Solving Equations in a Technological Environment

An Article Review by Lari Garrison

lari@iconnect.net

Warren Township High School

It is often a concern of mathematics teachers that should students learn how to find solutions to equations and inequalities using technology before they have learned how to do so analytically, the motivation for students to learn this process will vanish. This study by Michal Yerushalmy and Shoshana Gilead demonstrates how the use of technology actually inspired the students to want to learn the analytical methods of solving equations and inequalities. Students had a better understanding of the analytical processes; and in turn, the processes were more meaningful to the students. The technology was a motivation; however, this curriculum would not have been as successful if students had not been "asked . . . to invent procedures . . . by looking at a variety of examples, conjecturing and justifying them using symbolic manipulations when available."

This article presents a case for the integration of technology based upon the authors' actual years of experience using various methods of presentation and assessment of the results of these various methods. It actually demonstrates students' problem-solving evolution when technology is applied in this instructional process.