Evaluating the use of mobile technology in math education: A case study

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Book Chapter

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Mobile Learning and STEM: Case Studies in Practice

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© 2016 Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved. In recent years, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education has attracted significant attention globally, primarily due to the low numbers of high school graduates pursuing further studies in STEM fields and the increasing need for STEM professionals in the world, leading to “an urgent need to improve educational outcomes in math and science, and to encourage more K-12 students to follow a steady trajectory towards math and science careers” (Beal & Cohen, 2012, p. 513). Recent reports suggest that the STEM job market is larger than ever before, and that 80% of all jobs over the next decade will require STEM skills (Bidwell, 2014). There is, however, a lack of interest among high school students for STEM education, and this is largely due to the belief that the study of STEM is dull and difficult (Davis et al., 2006). Fine, Duggan, and Braddy (2009) reported that as many as 40% of high school graduates are poorly prepared for college-level math and in need of remedial mathematics courses. One way to make STEM subjects easier to understand and fun to study is to use technology. Technology can enable active student involvement, with interactive content that can be used any time, anywhere, promoting ubiquitous, self-paced, and self-directed learning. It has been suggested that “the variety of learning opportunities and personalisation technology can offer may make STEM education more interesting and enjoyable for students” (Kärkkäinen & Vincent-Lancrin, 2013, p. 10). The proliferation of mobile technology in the everyday lives of students is indeed providing ample opportunities for engagement in STEM subjects in and out of the classroom. The present chapter discusses the use of tablets in a math preparatory course for high school graduates in the Middle East.





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