Does the chalkboard still hold its own against modern technology in teaching mathematics? A case study

23 Jan 2019

The purpose of this case study is to explore the integration of technology into teaching at a mathematics department at a large South African University. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from staff teaching undergraduate mathematics. The study shows that many staff members feel that chalkboards are still more suitable than technology for teaching mathematics. This finding supports the idea of a strong subject culture. Age does not emerge as a determinant for preference of either technology or the chalkboard, although gender and academic qualifications do. Subject culture is strongly rooted under the male members of staff, while female staff members feel more positive towards the use of technology in teaching. Use of chalkboards has decreased significantly over the past 10 years, while the use of modern technologies has increased accordingly. Teaching of large groups has necessitated the use of technology in the classroom. Despite the strong subject culture, a shift in attitude towards technology use in teaching is noticed and there is a definite trend of moving towards using new technologies.