The Impact of Using Technology on Students’ Achievement, Attitude, and Anxiety in Mathematics

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THE IMPACT OF USING TECHNOLOGY ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT, ATTITUDE, AND ANXIETY IN MATHEMATICS Maxima J. Acelajado, Ph.D. De La Salle University Manila, Philippines e-mail: ABSTRACT This was an experimental study designed to determine the effects of using technology, specifically graphing calculators, on students’ achievement in College Algebra, attitude, and anxiety in mathematics. The respondents of the study belonged to two intact classes consisting of 66 freshman students from the College of Science, De La Salle University, Manila, who were enrolled in College Algebra during the first term, schoolyear 2002-2003. For purposes of this study, three groups were formed, each with 22 students – the high ability group (HAG), the average ability group (AAG), and the low ability group (LAG). Only the data gathered from the 66 students comprising the three groups were considered and analyzed in this study. The respondents were given the pretests and posttests in College Algebra, Mathematics Attitude Scale (MAS) and the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS). The results in each case were tested for significant difference using the t-tests for dependent and independent samples. To determine if there was any significant change in the anxiety levels of the students in each group, the McNemar's χ2 test was applied. Significant differences were noted in the pretest and posttest mean scores in the achievement, attitude, and anxiety of the different ability groups in favor of the high ability group. No significant difference existed between the levels of anxiety of the three groups of students, although the use of graphing calculators was found to reduce their anxiety scores. Graphing calculators were most helpful in the study of functions and their graphs and systems of equations. Positive effects of using graphing calculators include students’ improved achievement, reduced anxiety in mathematics, increased self-confidence, and active involvement of students in the learning process.

INTRODUCTION Technology plays a major role in the changes taking place in our society. It has largely contributed to almost every sector: medicine, warfare, navigation and transportation, business, economy, and even in education, particularly in science and mathematics. In this day and age of high technology, instantaneous communication, and multimedia, our learners are exposed daily to a variety of information that comes from all parts of the globe. While a good part of this information is relevant, we cannot deny the fact that there is a need to teach young people how to process the variety of available information so that they do not pick up knowledge that may be trivial, irrelevant, misleading, or incorrect. The challenge is how to keep the learner firmly anchored on a set of human values so that he may not get lost in the sea of modern-day, borderless information that threatens to wash out the core of human integrity and dignity.

As mentors, it is our moral responsibility to ensure that our learners learn how to choose from the myriad of readily available data through multimedia. To be able to do this, teachers should be flexible, creative, and innovative in the classroom so that learners become critical and creative thinkers. We can do this using interactive approaches and activities to address our foremost concern of strengthening the moral fiber of our learners through opportunities inside the classroom and within classwork that would help them acquire life skills and imbibe esteemed principles and values. It is a fact that with the growing sophistication of people’s lifestyle, students have been unconsciously demanding for materials and gadgets. The contemporary sociocultural milieu has molded the young generation into an environment of false needs so that an individual’s capacity to grasp numerous cognitive domains seems to have diminished due to his dependence on technological devices. Although it cannot be denied...
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