in learning Mathematics. These softwares include: Math Interactive Learning Software for Schools, Home school and Self-Study, Bagatrix Math Learning Software, Minitab16, and MATH-TEACHER. These softwares are used at different levels of education for different purposes. For example, Minitab is mostly used for statistical purposes whereas Bagatrix Math Learning Software is used to solve trigonometry problems.

Math Interactive Learning Software for Schools, Home school and Self-Study

Math Interactive Learning Software for Schools, Home school and Self-Study is defined as the Math Tutor educational software series, for high school and middle school math teaching and analysis academic tutorial software programs. Schools looking for curriculum based interactive math learning software for Grades 6-12 will find the software to be important. Again, parents who do math learning at home will also find the software as good tool to learn. Schools, families, and individuals alike have found this software to offer the best math educational teaching available anywhere for it gives more elaboration. The software is also effective for corrective and developmental math instruction. Koedinger and Anderson (1993:39).

Bagatrix Math Learning Software

This software solves the trickiest trigonometry homework problems with step-by-step work and explanations, allowing the user to finish his/her assignments quickly and finally getting good grades. With additional powerful features including infinite example problems, practice tests, progress tracking, and a math document designer, this software provides all the help the user needs to make it in trigonometry. Using Bagatrix Problem Solved Technology, an advanced mathematical software solving system, enables the user to enter in his/her trigonometry homework problems and provides the answers with step-by-step work. Schacter, (2001:83)

This technology allows one to customize the amount of steps provided for each problem. The Bagatrix Assistant is also available to provide more help whenever needed. This software contains hundreds of commonly used math terms. In addition to providing step-by-step explanations, the Bagatrix Assistant connects all explanation keywords directly to the Bagatrix Glossary definition. This software has mathematical notation to create word processing documents, homework assignments, tests, quizzes, and much more.

In addition to solving the problems with step-by-step explanations, the ‘Solved!’ Series of products lets students create math notation for any word processing document student may need at home or in the classroom including handouts, worksheets, quizzes, and tests. It can also be used by students to create reports and precisely printed homework assignments.

MATH-TEACHER

MATH-TEACHER: Is software that helps in teaching and learning of math. It usually makes mathematics teaching and learning very simple by building mathematics gradually from concept to concept. This software helps students to get clear understanding of every single part before moving on to the next. Each lesson first presents the concepts and various number of sample problems.

To interact with this software, one doesn’t have to have tools like pen or pencil. MATH-TEACHER interprets and understands every step of a student’s solution. It allows student to enter expression and marks each step and show if it is right or wrong. The analysis can sense the common mistakes and provide help. This process is repeated until the correct answer is found. Mehmet (2003:45).

Several levels of help are provided, including:

‘ Online textbook with a lesson on each concept

‘ Sample problems with detailed solutions

‘ General guidance on how to begin or continue a problem

‘ Hints to solve a specific problem.

The Customization Utility allows the instructor to fine tune and control the tutorial and on-screen tests. The timed On-screen Tests display all problems so the student can choose the one to answer next.

The Problems Generator for Printed Tests prints problems with and without answers, as homework or as hardcopy tests. The step-by-step answers are complete with explanations, charts, figures, graphs, and tables. The Calculator provided in MATH-TEACHER is designed to work with algebraic expressions. Rational expressions yield both rational and the approximate real results. Student scores are collected automatically to simplify record keeping.

These unique features make MATH-TEACHER the private tutor of each student:

Interactive Tutorial

‘ Flexibility in solving Problems

‘ Students can choose their own solving route and are not confused by the limited acceptable expos??s used by our competitors

‘ Guidance provided on how to start each problem if needed

‘ Smart Hints catch common errors

‘ Difficulty adjusts to the student’s competence

Minitab

Minitab16 is the latest statistical software version that is used to analyze data. It consists of many different ways of analyzing different data. Data can be analyzed using; bar charts, histogram, pie charts and many more. Minitab is mostly used as an analytical tool for quantitative data. It is also used to gauge the chances of a certain situation to occur. Kulik, (2003)

This version has some new enhancements. These enhancements include:

1. The Assistant: Minitab’s new Assistant menu leads the user through his/her analysis and helps him/her interpret his/her results with confidence.

