PERCEPTION OF STUDENTS TOWARDS THE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS WITH THE AID OF USING THE INTERNET

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PERCEPTION OF STUDENTS TOWARDS THE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS WITH THE AID OF USING THE INTERNET

CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Although there is an increasing number of books and articles suggesting how the Internet can be used in the school classroom for mathematics (Barron and Ivers, 1998; Butler, 1998; Crane, 2000; Masselos, 2000; Herrera, 2001; Way and Beardon, 2001) most are merely lists of websites. Hitherto not much has been reported about the actual usage of the Internet in the everyday mathematics classroom and how students view these uses. This research tries to capture some of the practice that is currently being used in the mathematics classroom in line with calls for ‘more reflective, culture sensitive and practice-orientated research.’ (Keitel,1999) and for research to ‘be backed up by studies which take up the perspective of ordinary teaching practice and which incorporate choices autonomously made by teachers, independent of guided and controlled experimentation’ (Bottino and Furinghetti, 1999). As teachers become even more aware of individual differences and the theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner,1983), every teaching resource that is available becomes a potential tool for promoting maximum learning among students. In the mathematics and science area..

Daniel (1999) reported positive outcomes for students (N= 61) who underwent a web-based science learning project with a web site developed specifically for Malaysian schools. In this study it was reported that most students felt that the web site forced them to think, compared to the normal class and that they increased their scientific knowledge as compared to the normal science class. Students were found to be very focused throughout their activity, exhibited more cooperative and collaborative behavior, kept wanting to know and learn more and students and teachers began to speak more English. Another project (Hoffman, Wu, Krajcik & Soloway, 2003) investigated the depth and accuracy of eight pairs of sixth -grade students’ content understandings as well as their use of search and assessment strategies, when they used on-line resources via Artemis. Artemis is an on-line research engine designed by the University of Michigan to provide a permanent workspace and allow students access to preselected, preapproved and age-appropriate on-line resources for middle school learners. The study showed that the students benefited from access to on-line resources only with extensive support and scaffolding provided by teachers. Studies specifically in the mathematics area include those by Moor and Zazkis (2000) who also studied the navigational abilities of students through a particular web site and found that the benefit was that the students can choose their own pathways based on their own interests but that there were concerns about the lack of social interaction in general and the lack of teacher support when learning mathematics.

Generally, these studies explore the impact of custom built web sites or search engines on  students learning. Other studies, such as that carried out by Goudelock (1999) looked at the effect of using Swarthmore College’s Math Forum geometry Problem of the Week, an Internet-based learning resource, on high school student problem-solving achievement and attitudes toward mathematics. This web site is not custom built and is readily available on the Internet for the public. Gerber and Shuell’s (1998) study took a different approach by observing 8 students use the Internet for 5 weeks to obtain data for a regularly assigned 8th grade mathematics project while other students obtained data by other means. They reported that the project was not successful in fostering a deeper appreciation for the uses of mathematics and that the two groups did not differ. The Internet group was expected to more readily see the application of mathematics in other areas of life since they were actively involved in locating data, choosing a topic and formulating a question. They contended that attention should be given to instruction on how to search for information on the Internet, content knowledge and skills required by project (such as critical reading of results of data analyses in the news, etc,). It is against this background the study seek to investigate Perception of students towards the learning of mathematics with the aid of using the internet.

 

Statement of the Problem

The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in Nigeria education is lagging behind expectation and desire. This was revealed by the  fact while most secondary schools have some computer equipment; only a fraction was equipped with basic ICT infrastructure necessary for teaching and learning. Essentially, ICT in education is used to promote information literacy that is the ability to access use, evaluate information from different sources  so as to enhance teaching and learning, solve problems and generate new knowledge. Furthermore, United Nations and the World Bank affirms that ICT can increase access to education network for students, teachers and broaden availability of quality education material for emerging global economies.

