Learning to teach mathematics with technology: A survey of professional development needs, experiences and impacts
The potential for digital technologies to enhance students’ mathematics learning is widely recognised, and use of computers and graphics calculators is now encouraged or required by secondary school mathematics curriculum documents throughout Australia. However, previous research indicates that effective integration of technology into classroom practice remains patchy, with factors such as teacher knowledge, confidence, experience and beliefs, access to resources, and participation in professional development influencing uptake and implementation. This paper reports on a large-scale survey of technology-related professional development experiences and needs of Queensland secondary mathematics teachers. Teachers who had participated in professional development were found to be more confident in using technology and more convinced of its benefits in supporting students’ learning of mathematics. Experienced, specialist mathematics teachers in large metropolitan schools were more likely than others to have attended technology-related professional development, with lack of time and limited access to resources acting as hindrances to many. Teachers expressed a clear preference for professional development that helps them meaningfully integrate technology into lessons to improve student learning of specific mathematical topics. These findings have implications for the design and delivery of professional development that improves teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and skills in a diverse range of contexts.