2. Enhanced Regression Capabilities. Allows the user to use the new General Regression feature to:

– Easily specify interaction and polynomial terms

– Include both continuous and categorical predictors

– Calculate confidence intervals for regression coefficients

– Transform the response using the Box-Cox transformation

3. Nonlinear Regression. Model nonlinear relationships between variables using a catalog of expectation functions, or specify your own function.

4. Split-Plot Designs. Allows the user to create, define, and analyze split-plot designs when conducting experiments that include hard-to- changing factors.

5. General Linear Model (GLM) Prediction and Comparisons: Compute predicted values and confidence intervals for new observations. Use the new grouping information table to easily compare the mean responses for individual factor levels.

Areas where the technology is used

The first area on which mathematical softwares are used is to help student to do their assignments more effectively and efficiently. It does not only help students to do their assignment, but also to have more practical on the mathematics subject hence increase performance in this subject.

The second area is to help mathematical teachers with the better concept of teaching. These softwares usually help teachers to spend minimum time on a certain topic because students are able to learn on their own. They are also used as teachers’ marking memos.

The third area is to help individuals to solve the related problems. These people may be at home, at the field or anywhere they may apply. For example, the census companies can use Minitab software to analyze the country’s population.

Weaknesses of the current developments

Even though these softwares are seem to be very important in helping in mathematical learning and teaching, there are some weaknesses behind each software. This creates a room for improvement or coming up with a new software that can adapt some features that would overcome these weaknesses. Jeffrey (2004:20) shows that the most efficient software for students would be easy to use and understand, user-friendly package that provides wide-ranging, error-free data to users at every level.

The main weakness of MATH-TEACHER is that it not may be helpful for those students who are weak in mathematics for it cannot do the work for a student but rather allows the student to do the work and marks each line of the solution. This may lead to students who easily give up because they don’t reach the correct solution for any mathematical problem.

Bagatrix Math Learning Software on the other hand has its own weaknesses. Its main weakness is that it only solves trigonometry, that is, it cannot be used for other mathematical problem types, for examples, algebra, geometric and calculus. This makes it not to be much useful though it is very important.

The weakness of the Minitab is that is very complex to use, it mostly understood by tertiary level students. Because of its complexity, it consumes lot of time for high students to learn. Most of its properties are not appropriate to high school syllabus. The other weakness of the Minitab is that is more biased on statistical mathematics and probability.

The common weaknesses for all of these softwares is that they are difficult to use of which takes a lot of time for either student or teacher to learn. Using computers and learning how to work with special software definitely is a challenge for teachers, especially, if they have no experience with new technology. Once they have mastered the basic skills necessary to operate software, there is still a long way to go before they actually are able to effectively integrate it into their everyday teaching practice. Impediments caused by the time management and organization of schools, as well as external standardized tests, problems with the hardware, software, and Internet connection, limited access to school computers, and lack of communication and collaboration between teachers combined with lack of support from school administration make it difficult for teachers to use new technology in their classrooms. Mehmet (2003:25).

The features of the new systems

The software is going to run on the android, that is, is going to be used in the smart phones, and the students will be able to use it at home or anywhere he/she is. The software is going to allow the user to enter the values of the equation he/she want to compute and it can also allow the user to enter the full linear equation and then compute the solution and display a step by step workings for a problem solved. The software computes common high school equations and the formulae and prints the solution in a way that the high school student will understand.

The software is going to be flexible and it will be clear and simple to everyone who will like to uses it, and is going to be efficient for it won’t require a lot of memory, hence it will not consume a lot of time to run in the smart phone. The software will allow the students to search for certain mathematical topic in a glossary and the definition of that topic will be displayed with the example. For example, if a student wants to search for a definition of a trigonometry it will pop up the definition of the words and provide example of how it works. The software will also provide the graphical working of topics that need to be graphical, examples it will provide graphs and the charts and the diagrams.