 

This short fall in learning outcomes created a “gap” because it is at secondary schooling where returns to student education are highest and it is particularly important to acquire skills and competencies needed to become ideally empowered to respond to social change in societies for the better. But without ICT in education, students might  lack  the social empowerment that can make them compete with others favorably. Thus, failure to re-shape education practices to embrace ICT in schools in the district might be the main bottleneck preventing the students from acquiring equitable access of educational opportunities for quality education. Therefore, the researcher intended to find out the

Research Objectives

1.      To examine the correlations between student attitudes and perceptions to Mathematics and Internet Use.

2.      To understand the strategy in the use of the Internet in the mathematics classroom

3.      To analyze the solutions to the problem of inadequate integration of Internet in teaching and leaning of mathematics

Research Questions

1.      What are the Correlations between student attitudes and perceptions to Mathematics and Internet Use?

2.      What are the strategy in the use of the Internet in the mathematics classroom?

3.      What are the solutions to the problem of inadequate integration of Internet in teaching and leaning of mathematics?

Significance of the study

 

E-learning  have the potential to play a powerful role in enhancing teaching and learning in schools and preparing students to acquire skills, knowledge and competencies to enable them compete in the emerging global ‘knowledge’ economy. Data and information obtained in this  study  would  hopefully  be used to provide various education stakeholders with information that ICT integration in schools held a great promise in developing economies  like  Nigeria . The findings could also help the Ministry of Education in formulation of policies and strategies that can be used to enhance the academic standards in our schools. The study will also make possible recommendation towards increasing the use of ICTs in enhancing tea Limitations of the Study

Financial Constraints: The researcher was with limited funds, she cannot visit all the areas to get responses from respondents but she was able to get good information concerning the research topic.

Time Constraints: The researcher was involved in other departmental activities like seminars, attendance of lectures et.c which limited her time for the research but the researcher was able to meet up with the time assigned for the completion of the research work.

ching and learning processes.

  Definition of terms

The following terminologies have been used  throughout  this  study:

Compute refers to Electronic machine operated under the control of instructions stored in its own memory, that can accept data (input) manipulate data according to specific rules (process) produce results (out-put) and store    the results for future use.

  • Computer literacy:- refers to people being able to  use  computer technology  to facilitate the completion of necessary tasks and the solution of problems.
  • Curriculum: refers to a set of courses, and their content offered at school or university.
  • E-learning: refers to the purposeful use of electronic systems or computer in support of learning process, Allen 2003.
  • Hardware: refers to tangible components of computers including processors, input, output communication and memory.
  • ICT Integration: refers to the process of using  any  ICT  (Information resources on the web, multi-media programmes in CD-ROMs, learning objects or other tools) to enhance student teaching, William, 2003.
  • Impact: refers to the overall achievement of an  intervention  on  the  educational system and can be described by a variety qualitative of indicators such as improvements in national test results or improved learning in schools’ depending on the policy target. It is the end-point of an intervention involving input, process, output and outcome.
  • Informal learning: It refers to the  life-long  process  whereby  every  individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experiences and the educative influences and resources in him or her environment, from the library and the ICTs, Colley, H. Hodkinson, P &  Malcom J. 2002.
  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs): refers to networks that provide new opportunities for teaching, learning and training through delivery of digital contents, Prytherch 2000: 357.  For  the  purpose  of  this study and in the context of curriculum, ICTs will refer  to the  range  of  tools and techniques relating to computer-based hardware and software, to information sources as the internet, audio and video tapes, CD-ROMs and DVDs.
  • Integration: refers to a sense of completeness or wholeness, Earle, 2002; by which essential elements of a system are seamlessly combined  together  to make a whole.
  • Pedagogy: refers to what the teachers do when they interact with children to support their learning. (Most educators would consider that pedagogy encompasses the beliefs and actions of teachers including their teaching strategies, the organization of learning experiences and the learning  environment generally.
  • Questionnaire: refers to information data collection to be undertaken that consist of students, teachers and administrators on the resources required and ICT assisted educational support.
  • Software: refers to sets of instructions and data  used  by  computers,  sometimes referred to as computer programmes.
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