Ares Publishes Study on Innovative Classroom Technologies in Top-tier Education Journal

Warner School Associate Professor Nancy Ares, who teaches doctoral-level courses in the teaching and curriculum program, is author of a new article, “The Power of Mediating Artifacts in Group-Level Development of Mathematical Discourses,” that appeared in Cognition and Instruction, a top-tier journal in education. 


The article, which Ares co-authored with Alfred Schademan, a professor at California State University, and Walter Stroup, a professor at the University of Texas, appears in the January 2009 issue. Schademan was a 2008 Warner School graduate.  


The study examines, from a sociocultural point of view, the impact that innovative classroom technologies—ranging from networked technology, real-time display, calculators, and white board—have on student learning. In particular, they give attention to the role that highly interactive networked technologies have on the development of group interactions and construction of mathematical concepts.


“As innovative technologies make their way into classrooms, researchers are trying to understand the roles they play in classroom instruction and learning,” says Ares. “The goal of this study was to provide insight into the ways that such interactive tools leverage the power of groups and foster generative mathematical discourse.”


By taking a closer look at classroom activity of a diverse group of under-represented and migrant students from a public charter school out West that used the networked technology, Ares and her team found that networked activities provided the opportunity for students and the teacher to work with varied forms of mathematical objects that they created through their collaborative activities and produce mathematical discourse and practices, rather than reproducing mathematics content from textbooks or worksheets. These opportunities fostered the development of powerful mathematical discourse and shifted the balance of teacher versus student talk to increase student contributions.


Ares, who brings critical sociocultural perspectives to studying learning in classrooms using next-generation networked technology, recently published two other articles on similar topics. The first, “Cultural Practices in Networked Classroom Learning Environments,” appeared in the August 2008 issue of the International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. The second, “Appropriating Roles and Relations of Power in Collaborative Learning,” was published in the March 2008 issue of the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.


For more information or to read Ares’ study on innovative classroom technologies, visit http://ejournals.ebsco.com.ezp.lib.rochester.edu/Issue.asp?IssueID=1008508.

Tags: mathematics education, Nancy Ares, technology