Conclusion

Today’s high school students need to be equipped for life in a world where responsibilities of highly developed study, work, and citizenship necessitate mathematical understanding and skill far different from what was good enough only recently. Statistics is used daily for different purposes such as election forecasts, environmental policies, and decisions about our personal health. Important philosophy from algebra and geometry are basic to the design of medication or health treatments such as laser eye surgery and diagnostic devices. Similarly, calculators are used to calculate financials in businesses and for students to solve mathematical problems in schools as well. Computers are also considered to be important tools in both schools and businesses for record keeping in business and for students’ databases in schools. Lott and Souhrada. (2000:123)

Effectiveness of resources on the internet are also rapidly accessed, which means the increase in mathematical design. It is necessary for many different careers to require the more and deeper knowledge of mathematics.

The traditional teaching of mathematics is no longer a need as it has so many disadvantages over the modern one that is emerging and improving very fast. Traditional approach for mathematics is not highly demanded in the technology world, so this makes it be less important as people using it cannot stand the challenge in the technology world. Lott and Bauer (2007:3).

Teachers and those who guide students in mathematics subject of school mathematics programs face the challenge of choosing the best way to teach the students among the different competing teaching techniques and how to measure the effectiveness of the technique chosen. To establish the results of recent academic and development work to key mathematics educators and to place those developments in a broader context of mathematics education improvement, the Math is more group, a combination of syllabus development projects. Hasmik G. P. (2000)

References

Application of Computer Aided Mathematics Teaching in a Secondary School. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology ‘ TOJET January 2003 ISSN: 1303-6521 volume 2 Issue 1 Article .

Cuban, L., Kirkpatrick, H., and Peck, C. (2001). High access and low use of technologies in high school classrooms: Explaining an apparent paradox. American Educational Research Journal, 38(4):813 ‘ 834.

Hasmik G. P. (2000) COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENTS NEED ADEQUATE MATHEMATICAL BACKGROUND. Computer Science Department. California Polytechnic State University.

Jeffrey C. Wayman (2004) SOFTWARE ENABLING SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT THROUGH ANALYSIS OF STUDENT DATA. Sam Stringfield. Johns Hopkins University.

Judith Preiner (2008) Introducing Dynamic Mathematics Software to Mathematics Teachers: the Case of GeoGebra. Dissertation in Mathematics Education Faculty of Natural Sciences. University of Salzburg.

K.R. Koedinger and J.R Anderson (1993), Effective Use of Intelligent software in High School Math Classrooms. Psychology Department. Carnegie Mellon University.

Katie Larsen McClarty et al (2012) A Literature Review of Gaming in Education

Kulik, J.A. (2003) Effects of Using Instructional Technology in Elementary and Secondary Schools: What Controlled Evaluation Studies Say. Arlington, VA: SRI International.

Laure Gouba (2008) The importance of Mathematics in everyday life. African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. South Africa.

Lott, J. and T. Souhrada. (2000) A Perspective on Secondary School Mathematics Content.’ In Learning Mathematics for a New Century 2000 Yearbook, (Ed. Maurice Burke) pp. 96-111. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Lott, J., J. Hirstein, and G. Bauer (2007), ‘The Case of Systemic Initiative for Montana Mathematics and Science (SIMMS),’ Chapter in Perspectives on Design and Development of School Mathematics Curricula, (Ed. Chris Hirsch). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Mark Dynarski et al (2007) Effectiveness of Reading and Mathematics Software Products: Findings from the First Student Cohort. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Mehmet Emin (2003) Application of Computer Aided Mathematics Teaching in a Secondary School.

Michael A Cobelens and Waverly, Nebraska, (2006) Student Problem Solving. Ruth Heaton Advisor. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Monaghan, J. (2001). Teachers’ classroom interactions in ICT-based mathematics lessons. In Heuvel, M., v. d., editor, Proceedings of the 25th International Conference for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, volume 3.

