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The effectiveness of using information and communication technologies in teaching mathematics in loewr grades of elementary school

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Pavičić Zajec, Tea. (2017). The effectiveness of using information and communication technologies in teaching mathematics in loewr grades of elementary school. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Information Science > Chair of social-humanistic informatics.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij informacijskih i komunikacijskih znanosti) [mentor Seljan, Sanja and Pavlina, Krešimir].

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Abstract

Today’s children and young people grow up along with screens and new technologies which are present in all life spheres (Sigman, 2010). New technologies refer to smart phones, tablets and smart boards. The results of one American study show that children's access to mobile media (mobile phones, tablets) has increased in two years. In 2011, 41% of children under 8 years had access to a mobile phone, and that percentage grew to 63% in 2013. The Centre for Market Research1 also carried out a research (2006) on the consummation of media by young people in Croatia, with the sample of children from 11 to 13 years of age. The research results showed that 73% of children have a mobile phone that is mostly used for texting and games. Of that number, 45% of children have no limitations set by their parents regarding the spending. Beside the owning of technologies, the data that are of particular concern show that the time that young people and children spend consuming the media has almost tripled in the last ten years. Computers and new technologies are mostly used for games, movies, music and communication through social networks, and least for educational purposes. In my paper, I have described positive and negative media effects on children. McPake, Stephen, Plowman and Downey (2005) gave in their research an insight at three general competences that can be successfully developed when children use media and these are technological, cultural, and learning competences. Experts find that media, besides informing and educating, contribute to solving practical daily problems in life, and also have so-called psychotherapeutic function ''which helps individuals to set free their frustrations'' (Bobić, 1987). Unfortunately, contemporary information society doesn't contribute just to the ''society of knowledge'' but can also contribute to developing problems during the educational period. Media are becoming the main agent in the socialisation of young generations, so their impact on children and young people often takes the negative sign. The most represented subject is the spreading of violence and aggression, and the media are those that are mostly blamed for violent behaviour in children and for forming unrealistic attitudes and pictures about the world (Livazović, 2009). Furthermore, health researchers warn of the fact that children younger than three years who watch television will have more learning difficulties in the future, and other researchers confirm the link between watching television and health condition. Magazine ''The Lancet'' has issued a research that proves that young people between the ages of 5 and 15 who were watching television more than two hours a day have considerably bigger health risks at the age of 26 (Pavičić, Šurić, 2014, Sigman, 2010). Besides, researches show that about 7% of children today have so-called hyperactivity and attention of deficit disorder (ADHD), and in the USA ADHD is at the moment the most common disorder in children's behaviour. Because of that researchers, but also physicians and experts stress the importance of intermediation as one of the most effective pedagogical methods when talking about media education (Sigman, 2010). The main object of this dissertation is to show the level of implementation of ICT in educational systems of European countries and to examine the influence of information and communication technology in the educational process, primarily in maths lessons which is considered to be one of the hardest school subjects for children. The integration of ICT in education is carried out differently in different countries and regions at different time – in some countries, the process of integration started at secondary school level and spread toward primary school level, and in some countries that process started in early childhood and spread towards older students. Most of the countries, except Bulgaria, Germany, Sweden and Scotland, state that they use information and communication technology as an instrument for helping students in adoption at least some of the competences (European Commission, 2007). Considering all levels of education, early childhood and primary school education are the best periods for adopting skills and ICT competences. It is noted from the research that the right usage of ICT in primary schools contributes to the development of inter-curriculum competences, as well as the competences specific for a certain subject (Miliša, 2010). The usage of ICT by students encourages the development of attitudes such are: the sense of responsibility, pride for the job well done, discipline, strictness, as well as the organisation ability and activity presentation through creativity which allows students to enjoy their success for the job well done (Quebec MELS, 2001). However, it is important to notice that positive context that ICT has in education highly depends also on contents and didactic strategies which are ''packed'' in ICT because the technology itself doesn't educate (Kralj, 2008). Moreover, there are limitations and concerns that teachers who use contemporary teaching methods meet. The researchers address the fact that multimedia isn't necessary useful if it is not properly used or designed. Too many attractive options on multimedia text can distract children from the content, so media literacy is required so teachers can interpret and better use multimedia for teaching goals. In most European countries at the moment, a wide range of ICT tools for teaching and learning are being promoted, and teachers need to choose means and tools which will be the most effective and motivating for their students. According to Anastasiades and Vitalaki, (2011), teachers who use information and communication technology professionally and with competence have greater sensibility and are more effective when providing pedagogical guidance, promoting online safety and teaching students about moral behaviours when they search browser for educational, recreation and personal purposes. European Commission (2013) carried out a survey on teachers from 37 countries members of European Union to establish the degree of digital competence of teachers in that countries and the results showed that teachers think that they are competent for using new technologies and that they can use social media and operative demands of ICT. However, according to results of many researches, most teachers still aren’t ready to introduce working with new technologies in their classrooms (Kralj, 2008; Jones, 2010; Kalaš, 2012). Maths has always been one of the most hated school subjects, what can be seen from students’ results achieved in education. According to National Asses of Educational Process in the USA, 59% of fourth-grade students have scores below the knowledge level in maths, and only 8% of students accomplish the advanced level (National Centre for Educational Statistic, 2013). The object of research in this paper is to examine what influence new technologies (tablets, smart boards) have on students’ motivation, activity and success in teaching maths in lower primary school grades. The research starts from the following hypothesis: H1: Using ICT students (first to fourth grade) will achieve better scores in adopting maths contents H2: Using ICT when teaching maths students (first to fourth grade) will achieve greater contentment than with traditional approach H3: Using ICT in introductory/motivational part of lesson students will achieve better results than using it in last part. In this research 127 third and fourth-grade students from First Primary School Varaždin participated, and they were divided in control and two experimental groups. In the first experimental group students used tablets as a supporting teaching tool in introductory (motivational) part of the lesson, and in the second experimental group students used tablets in last part of the lesson for evaluation. During the research, students were two times submitted to measuring (questionnaire on students’ contentment with maths lessons). The first measuring was held before working with technologies, and the second at the time of ending the experiment (after working with technologies). The results obtained partially confirm H1. T- test was used to prove that the average score of foreknowledge tests was lower than average scores on all three tests during the research, while there is no statistically significant difference between them, which indicates the fact that the students from experimental groups achieved better success in testing knowledge than before using ICT in maths lessons. However, T-test for dependent samples determined statistically significant difference in average final score from previous and current year for all students together (t=2,452; df=126; p=0,016). Students had the higher final score in previous year (4,52) than in current year (4,38). Furthermore, the research results show that there is no statistically significant difference in average score from testing students from the first and the second experimental group what denies H3 which says that better results will be obtained with students who used ICT in introductory (motivational) part of the lesson. H1, which says about greater students’ contentment with maths lessons when using ICT than in traditional approach, was fully confirmed. In the first experimental group, 14.3% of students stated maths as the most favourite school subject in the first measuring, and 65.1% in the second measuring. In the second experimental group, 29.5% of students stated maths as the most favourite school subject in the first measuring, and 68.2% in the second measuring. According to the results, it can be concluded that the third-grade students (58%) and fourth-grade students (54%) equally chose maths as the most favourite school subject in the first and in the second measuring. Maths lessons were found most interesting in the second measuring by the second experimental group students (average 4.8), then the first experimental group students (average 4.6), and the least control group students (average 4.2). Therefore, it is established that there wasn’t statistically significant improvement in assessing the interest of maths lessons between the first and the second measuring in the control group, while in both experimental groups there was a significant improvement in assessing the interest of maths in the second measuring. This improvement is something higher in the second than in the first experimental group. In the first experimental group in the first measuring, 76.2% of students answered that they like maths and 97.7% of students in the second measuring. In the second experimental group in the first measuring, 77.3% of students answered that they like maths, and in the second measuring 100% of students, while there wasn’t statistically significant difference in answers in the first and in the second measuring in the control group. This research also determined which applications students find the funniest, the most educational in their opinion and the easiest to use. Students found in average application Kahoot the most interesting, and application Nearpod the least interesting. The funniest application was also Kahoot, and application MathDuel was the least funny. Students found in average application Plickers the easiest to use, and the hardest was application Nearpod. In order to ICT role in the educational system be effective and have positive outcomes, it has to be used principally as a goal, and not as means. This research has proven that new technologies have a great impact on students’ motivation and contentment in maths lessons, and the motivation is the main driver for every process and for the educational process as well which is obligatory for every primary school student.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: information-communication technology, ICT in education, maths lessons, positive and negative technology effects, one teacher education
Subjects: Information sciences
Information sciences > Social-humanistic informatics
Departments: Department of Information Science > Chair of social-humanistic informatics
Supervisor: Seljan, Sanja and Pavlina, Krešimir
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij informacijskih i komunikacijskih znanosti
Date Deposited: 08 May 2017 07:42
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 07:42
URI: http://darhiv.ffzg.unizg.hr/id/eprint/8771

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