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Conditions for the Effectiveness of a Tablet-Based Algebra Program.

ERIC Descriptors: Program Effectiveness; Algebra; Mathematics Tests; Research Design; Educational Technology; Handheld Devices; Computer Assisted Instruction; Mathematics Instruction; Interaction; Middle School Students; Textbooks; Curriculum Implementation; Control Groups; Experimental Groups; Comparative Analysis; Statistical Analysis; Pretests Posttests; Outcome Measures

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Tablets such as the iPad represent the next iteration of technologies that hold promise to facilitate learning, particularly in mathematics. In the case of algebra, tablets have the potential to bring the curriculum to life by easily linking to supporting materials and they allow an interactive experience whereby manipulation of one type of representation maps onto changes in another. Such applications are difficult to achieve using print editions. This study examines the effectiveness of a specific tablet-based algebra program that contains the complete content of the print edition of the program, as well as a series of interactive tools including an equation graphing function, a feature that allows exploration of quadratics and linear relationships, and an activity involving algebra tiles. These tools allow students to manipulate variables and see the results. The technology includes other interactive features as well, such as scratch pads, and prompts for review and practice. The counterfactual is the print edition of the program. This paper links to the conference theme, "Effective Partnerships: Linking Practice and Research," because observations of practitioners and their knowledge of local contexts, independent of the initial research design, led to a reanalysis with a focus on a specific site, yielding a very different conclusion than if we had proceeded without this information. Close collaboration with the practitioner mattered to the study focus and conclusions. (Contains 2 tables.)

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Author:Jaciw, Andrew P.; Toby, Megan; Ma, Boya
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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