Teaching Mathematics with Technology

Technology is an essential component of today's workplace and is a ubiquitous component of our society. Technology can be a useful tool to support students' engagement in and learning of mathematics. Designed for middle and high school pre-service and practicing teachers, this course allows you to learn, along with colleagues from other schools and around the world, instructional practices that utilize technology to support students' mathematical learning.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the different affordances of technology to support students' learning of mathematics.
  • Critically evaluate and use materials for teaching mathematics with technology and make decisions about appropriate and effective use of mathematics technology.
  • Analyze students' learning and thinking about mathematical ideas when students use technology.
  • Observe students' work with technology and pose questions that probe and push students' mathematical thinking.
  • Engage students in productive discourse that focuses on important mathematical ideas when using technology-enhanced mathematics tasks.

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During Orientation you will meet your lead instructor, Dr. Karen Hollebrands, and learn what to expect from the Teaching Mathematics with Technology MOOC-Ed. You can inform your goals by engaging with a brief pre-assessment and introduce yourself and meet colleagues in the Introductions forum to start making connections with other educators in the course.

Unit 1: Affordances of Technology for the Learning and Teaching of Mathematics

This unit describes how technology can be used to convey information or to support students’ mathematical learning. You will discover how you can leverage the affordances of technology in your mathematics instruction, and you will see examples of how students approach similar tasks with and without the use of technology.

Unit 2: Capitalizing on the Power of Technology

Technology can be used in many different ways. In this unit, you will be introduced to the metaphors “amplifier” and “reorganizer,” which are used to characterize different uses of technology in the teaching of mathematics. In the process, you will have the opportunity to use these metaphors as you critique technology-based tasks for students.

Unit 3: Interacting with Engaging Mathematics Tasks

Technology designed for the teaching and learning of mathematics often involves the direct manipulation of objects. In this unit, you will consider how this feature can be used to create engaging mathematics tasks for students.

Unit 4: Using Multiple-Linked Representations

In this unit, you will consider the different representations that students can easily produce to reason about and solve mathematics problems. Multiple-linked representations provide students with opportunities to make connections across different mathematical ideas. You will also have the opportunity to explore strengths of linked representation and the different types of information that each representation provides for students.

Unit 5: Analyzing Students’ Mathematical Thinking

Technology tools also provide unique opportunities to gain insights into students' mathematical thinking. They allow teachers to examine not only what students say and write but also consider the tools they choose and how these tools are used. As you explore different ways to examine student thinking, you will also have the opportunity to engage your colleagues in discussions about how technology can support the assessment of student thinking.

A certificate of completion for 20 hours of professional development will be provided to participants who do the following in each unit:

  • Complete the Pre-Assessment
  • Access and engage with the Essentials
  • Complete the Essential Explorations
  • Post at least one discussion or comment in the Essential Exploration discussion forum
  • Complete the Connect to Practice
  • Post at least one discussion or comment in the Connect to Practice discussion forum
  • Complete the questions in the Check Your Understanding section

You can submit the certificate to your local agency with a request for Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Granting of CEUs will be subject to the policies and procedures of your state and local agency.

Karen Hollebrands

Dr. Karen F. Hollebrands

Dr. Karen F. Hollebrands is a Professor of Mathematics Education in the department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education at NC State. Her research focuses on the use of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics, with a particular emphasis on geometry and dynamic geometry software programs. She has authored multiple peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and co-edited several books focused on the use of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics. For more than ten years, she has received funding to support projects to create and disseminate curricula materials for preparing teachers to teach mathematics with technology. In 2015 she was named a NC State University Faculty Scholar in recognition of her research. In 2014 she was named Distinguished Undergraduate Professor and in 2009 she was awarded an Outstanding Teaching Award by the Alumni Association at NC State. In addition, she has served on and chaired committees for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, the Special Interest Group for Research in Mathematics Education, and the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education.

Hollylynne Lee

Dr. Hollylynne S. Lee

Dr. Hollylynne S. Lee is a Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Education in the department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education at NC State. Her work focused on statistics education, spanning 17 years, began with developing the Probability Explorer software and conducting research on learners' ability to reason about probabilistic phenomena through a simulation approach. Her current work focuses on preparing teachers of statistics to use innovative approaches and powerful technology tools to engage learners in building statistical understandings. Her work has led to numerous books, research publications, and awards. In 2013 she was named a NC State University Faculty Scholar, and in 2014 received an Alumnae Association Outstanding Teacher award. She is a two time awardee of the National Technology Leadership Initiative Fellowship (2002, 2012), co-sponsored by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Education [AMTE] and the Society of Information Technology and Teacher Education. Dr. Lee is currently a member of the Technology Committee for AMTE, and the Research Advisory Board of the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education. She is the editor of Statistics Education Web: An Online Journal for K-12 Statistics Lessons, an Associate Editor of Statistics Education Research Journal, and a member of the editorial board for Mathematical Thinking and Learning.

