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What role does ICT play in children's mathematical learning?

Created on 20 May 2010 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 08 April 2013 by ncetm_administrator


What is a good learning environment to promote mathematical learning?

Here is a list of ICT resources that may be available in your school:

  • Interactive whiteboards
  • Data loggers
  • Robotic toys (e.g. Beebot)
  • Technical Lego
  • Calculators
  • Digital cameras
  • laptops/netbooks
  • Tablets

Survey the use of these materials in each class in your school - you may need to refer to teachers' planning. Using a chart, write a specific example in each section that is relevant.

You may like to keep this chart in your Maths Subject Leader file.

The North Islington Education Action Zone carried out some research (Teaching and learning primary mathematics: the impact of interactive whiteboards). This research concluded that:

Evidence gathered through this evaluation demonstrates that interactive whiteboards offer significant potential to raise attainment through developed, well-structured interactive teaching and learning. Their use added to the motivation and creativity of effective teachers. Where effective teaching was already in place, the resource maximised opportunities for inclusion through, for example, strong visual models which could be readily shared and manipulated.  Where teaching was less assured, there was evidence that the versatility of the resource and its potential to improve pace and expectations could be underestimated.
In the context of well-planned teaching, the interactive whiteboard enriches and extends learning opportunities and assists teachers in targeting their teaching more effectively.

This text is also available as an audio file:

Download the latest version of Adobe Flash to listen to this resource.

The emphasis in this conclusion is on well-planned teaching.


  • what does this mean to you?
  • do you or your colleagues see any potential problems with the use of any of this technology?
  • how might this impact on the children's use of concrete resources?

Record your thoughts in your Personal Learning Space.

As long ago as 2001 the impact of ICT on teaching, learning and assessment was acknowledged as an issue with many nuances.  It was also acknowledged that schools are, by their very nature, always in a position of trying to catch up with advances in technology in other spheres. In a report from the General Teaching Council, Ways Forward with ICT, these observations were made:

How did teachers vary in their approaches to ICT use?
The relationships between a sub-sample of the teachers' thinking, their observed behaviour and the related pupil outcomes were investigated by the project team and details are included in an appendix to the full report. To simplify a complex series of data analyses, we present the following conclusions:

Teachers who favoured ICT were likely to:

  • have well-developed ICT skills
  • see ICT as an important tool for learning and instruction
  • value collaborative working, enquiry and decision making by pupils.

Teachers who had reservations about using ICT were likely to:

  • exercise a high degree of direction
  • prefer pupils to work alone.

To use ICT more effectively these teachers would probably need to:

  • cultivate a more positive attitude to ICT by developing their own ICT skills
  • be persuaded that ICT-supported activities can help pupils acquire subject knowledge.

Revisit the notes you made in your Personal Learning Space. Do any of the issues raised in this summary apply in your school?

If possible, work with some colleagues in a staff meeting to reach some agreement about how ICT can support mathematics learning in your school. Sort these statements into the diamond nine diagram.

A Diamond Nine Diagram helps to prioritise and categorise key ideas. The most important factors are placed towards the top of the "diamond nine "; the least important factors are placed towards the bottom. Factors of equal importance are placed in the same row. 

Record your school's thoughts about how ICT can support mathematics learning in your school in your Maths Subject Leader file.





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