Murphy, et al (2001), Review of Recent Evidence on the Effectiveness of Discrete Educational Software. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Pearson, P.D., et al. (2005) The Effects of Technology on Reading Performance in the Middle-School Grades: A Meta-analysis with Recommendations for Policy. Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates.

Sandholtz, J.H., et al. (1997) Teaching With Technology: Creating Student-Centered Classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press.

Schacter, J. (2001) The Impact of Educational Technology on Student Achievement: What the Most Current Research Has to Say. Santa Monica, CA: Milken Exchange on Education Technology.

Souhrada, T. (2001) Secondary School Mathematics in Transition: A Comparative Study of Mathematics Curricula and Student Results. Unpublished Dissertation at the University of Montana.

Waxman, H.C. et al (2003) A Meta-analysis of the Effectiveness of Teaching and Learning with Technology on Student Outcomes. Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates.

William Stein (2009) Mathematical Software and Me: A Very Personal Recollection.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

Introduction of technology has a very large impact on the educational environments, and has made many changes in the way students learn and the way they are being taught by their teachers. This has finally caused the teachers’ roles to slightly change. Students are responsible for learning by being active in increasing their thinking capabilities rather than being just listeners and the teachers’ responsibilities is to ensure that students are getting what they are supposed to get by being their leaders to give guidance to appropriate information and how to accumulate that information and use it appropriately. Katie et al (2012).

Technology can be used in different ways in an educational environment. These ways include; word processing, presentation, spreadsheets, databases, internet search, distance education, virtual schools, interactions with simulations and models, and collaboration over local and global networks. Technology can also be used as an important tool to assist students who are disabled, in learning, to do some things that it would be difficult for them to know without the help of technology. Mark et al (2007: xiv).

Consequently, the interest for the companies developing software have quickly increased in the education market and making many vital improvements in this area. Perhaps most importantly, many improvements and forwards movements in hardware and the software of the computers have made practical solutions to data using fewer costs. Jeffrey (2004:11)

Using software to assist in doing mathematics is widespread throughout the entire world. According to Anderson and Ronnkvist (1999:45), there has been the report showing that about 56 percent of elementary schools in America use software products made to help in teaching English and language arts skills. In the same way, there has been a report that 62 percent of teachers for these schools, 39 teachers of the schools ranging at middle level, and 22 percent of high school teachers are using software products designed to teach mathematics skills. These reports show how much are schools eager to use technology in their environments to do their work more effectively and efficiently. Waxman, et al (2003:34)

Murphy et al. (2001) examined a wide range of research studies from the published literature and from software vendors. Of the 195 experimental or quasi-experimental studies conducted between 1993 and 2000 that met the criteria for inclusion, 31 studies met minimum methodological requirements for inclusion in the synthesis. For these studies, researchers estimated an average effect size of 35 for reading and 45 for mathematics. Pearson, et al. (2005)

The student failing rate in Mathematics seemed to be consistently high year after year. This is caused by lack of tools to help students to study on their own in this subject. Lack of time for students to consult their teachers also has much contribution on this problem. Sometimes teachers are not able to get much deeper in to how the solutions came-up in some Mathematical problems hence students can only know the solutions but not how to get into that solution. It is common also for the teachers to leave some students who are ‘slow-learners’ behind because of time. This leaves those who are slow to learn with the problem of not understanding what has been taught.

While other subjects might require reading, math requires practice. But practice in a way that reinforces the skill, so it needs a lot time. Foundation of students in Mathematics is very vital, that is, the stronger the foundation, the stronger the building is. Unfortunately, teachers do not have the same teaching capabilities, that is, some of teachers are inexperienced, and therefore it makes difficult for the student who was badly founded by inexperienced teacher to catch-up the mathematical concept. Sandholtz, et al. (1997:71)

Importance of Technology in Mathematics education

Over the last few decades, technology has become a very significant factor in everyday life. Nowadays, the use of computers is essential for business and economy and many people are learning how to use computers because of essentiality of computer usage. Mostly, young people who have access on computer technology are using computers as important tools for passing messages from one person to another, data processing and mostly, for having fun like playing games. Multimedia has also been a common activity for these young people. Multimedia includes; photography, animation, video and audio. Easy access variety of information from different places around the world over the internet is everyone’s interest. Judith (2008:13).

