Variables That Affect Math Teacher Candidates' Intentions to Integrate Computer-Assisted Mathematics Education (CAME)

Article excerpt

Introduction

Technology has become an indispensible part of many activities in our daily life. Computer technology, used approximately all areas, eventually has become a part of education and used intensively. Recently, as an alternate to teacher-oriented techniques, technology and computer-oriented systems have become mentors for educators, while discovering new teaching methods. Actually, there have been many research studies and educational projects in the literature that support the effectiveness of computer-assisted education (Ardahan, 2002; Baki, 2000; Cardelle-Elswar & Wetzel, 1995; Ersoy, 2003; Mayes, 1995; Zehavi, 1988). Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) is one of the first implementations of computer-assisted education. Drill and practice, tutorial, problem-solving, and simulation are some types of CAI (Baki, 2002; McCoy, 1996). Some Computer-Assisted Instruction types provide learning environments that engage students in creative tasks and problem-solving mostly reflect real-world assumptions (Hoyles & Noss, 1992; Kapa, 1999).

With improvements in education, since the beginning of 1990s there has been a great change in mathematics education thanks to the studies with the purpose of finding new ways to help students understand mathematics better. This improvement in the information era help mathematics studies adopt and implement information technology advancements. In a way, technology has been a considerable component of this development (McCoy, 1996).

Many reports are available in the international arena, such as National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 2000; 2005) and Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) that emphasize the importance of integrating computer technologies into mathematics teaching and support CAME. As stated by the NCTM technology principal "in mathematics-instruction programs, technology should be used widely and responsibly, with the goal of enriching students' learning of mathematics" (NCTM, 2000, p. 25).

Campbell (2003) underlines the importance of computer-assisted learning environments as: "Based on the integration of innovations in technology, programming, and instructional design, the emergence of computer-based learning environments is resulting in one of the most important developments in the history of education" (p. 70). McCoy (1996) classifies CAME into three main categories--programing, computer-assisted instruction (CAI), and tools. In the programing mode, students learn mathematics using languages, such as Logo, Basic, Pascal, or Fortran. Students create mathematics and computers provide immediate feedback to assist them in exploring and refining their knowledge, while they write a program. Another form is Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI). McCoy relates CAI to the notion of computational microworlds. A microworld is defined as a computer simulation of a mathematical model which helps users manipulate and experiment with math (McCoy, 1996). This mode also includes research on the effect of tutorial and drill-and-practice of CAI materials. The last form of CAME is tool software. This assists users to perform mathematical functions. It includes computer algebra tools and computer geometry tools, such as Maple, Derive, Geometer's Sketchpad, and Cabri.

Governments make an effort to prepare students for the information era by integrating technological devices, such as equipment, software, Internet, and satellite into education and teaching processes rapidly (Zehr, 1997, 1998). However, despite support and an increase in using computers in classrooms, intented results cannot be obtained (Kay, 1990). Only a few teachers integrate computers into teaching environments well (Becker, 2000; Marcinkiewicz, 1996). Albion (1999) points out that factors, such as accessibilitiy of hardware and software, the nature of curriculum, personal capabilities, and external constraints, such as time, equipment, and technical support, may affect teachers' useage of computers. …