Why and How Secondary Mathematics Teachers Implement Virtual Manipulatives
AbstractAlthough teachers are expected to teach with technology, they often are not prepared or supported to do so (Albion, Tondeur, Forkosh-Baruch, & Peeraer, 2015), a critical issue in mathematics education (Wilson, 2008). The following study investigated why and how secondary mathematics teachers implemented virtual manipulative (VM) tasks during and after participating in a professional development (PD) opportunity aimed at teaching with VMs. Findings indicate that teachers used VM tasks due to instructional benefits, for example supporting students’ developing understanding and differentiation. Additionally, they used VMs and tasks due to the support they received from tools introduced during the PD. In this study, teachers primarily used VM tasks to support students’ developing understanding, provide in-the-moment feedback, and as a re-teaching tool. Mediating factors, such as student needs, curriculum, time, tool limitations and so forth influenced why and how teachers chose to use a particular technology tool.