Jennifer Nickel

Dr. Jennifer N. Lovett

Dr. Jennifer N. Lovett completed her Ph.D. in mathematics education in 2016 from NC State University. Prior to starting the program and joining the team, she taught algebra and geometry for seven years in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Middle Tennessee State University. Her research interests lie in helping teachers incorporate technology into their teaching and preparing mathematics teachers to teach statistical thinking.

Gemma Mojica

Dr. Gemma F. Mojica

Dr. Gemma F. Mojica is a Research Associate at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. Her current work focuses on instructional design, content development and research for the Institute’s current series of Mathematics MOOC-Eds. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics at East Carolina University, and she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education, with a minor in Statistics, from NC State University. Her previous professional experiences include teaching mathematics at rural and urban secondary public schools in North Carolina. She has also taught mathematics methods courses and mathematics content courses for elementary and secondary prospective and practicing teachers, as well as other mathematics education courses for both undergraduate and graduate students. Her research interests include designing and exploring the types of experiences in teacher education and professional development that support teachers in creating learning environments that supports students’ mathematical thinking.

Alex Dreier

Alex Dreier

Alex Dreier is the Instructional Design Lead at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at the NC State University's College of Education. His current work focuses on the instructional design and content development for the Institute’s current series of MOOC-Eds. Prior to joining Institute, Alex managed the online training courses for EdTech Leaders Online, a nationally-recognized online professional development organization housed at Education Development Center, Inc. in Waltham, MA. Among the courses that Alex helped update and maintain were Using Real Data in the Math Classroom, Using Technology in the Elementary Classroom, and A Conceptual Introduction to Function: Using Visual Models. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from Tulane University and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Theresa Gibson

Theresa Gibson

Theresa Gibson is a Project Coordinator at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics and in Mathematics Education at Buffalo State College in NY. She has experience teaching Algebra and Geometry to students in grades 8-12 and in academic intervention for mathematics working with students in grades 6-12. Theresa also worked at the community college level as a developmental mathematics instructor. Prior to joining the research team, she worked as a program manager in a title I program to provide tutoring in mathematics and reading to K-8 students throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. In her role as project coordinator, Theresa is interested in providing high quality, accessible resources to educators and supporting a positive relationship with mathematics for both educators and students.
Friday Institute Online Professional Learning Courses provide a scalable, accessible, and flexible approach that is aligned with the principles of effective professional learning. Our approach is grounded in authentic, active, and collaborative professional learning activities. The approach builds upon the following key design principles: 

  • Self-directed learning, through personalizing your experience by identifying your own goals, selecting among a rich array of resources, and deciding whether, when, and how to engage in discussions and activities to further your own learning and meet your goals. 
  • Peer-supported learning, through engaging in online discussions, reviewing your colleagues' projects, rating posted ideas, recommending resources, crowdsourcing lessons learned, and participating in twitter chats and other exchanges appropriate to the individual course. 
  • Job-embedded learning, through the use of case studies, classroom and school related projects; developing action plans; and other activities that center your work on critical problems of practice and data-informed decision-making in your own classrooms, schools or districts. 
  • Multiple voices, through learning about the perspectives of other teachers and administrators along with those of students, researchers and experts in the field. Our courses are purposefully not designed around one or two experts who present online lectures. They provide exposure to a rich set of perspectives presented within the context of course elements that reflect these core principles.

You will see these design principles implemented in our courses through the following instructional elements:

  • Conceptual Frameworks
  • Resource Collections
  • Asynchronous Discussions and Twitter Chats
  • Student Scenarios
  • Expert Panels
  • Participant Projects and Peer Feedback
  • Crowd-sourcing
  • Professional Learning Community (PLC) Guides

Future Start Date(s) TBD
Duration 5 units
Cost Free
Primary Audience Grade 6-12 Teachers
Post-Secondary Teachers
Certificate Available Yes
Certificate Hours 2.5-47.5 hours
Facilitators Karen Hollebrands, Ph.D.
Hollylynne Lee, Ph.D.
Gemma Mojica, Ph.D.

Previous Courses

Spring 2020
Spring 2019
Spring 2018
Spring 2017
Fall 2016