Technology in the math classroom: Effective strategies for engaging your students

As we all have experienced, the COVID-19 situation has changed the education paradigm. It has pushed math teachers to discover online solutions and innovate. Strategic use of digital tools will boost your lessons, but getting started with the right ones is challenging.

Although it can feel a bit overwhelming in the beginning, this effort will later pay off. Below, we will explore how to incorporate technology in the math classroom.


Why use technology in the math classroom?

1. Technology is a core part of your students’ life

As Dr. Matthew R. Larson, ex-president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, explains, integrating technology into the math classroom is crucial because nowadays students are inseparable from it.

Since technology is embedded in their lives, using digital tools will enable you to attract their attention, adapt your class to their needs, and let them make sense of the mathematical content they learn.


2. It facilitates contextualizing mathematics

Many students wonder why math is important in the real world. Numeracy is essential to become 21st-century critical thinkers, have good job prospects, and even perform daily tasks like doing groceries.

Technology can assist students to be acquainted with applications of math and empower them. For instance, they can use interactive worksheets to solve day-to-day problems, design their own data visualizations, or have fun learning to code.

Since mathematics can feel too abstract, applying technology to everyday math challenges can motivate students to have a deeper understanding of the subject.


3. Digital math tools increase student engagement

The learning process can become more dynamic and interactive thanks to the appropriate use of technology in the math classroom. Multimedia resources like animations and quizzes can make your lessons more exciting.

For example, we enhance our digital textbooks with interactive Geogebra visualizations. These visually engaging graphics can be manipulated by students and help them better understand the theory.


Real-life math problem

Animation of an interactive elements in Bolster Academy


4. Technology in the math class bolsters personalized learning

No two students are the same. Integrating technology in the math classroom will aid you in creating tailored learning experiences and supporting everybody.

Bolster Academy makes personalizing your assignments and tests possible. You can give extra time to a student with special learning needs or adapt the exam hours for students who live in other countries.


5. Instructional technology will simplify your life

These digital tools can’t replace mathematics teachers. Instead, they can become a helping hand in upgrading your teaching while reducing your workload.

As you will see in the examples below, using technology in the math classroom will allow you to work smarter.


How to use technology in the math classroom

There is a wide range of available EdTech resources for every mathematics level. But, obviously, using technologies shouldn’t be an end in itself. Being critical in evaluating the alternatives is fundamental to making strategic choices tailored to the class’ needs.

As this blog post from Edutopia points out, while technological tools are commonly used passively in the classroom, they should be adopted to foster active learning and boost the learners’ agency.

Here you can find some ideas to successfully integrate technology into your math lessons.


1. Automate the most repetitive tasks

Online teaching tools can take care of the most repetitive functions of your job so you can save valuable time. Our platform grades the students and gives them feedback automatically.

In this case, we can see how Dr. Michael McAssey used Bolster Academy to administer tests. Thanks to the randomization feature, every user got the same question but with different variables.

This teacher found out that the automated feedback and the platform interactivity led the students to be more motivated to engage with the subject material. And they achieved higher passing rates!


Real-life math problem

Automated personalized feedback in the Bolster Academy learning environment


2. Take advantage of learning analytics

Tracking what happens in a course is difficult and time-consuming. Learning analytics allow you to have a panoramic view of your class.

You might be teaching math to a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and math levels. Identifying students who are struggling will enable you to give them extra support on time.


Real-life math problem

learning analytics in Bolster Academy


3. Encourage collaboration through e-learning tools

Although math is widely considered an individual activity, learning this subject in groups can be more effective in terms of academic success (Koçak, Bozan & Işık, 2009).

Among multiple activities for collaborative math e-learning, there are valuable resources like interactive worksheets with a whiteboard or leveled worksheets.

Additionally, digital channels can contribute to building a safe environment for the quietest and shiest students and motivate them to participate.


Real-life math problem

Bolster Academy student forum


4. Use gamification to trigger more interest in your class

Game-based learning is a great way to connect with your students and encourage them to get involved actively in the course. They can be more motivated to process the mathematical content deeper and enjoy it.

To acknowledge our users’ merits, we give them badges and experience points. Gamification makes the content more interesting for students and improves their outcomes.


Real-life math problem

Achievement badges in the Bolster Academy learning environment


Ready to integrate technology into the math classroom? Good luck!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.


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