Learning Mathematics in an Authentic Mobile Environment: the Perceptions of Students
This research reports an experiment which took place in an Arab middle school in Israel. The experiment was led by three pre-service teachers who were carrying out their final project in the field of teaching mathematics using mobile phones. The pre-service teachers worked with 32 eighth grade students to carry out authentic real life outdoor activities in the nature. We used discourse analysis and grounded theory to analyze the perceptions of the students regarding their mathematics learning using mobile phones. We found that the novelty of the experiment and the use of mobile phones in mathematics learning were the main characteristics perceived by the students as influencing their decision to join the experiment. Furthermore, the students perceived various qualities of the mathematics learning that were enabled by the use of mobile phones: (1) exploring mathematics independently (2) learning mathematics through collaboration and team work; where the collaboration is on equal terms (3) learning mathematics in a societal and humanistic environment (4) learning mathematics in authentic real life situations (5) visualizing mathematics and investigating it dynamically (6) carrying out diversified mathematical actions using new and advanced technologies (7) learning mathematics easily and efficiently. In the overall, the students were positively impressed by the potentialities and capabilities of the mobile phones used in the mathematics learning process. This indicates that mathematics education could benefit form utilizing these new technological tools.
Mobile phone learning, Middle school students, Perceptions
International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies. ISSN: 1865-7923