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Unformatted text preview: Computer Usage and Mathematics Learning in Nineteen Countries Abstract This study demonstrates and analyzes the five activities of eighth grade students’ usage of computers in nineteen countries. It also compares these activity frequencies between male and female students, and discusses the impacts of the computer usages on students’ mathematics study. This study reveals the relationships of secondary school students’ usage of computers and mathematics learning from a worldwide scope. Background Despite the high-level of hoopla (NCTM, 2000), the idea of computers in students’ learning has faced little criticism. For most, it seems, the value of computers in the classroom is simply self-evident (Plotnick, 2004). In the past few decades, the computer continues to play a critical role in the teaching and learning of mathematics concepts (Brown & Boshamer, 2000; Chang, 2002; Leonard, Davis & Sidler, 2005). In some respects the computer tutorials were more effective in conveying the concepts than lecture sessions were (Frith, Jaftha & Prince, 2004). The factors encouraging or inhibiting computer use for mathematics teaching made differences (Forgasz, 2006). The students’ attitudes toward selection of software were positive and students believed that the software was helpful for mathematics and other subjects learning (Bokhari, & Wessels, 2004). A computer-based pedagogy with graphical constructs was beneficial to understanding (Harrop, 2003), and computer-based instructional simulation game was effected on the transfer of mathematics skills (Eck & Dempsey, 2002). Researchers also examined gender differences in student communication and interaction in the context of mathematics and science learning using computer programs (Li, 2002). However, some scholars reported that computer used in typical classroom was not significantly associated with students’ enjoyment and positive results for learning mathematics (D’Souza & Wood, 2003; House, 2003; Villarreal, 2003). Computer program assisted users in producing better quality materials in southern Africa (McKenney & Akker, 2005), but it was not confirmed in Scotland (Ashton, et al, 2006). Different cultures might provide different prospective in the use of computers in mathematics learning (Lai & Ye, 2006; Leonard & Davis, 2005). The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) provides opportunities and challenges for mathematics education researchers interested in using the findings, instruments, and conceptual and theoretical perspectives of these studies as catalysts for secondary analysis and additional research (House, 2003). In particular, a number of important questions in mathematics education in different countries can be pursued....
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- Spring '10