Wiring Algebra Instruction

By Ian Quillen — April 04, 2011 1 min read

A four-year study on classroom connectivity suggests that training algebra teachers in software that lets them monitor students’ work on graphing calculators can lead to higher student test-score results.

The study, part of the Ohio State University’s Classroom Connectivity in Mathematics and Science research project, included 127 Algebra I teachers from 28 states and two Canadian provinces in its first year. About half the 1,760 students enrolled were placed in a “treatment” group in which their teachers received a week of training in Texas Instruments’ TI-Navigator system, a wireless network that allows instructors to view students’ work in real time and offer feedback, before the year began. They also received continuing professional development. The teachers in the control group received neither the device nor the training.

Of the more than 1,200 students studied, those in the treatment group tested about 10 percent better, on average, on an exam created to reflect representative Algebra I standards.

Through qualitative analysis, researchers also found that teachers using the technology engaged in deeper and more conceptual discussions with their students about math principles than teachers who were not using the technology.─ —Ian Quillen

Watch a video on the study’s findings.

A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2011 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook