Indicator C.1.6. Use Mathematical Tools and Technology
Well-prepared beginning teachers of mathematics are proficient with tools and technology designed to support mathematical reasoning and sense making, both in doing mathematics themselves and in supporting student learning of mathematics.
Well-prepared beginning teachers of mathematics are proficient in using both digital tools and physical manipulatives for solving mathematical problems and as a means of enhancing or illuminating mathematical and statistical concepts. Well-prepared beginners know when and how to use physical manipulatives to explore mathematical and statistical ideas and to build conceptual understanding of these. Furthermore, they are prepared to use “mathematical action technologies” (cf. NCTM, 2014a, p. 79), powerful tools that will be a part of the lives of the students they teach. They know that physical and digital simulations are critical for understanding key statistical concepts. They are familiar with the use of virtual manipulatives, interactive electronic depictions of physical manipulatives, and know how these can support sophisticated explorations of mathematical concepts (Moyer-Packenham, Niezgoda, & Stanley, 2005).
Well-prepared beginners “make sound decisions about when such tools enhance teaching and learning, recognizing both the insights to be gained and possible limitations of such tools” (NCTM, 2012, p. 3). Not every tool, whether electronic or physical, is appropriate in every situation, and different tools may provide different insights into a context. Well-prepared beginners recognize the fast rate at which technologies emerge and are committed to staying abreast of new tools, analyzing their potential and limitations for students’ mathematics learning.