## Understanding Mathematics in a Technology Based College Geometry Class
*Inchul Jung*
`ijung@coe.uga.edu`
The Department of Mathematics Education
**The University of Georgia**
U.S.A
### Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the understanding of mathematics in a technology, *Geometer's Sketch Pad (GSP)*, based college geometry class. The students who took MATH 5200/7200, (*the Foundation of Geometry*) in the Fall of 1998, took MATH 5210/7210 in the Spring of 1999 in sequence. MATH 5200/7200 was taught without using GSP; whereas, MATH 5210/7210 was entirely taught with GSP throughout the semester. No one knew how MATH 5210/7210 would turn out in the beginning of the semester because it was experimental even to the instructor. The differences and similarities were examined between the class with GSP and without GSP in view of the understanding of mathematics. Technology is a current issue appearing in mathematics education as stated in Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (1989). Thus, this study focused on the advantages and disadvantages in college geometry incorporating technology in view of the understanding of mathematics.
In this study, a qualitative design that included interviews, observations and tapes (audio and video) was used. Two students out of 21 volunteered in this study. All classes were observed and besides normal classes, during and after the class, we worked on contexts and homework whenever we needed. During the whole semester, two big interviews were videotaped and audiotaped for each participant. Writing a brief journal was a part of the assignment in MATH 5210/7210. I analyzed the journals of the participants as a part of data to find out their understanding and attitude toward GSP.
It is true that technologies are widespread almost everywhere, but the issue is how to use the available technology in more effective and efficient ways to help students better understand mathematics. Through this study, I was able to find that technology, GSP, did not help students better understand mathematics. There are several reasons why it turned out that way. Also, the research community, the students, and instructors will learn how to take advantage of technology in the study of mathematics, particularly geometry with this study.
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