Interaction with teachers of KS2 mathematics and learning about their experience with ICT at various levels of the process, for example, the length of their experience with ICT, learning about it as a teacher, personal practices and adapting ICT into their classrooms, observations of the advantages and disadvantages of ICT in terms of its impact on childrens learning and as a technology requiring advanced implementation and other such issues. Classroom observations and interaction with math instructors Five detailed case studies were undertaken to implement this research study.
It was observed that the common form of ICT in classrooms were microphones, websites, interactive learning software and math based robotic tools like the ROMA, which is a turtle that can be programmed to move ahead a certain number of steps and then turn 90 degrees. A brief summary of each of the case studies and important observations drawn from them are listed below. CASE STUDY 1: The first study included participating as an observer in a full length KS2, third year mathematics class. The composition of the classroom was as follows:
¢ Male/Female : Mixed ¢ Number of adults : 3 ¢ Number of children : 27 ¢ Role of observer : Participant Objective of the classroom lesson for the students was to order whole numbers to at least 100, solve simple mathematical puzzles and explain how a problem was solved. The aim of this case study was to observe and record interactions between the teacher and the children in the use of ICT in learning mathematics. The children in groups used a large number mat (1 to 100) in an open space on the floor.
They began by throwing two beanbag dolls onto the mat so that they landed in different number squares. The teacher encouraged the pupils to discuss what facts they knew about these two numbers: which was the larger or smaller, whether the numbers were odd or even and any other facts. After that, they used a programmable floor robot. The robot had buttons that allowed it to move forwards and backwards by one unit of distance each time the buttons were pressed. It also had buttons for a right turn and a left turn. One press of these buttons turned the robot through 90°.
The teacher asked the pupils to place the robot on the smaller of the numbers, and then program it to move to the larger number. In this activity the pupils built a sequence of instructions for the complete journey. They were given additional challenges, such as having to pass through a specific third number on the way from the smaller to the larger number. CASE STUDY 2 : The second study was based on a classroom session in the ICT suite for the fourth year of a KS2 mathematics class. The classroom statistics were as follows:
¢ Male/Female : Mixed ¢ Number of adults : 3 ¢ Number of children : 30 ¢ Role of observer : Participant The objective of the lesson was to recognize unit fractions such as 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/10 and use them to find fractions of shapes and numbers. The school software Coxhoe-fractions was used as a study tool in this lesson. This lesson was very interesting. All the children were participating and seemed to be enjoying themselves while they were learning, and they were encouraged, helped, and praised by the teacher.
The teacher planed the lesson with a computer program so then the children would stay focused and motivated. After interacting with the whole class on the carpet she asked the children to go to their computers and gave them work to do according to their ability. They went to their computer, excited and ready to work. Though fraction is not very easy concept to grasp, they (children in the lower ability group) were able to for instance find out fractions of a whole easily. Given lots of boxes they were able to split them in.
The children in the more able group were able to split large number of squares in a box into ? , ? sets, and also split circles in any fraction. For any right answer the computer program gave a feed back (like well done), which gave a lot of boost to their confidence. The teacher included all the children in the lesson by asking them questions according to their ability as not to embarrass the child if they didnt know the answer. The children were excited about going to the computer suit to learn about fractions, they wanted to be well behaved, listen to the teacher and then answered questions.