Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Lewis and Clark Community College
Mathematics is a difficult subject for many students. The large number of formulas, theorems,
properties, etc. often makes the subject overwhelming. Students frequently spend so much time trying
to learn the formulas and rules that they fail to connect the usefulness of the math around them.
The lack of understanding the "why" of mathematics leads to frustration and a subsequent dislike for
The use of technology in my classroom has been invaluable in getting students to see "why" the
math works. We are able to spend time exploring new concepts without having to spend a huge amount of
time on tedious repetition. The technology we use allows us to look at many more examples than would
be possible otherwise. In addition, we are able to look at more realistic or "real life" data instead
of trumped up data. This always seems to work out nicely. Many times students have commented on how
much they enjoyed using the technology. They really felt that it helped them be more engaged and pay more
attention in class.
Technology by no means replaces the students' need to think on their own. I use it as a discovery tool
that reinforces the lessons covered in class and in the text. By involving students in the learning process,
they are better able to retain the information and make connections to previous concepts. Mathematics becomes
less frightening as students become more adept at solving problems and start to see how the concepts learned in
the classroom can be applied to their own lives.
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