Judith continues to show that the effectiveness of technology in the mathematics classroom depends on the teacher uses it. Like any other tool, technology can be used in a correct way or otherwise. Teachers can improve technology usage by choosing right techniques to be used by students to learn, these techniques should help students to understand the mathematical concepts. The use of graphics, visualization or computing can be one of these techniques. Kulik, J.A. (2003)

Students, even at the elementary school level, are able to acquire an impressive level of skill with a broad range of computer software. Although the specific software tools in use will likely change before these students enter the world of work, the students obtain a basic understanding of how various classes of computer tools work and a confidence about being able to learn to use new tools that will assist in their learning of new software applications. Kulik, J.A. (2003)

Softwares have a very good impact on many of the subjects that are done at schools and mostly mathematics which is failed by many students. Of cause technology is essential in teaching and learning mathematics; it motivates students to learn and teachers to teach more effectively and efficiently. There are different learning techniques that provided by the technology which are being so much useful for learning. In addition to that, the idea of mathematical concepts and exploring mathematics in multimedia environments can assist students understanding in a new ways. Judith (2008:15)

Another effect of technology showed by many teachers is an increased inclination on the part of students to work cooperatively and to provide peer tutoring. Cooperation is forced for understandable reasons; it allows groups or pairs of students to work on the single device in order to save resources especially where resources are limited. Souhrada, T. (2001:81)

According to Michael and Waverly, (2006:23) the importance of technology does not only affect students, but also teachers who adapt more teaching techniques which help them to teach more effectively. By integrating educational tools into their everyday teaching practice, they can provide creative opportunities for supporting students’ learning and fostering the acquisition of mathematical knowledge and skills. On the one hand, gifted students can be supported more effectively than ever by promoting their individual interests and mathematical skills. On the other hand, weaker students can be provided with activities that meet their special needs and help them to overcome their individual difficulties. Additionally, students can develop and demonstrate deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and are able to deal with more advanced mathematical contents than in ‘traditional’ teaching environments. Monaghan, (2001)

New mathematical software technologies

There has been some softwares developed in order to assist students in learning Mathematics. These softwares include: Math Interactive Learning Software for Schools, Home school and Self-Study, Bagatrix Math Learning Software, Minitab16, and MATH-TEACHER. These softwares are used at different levels of education for different purposes. For example, Minitab is mostly used for statistical purposes whereas Bagatrix Math Learning Software is used to solve trigonometry problems.

Math Interactive Learning Software for Schools, Home school and Self-Study

Math Interactive Learning Software for Schools, Home school and Self-Study is defined as the Math Tutor educational software series, for high school and middle school math teaching and analysis academic tutorial software programs. Schools looking for curriculum based interactive math learning software for Grades 6-12 will find the software to be important. Again, parents who do math learning at home will also find the software as good tool to learn. Schools, families, and individuals alike have found this software to offer the best math educational teaching available anywhere for it gives more elaboration. The software is also effective for corrective and developmental math instruction. Koedinger and Anderson (1993:39).

Bagatrix Math Learning Software

This software solves the trickiest trigonometry homework problems with step-by-step work and explanations, allowing the user to finish his/her assignments quickly and finally getting good grades. With additional powerful features including infinite example problems, practice tests, progress tracking, and a math document designer, this software provides all the help the user needs to make it in trigonometry. Using Bagatrix Problem Solved Technology, an advanced mathematical software solving system, enables the user to enter in his/her trigonometry homework problems and provides the answers with step-by-step work. Schacter, (2001:83)

This technology allows one to customize the amount of steps provided for each problem. The Bagatrix Assistant is also available to provide more help whenever needed. This software contains hundreds of commonly used math terms. In addition to providing step-by-step explanations, the Bagatrix Assistant connects all explanation keywords directly to the Bagatrix Glossary definition. This software has mathematical notation to create word processing documents, homework assignments, tests, quizzes, and much more.

