problem of poor student’s performance in mathematics by employing the use of technology to facilitate the teaching and learning of mathematics at the senior secondary school leve.
1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
There is no question that technology has become a familiar aspect in the lives of most students in Nigeria. Many school systems development programs have incorporated into their curriculum opportunities for pupils and teachers to become familiar and comfortable users of technology as a learning tool. At the same time, others in the field have undecided or even skeptical about the use of educational technology in early childhood classrooms.
Mathematics is the science of quantity and space, a systematized, organized, and exact branch of science. It is a creation of the human mind concerned primarily with ideas, processes and reasoning. It is the body of knowledge centered on concepts such as quantity, structure, space and change and also the academic discipline that studies them. It is also the numerical calculations involved in the solution of a problem.
Technology is an essential tool for learning mathematics in the 21st century, and all schools must ensure that all their students have access to technology. Effective teachers maximize the potential of technology to develop students’ understanding, stimulate their interest, and increase their proficiency in mathematics. When technology is used strategically, it can provide access to mathematics for all students.
Calculators and other technological tools, such as computer algebra systems, interactive geometry software, applets, spreadsheets, and interactive presentation devices, are vital components of a high-quality mathematics education. With guidance from effective mathematics teachers, students at senior secondary schools can use these tools to support and extend mathematical reasoning and sense making, gain access to mathematical content and problem-solving contexts, and enhance computational fluency. In a well-articulated mathematics program, students can use these tools for computation, construction, and representation as they explore problems. The use of technology also contributes to mathematical reflection, problem identification, and decision making.
The use of technology cannot replace conceptual understanding, computational fluency, or problem-solving skills. In a balanced mathematics program, the strategic use of technology enhances mathematics teaching and learning. Teachers must be knowledgeable decision makers in determining when and how their students can use technology most effectively. A number of senior secondary schools provide students and teachers with access to instructional technology, including appropriate calculators, computers with mathematical software, Internet connectivity, handheld data-collection devices, and sensing probes while some don't. The aim of this project is to juxtapose the effects these actions bring out in teacher-student performance and also make obvious to educators and curriculum planners on how important instructional technology should be incorporated in learning outcomes, lesson plans, and assessments of students’ progress.
At every level of education, Educational Technology is perceived as a vehicle for curriculum enhancement. Studies including Hadley & Sheingold, 1992; McDaniel, Melnerney & Armstrong, 1993; Hannafin & Saverye, 1993) have indicated that educational technology has the potential for enhancing student learning. Educational technology in this context refers to technology that is employed in the classroom for the purpose of student instruction (Buck, 1994). It is all about computer-based technology including computer hardware, software, CD-ROM, videodisc player and the Internet. These forms of technology provide teachers and students with vast quantities of information in an easily accessible, non- sequential format that can be used as teaching tool. Extolling the importance of technology in the instructional process, Chapin and Messick (1992) and Imogie (1998) asserted that the role of technology in teaching and learning is rapidly becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy.
Although the developing countries as well as Nigeria have become sentient of the priceless role of technology in successful teaching and learning, they have not been able to make major progress in improving education through this means. This research focuses on how technology dissemination could impact the higher educational sector positively in Nigeria. The research also exposes the effect of technology diffusion on the students of Nigeria’s secondary institutions. For technology to accomplish its promise as a powerful contributor to learning, it must be used to deepen student’s engagement in meaningful and intellectually authentic curriculum. After all, technology is a tool, and as such it should be selected because it is the best tool for the job. Technology effectively uses skill, art and problem solving methods of scientific technology to analyze educational problems and seek for their solutions. In addition educational technology has had a historical connection with communication media instruction. For instance Agun and Imogie (1988) viewed educational technology as the application of the media born out of the communication of quite a range and variety of electronics, information carriers, projection and amplification.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Mathematics, to most, is a complex and difficult subject. The tendency for most students is to consider the subject as one that is boring, thus, creating lack of interest in the topics being discussed. This poses a great challenge for teachers and educators, especially in the primary and secondary levels, wherein a good study habit and a firm grasp of basic concepts should be developed.
Mathematics has been a major problem for many students at the junior and the senior secondary school level, this is because most students find mathematics difficult to comprehend, consequently they develop phobia for the subject; this research work attempt to tackle the “problem of poor student’s performance in mathematics by employing the use of technology to facilitate the teaching and learning of mathematics at the senior secondary school level”.
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