Impacts of technology on summative and self-assessment: does more technology in a secondary math classroom increase students' test scores?
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This study examines the effects on students when the instructor is introducing technology in the math classroom, by taking advantage of a favorable opportunity to study two populations with highly contrasted levels of access to technology. White Bear Lake High School went from minimal technology in 2010 to a school infused with technology by 2013.The instructor applied for a grand to receive a smartboard which was approved. Also, the instructor received a classroom set of graphing calculators that students could use in class and check out to bring home. Students' achievement on a unit test in Algebra 2 and their overall attitude towards the technology were analyzed for two populations. A control group of 63 students from an Algebra 2 class in 2010 had minimal technology available. These students did not have access to graphing calculators and the instructor taught on an overhead projector. A treatment group from 2013 of Algebra 2 students had significantly increased access to technology. This treatment group had a class website with math resources tailored to eat class, a set of graphing calculators, an interactive whiteboard and the use of smartphones. The mean score on the unit tests was 32 for both populations and the treatment group had a median of one point higher than the control group. The students in this study who had access to technology self-reported a high level of enjoyment using that technology to solve problems. The instructor reported that students complained less about doing longer math problems when they had access to technology.