In addition to solving the problems with step-by-step explanations, the ‘Solved!’ Series of products lets students create math notation for any word processing document student may need at home or in the classroom including handouts, worksheets, quizzes, and tests. It can also be used by students to create reports and precisely printed homework assignments.

MATH-TEACHER

MATH-TEACHER: Is software that helps in teaching and learning of math. It usually makes mathematics teaching and learning very simple by building mathematics gradually from concept to concept. This software helps students to get clear understanding of every single part before moving on to the next. Each lesson first presents the concepts and various number of sample problems.

To interact with this software, one doesn’t have to have tools like pen or pencil. MATH-TEACHER interprets and understands every step of a student’s solution. It allows student to enter expression and marks each step and show if it is right or wrong. The analysis can sense the common mistakes and provide help. This process is repeated until the correct answer is found. Mehmet (2003:45).

Several levels of help are provided, including:

‘ Online textbook with a lesson on each concept

‘ Sample problems with detailed solutions

‘ General guidance on how to begin or continue a problem

‘ Hints to solve a specific problem.

The Customization Utility allows the instructor to fine tune and control the tutorial and on-screen tests. The timed On-screen Tests display all problems so the student can choose the one to answer next.

The Problems Generator for Printed Tests prints problems with and without answers, as homework or as hardcopy tests. The step-by-step answers are complete with explanations, charts, figures, graphs, and tables. The Calculator provided in MATH-TEACHER is designed to work with algebraic expressions. Rational expressions yield both rational and the approximate real results. Student scores are collected automatically to simplify record keeping.

These unique features make MATH-TEACHER the private tutor of each student:

Interactive Tutorial

‘ Flexibility in solving Problems

‘ Students can choose their own solving route and are not confused by the limited acceptable expos??s used by our competitors

‘ Guidance provided on how to start each problem if needed

‘ Smart Hints catch common errors

‘ Difficulty adjusts to the student’s competence

Minitab

Minitab16 is the latest statistical software version that is used to analyze data. It consists of many different ways of analyzing different data. Data can be analyzed using; bar charts, histogram, pie charts and many more. Minitab is mostly used as an analytical tool for quantitative data. It is also used to gauge the chances of a certain situation to occur. Kulik, (2003)

This version has some new enhancements. These enhancements include:

1. The Assistant: Minitab’s new Assistant menu leads the user through his/her analysis and helps him/her interpret his/her results with confidence.

2. Enhanced Regression Capabilities. Allows the user to use the new General Regression feature to:

– Easily specify interaction and polynomial terms

– Include both continuous and categorical predictors

– Calculate confidence intervals for regression coefficients

– Transform the response using the Box-Cox transformation

3. Nonlinear Regression. Model nonlinear relationships between variables using a catalog of expectation functions, or specify your own function.

4. Split-Plot Designs. Allows the user to create, define, and analyze split-plot designs when conducting experiments that include hard-to- changing factors.

5. General Linear Model (GLM) Prediction and Comparisons: Compute predicted values and confidence intervals for new observations. Use the new grouping information table to easily compare the mean responses for individual factor levels.

Areas where the technology is used

The first area on which mathematical softwares are used is to help student to do their assignments more effectively and efficiently. It does not only help students to do their assignment, but also to have more practical on the mathematics subject hence increase performance in this subject.

The second area is to help mathematical teachers with the better concept of teaching. These softwares usually help teachers to spend minimum time on a certain topic because students are able to learn on their own. They are also used as teachers’ marking memos.

The third area is to help individuals to solve the related problems. These people may be at home, at the field or anywhere they may apply. For example, the census companies can use Minitab software to analyze the country’s population.

