What Can Elementary Teachers Do with Technology? There's an App for That The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 2015) indicated that strategic use of technology should enhance the learning process. Many teachers have access to current technologies but do not always know how to use the technology in ways that enhance both their teaching and students' learning. Research has indicated that student engagement can positively impact both teaching and learning (Christenson, Reschly, & Wylie, 2012). In order for the integration of technology to enhance the classroom, the technology should be engaging and interactive. Engaging and interactive use of technology is not simply watching a video or using a calculator to perform procedural algorithms where students plug in numbers and chug through the operations, often referred to as "plug and chug." Engaging and interactive technology grabs students' interest, solicits analytical thought, and facilitates student discussion of mathematical concepts. The iPad can do all of these things. The purpose of this article is to help teachers engage students in mathematical explorations using iPads and independent apps. While this article focuses on the use of iPads, comparable applications may be available on other platforms and devices. Manipulatives have been integral tools in teaching mathematics for many years. In 1960, Jerome Bruner, at a joint conference between the Mathematics Association of America and NCTM, stressed the importance of using manipulatives when teaching mathematics (Klein, 2003). In the late 1980s, Marilyn Burns advocated for the use of manipulatives and created a professional development video series entitled Mathematics with Manipulatives (Burns, 1996). In the late 1990's Utah State University created a library of virtual manipulatives in order to support students' conceptual and procedural knowledge in mathematics (Reimer & Moyer, 2005). More recently, iPad apps, related to manipulatives, have shown positive results in early childhood performance and efficiency in mathematics (Moyer-Packenham, et al., 2015). In addition, Burns and Hamm (2011) found no difference in using either virtual or concrete manipulatives when attempting to engage students and improve their understanding of mathematics. There are iPad apps available for numerous mathematical manipulatives. A few examples of how a teacher can use these apps to enhance both teaching and learning are described here. First, imagine a first grade teacher who has a class set of concrete CuisenaireĀ© Rods and an iPad connected to a projector. The teacher wants to have students explore different addends of five using rod trains in order to address elements of the first grade TEKS 3(B): use objects and pictorial models to solve word problems involving joining, separating, and comparing sets within 20 and unknowns as any one of the terms in the problem such as 2 + 4 = [ ]; 3 + [ ] = 7; and 5 = [ ] - 3. Figure 1 describes one way to use the iPad, in conjunction with the concrete manipulatives, to enhance student learning within this standard. Figure 1: The iPad engages students and dynamically models content. The teacher begins by handing pairs of students a set of CuisenaireĀ© Rods and asking them to find all the different combinations of rods that equal the same length as the yellow rod. As the students work to find all of the rod trains, the teacher takes photographs of complete and incomplete sets of trains that can be used for discussion related to student thinking. 18 | Spring/Summer 2018 The teacher uses the Explain Everything App1 to capture photographs of students' constructions of the rod trains to expand the lesson towards recording number sentences. The Apple Pencil can be used with the iPad Pro to allow students to record their number sentences on top of the photograph of their constructions. The teacher then uses a manipulative app, like Brainingcamp's CuisenaireĀ© Rods App2, that has a function to label the rods. The teacher can then proceed to construct all of the possible combinations of rods that equal the yellow, five rod. If the teacher has the available technology to wirelessly mirror their iPad screen, the iPad could be given to students who can complete the above constructions. Texas Mathematics Teacher

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