A Cost-Effective Strategy for Integrating Technology into the Advanced and Remedial Mathematics Curriculum in the Community College
Technology can be an effective educational device if it is part of a well-conceived plan blending together other factors that also positively influence achievement. The body of research documenting the benefits of integrating technology into academic programs grows each day, particularly concerning the use of calculators and computers in the mathematics curriculum. Many obstacles exist to the integration of this technology. Cost is always cited as a major drawback, but faculty and student attitudes are important as well. In addition, there is a lack of agreement on the status of the latest technology. At the College of Lake County (CLC), the strategy for the integration of technology into the mathematics curriculum is straightforward. First, the college helps faculty develop a positive attitude regarding the use of technology. Second, this new attitude is used to help faculty develop competence in the use of the technology. Third, the use of the calculator is the primary focus which is supplemented by the use of the computer. Finally, the calculator is integrated into all levels of the curriculum, including remedial courses, rather than being forced upon the curriculum. Students at CLC have shown more interest in mathematical topics when the course is calculator-based. Faculty also benefit from the calculator-based curriculum. Ultimately, technological integration in mathematics courses is only as good as the people effecting the integration; thus, administrators must provide proper incentives for faculty, and faculty must make an effort in such seemingly straightforward areas as choosing a calculator for their classes. (JMC)
Johnson, M.L. A Cost-Effective Strategy for Integrating Technology into the Advanced and Remedial Mathematics Curriculum in the Community College.