Weaknesses of the current developments

Even though these softwares are seem to be very important in helping in mathematical learning and teaching, there are some weaknesses behind each software. This creates a room for improvement or coming up with a new software that can adapt some features that would overcome these weaknesses. Jeffrey (2004:20) shows that the most efficient software for students would be easy to use and understand, user-friendly package that provides wide-ranging, error-free data to users at every level.

The main weakness of MATH-TEACHER is that it not may be helpful for those students who are weak in mathematics for it cannot do the work for a student but rather allows the student to do the work and marks each line of the solution. This may lead to students who easily give up because they don’t reach the correct solution for any mathematical problem.

Bagatrix Math Learning Software on the other hand has its own weaknesses. Its main weakness is that it only solves trigonometry, that is, it cannot be used for other mathematical problem types, for examples, algebra, geometric and calculus. This makes it not to be much useful though it is very important.

The weakness of the Minitab is that is very complex to use, it mostly understood by tertiary level students. Because of its complexity, it consumes lot of time for high students to learn. Most of its properties are not appropriate to high school syllabus. The other weakness of the Minitab is that is more biased on statistical mathematics and probability.

The common weaknesses for all of these softwares is that they are difficult to use of which takes a lot of time for either student or teacher to learn. Using computers and learning how to work with special software definitely is a challenge for teachers, especially, if they have no experience with new technology. Once they have mastered the basic skills necessary to operate software, there is still a long way to go before they actually are able to effectively integrate it into their everyday teaching practice. Impediments caused by the time management and organization of schools, as well as external standardized tests, problems with the hardware, software, and Internet connection, limited access to school computers, and lack of communication and collaboration between teachers combined with lack of support from school administration make it difficult for teachers to use new technology in their classrooms. Mehmet (2003:25).

The features of the new systems

The software is going to run on the android, that is, is going to be used in the smart phones, and the students will be able to use it at home or anywhere he/she is. The software is going to allow the user to enter the values of the equation he/she want to compute and it can also allow the user to enter the full linear equation and then compute the solution and display a step by step workings for a problem solved. The software computes common high school equations and the formulae and prints the solution in a way that the high school student will understand.

The software is going to be flexible and it will be clear and simple to everyone who will like to uses it, and is going to be efficient for it won’t require a lot of memory, hence it will not consume a lot of time to run in the smart phone. The software will allow the students to search for certain mathematical topic in a glossary and the definition of that topic will be displayed with the example. For example, if a student wants to search for a definition of a trigonometry it will pop up the definition of the words and provide example of how it works. The software will also provide the graphical working of topics that need to be graphical, examples it will provide graphs and the charts and the diagrams.

Conclusion

Today’s high school students need to be equipped for life in a world where responsibilities of highly developed study, work, and citizenship necessitate mathematical understanding and skill far different from what was good enough only recently. Statistics is used daily for different purposes such as election forecasts, environmental policies, and decisions about our personal health. Important philosophy from algebra and geometry are basic to the design of medication or health treatments such as laser eye surgery and diagnostic devices. Similarly, calculators are used to calculate financials in businesses and for students to solve mathematical problems in schools as well. Computers are also considered to be important tools in both schools and businesses for record keeping in business and for students’ databases in schools. Lott and Souhrada. (2000:123)

Effectiveness of resources on the internet are also rapidly accessed, which means the increase in mathematical design. It is necessary for many different careers to require the more and deeper knowledge of mathematics.

The traditional teaching of mathematics is no longer a need as it has so many disadvantages over the modern one that is emerging and improving very fast. Traditional approach for mathematics is not highly demanded in the technology world, so this makes it be less important as people using it cannot stand the challenge in the technology world. Lott and Bauer (2007:3).

Teachers and those who guide students in mathematics subject of school mathematics programs face the challenge of choosing the best way to teach the students among the different competing teaching techniques and how to measure the effectiveness of the technique chosen. To establish the results of recent academic and development work to key mathematics educators and to place those developments in a broader context of mathematics education improvement, the Math is more group, a combination of syllabus development projects. Hasmik G. P. (2000)

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# Essay: Importance of Technology in Mathematics education

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